About us

Deft.Space is an inter-disciplinary architecture and design studio working across architecture, research and participation to create thoughtfully designed spaces for people.

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Deft.Space is an inter-disciplinary architecture and design studio working across architecture, interiors, research and strategies to create thoughtfully designed spaces for people.

deft /dɛft/

[dexterous; nimble; skillful; clever]

space /speɪs/

[the unlimited or incalculably great three-dimensional realm or expanse in which all material objects are located and all events occur]

How we design

We place a strong focus on designing buildings and spaces that meet the immediate needs of our clients, but also provide the appropriate degree of adaptability and expansion for future use. In response to climate change, we are committed to environmentally conscious design that delivers creative adaptive reuse of existing buildings and skilfully designed new additions in the built environment.

We are interested in implementing the principles of the circular economy, a sustainable model in which waste and pollution are eliminated in architecture and design. As an extension of designing buildings that are better for the environment, we also believe in placing the health and wellbeing of people at the centre of the spaces that we create. We are WELL Accredited and can support clients that want to deliver buildings that elevate the wellness and comfort of occupants through the WELL Building Certification.

We believe that to create an equitable society and a sustainable future, it is essential to design inclusive buildings and spaces that meet the needs of the diversity of people who want to use them. We define inclusive design as one which is welcoming to everyone, responsive to people’s needs, flexible and offers choice. Central to the design process of delivering inclusive buildings and spaces are co-design workshops that place people that represent a diversity of age, gender, ability and community at the heart of the design process.


Shade Abdul

Deft.Space is led by Shade Abdul, an architect, lecturer and researcher.

Trained at the Canterbury School of Architecture and the Bartlett School of Architecture, her work focuses predominantly on participatory action research and inclusive regeneration that address socio-economic inequality. She is driven by design that is led by research and an in-depth understanding of not only the physical fabric, but also the social and economic conditions. Designing for equity and designing architecture that enables communities to thrive sits at the heart of her practice, research and teaching.

Shade currently teaches at Central Saint Martins, and has previously taught at Brighton University and at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. She is a member of the London Borough of Newham’s Design Review Panel and a member of the Urban Design London’s Environmental Design Review Panel. She is the chair of The Southwark Black Business Network and the vice chair of the Southwark Chamber of Commerce. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Sedayah Simpson
Part II Architectural Assistant
BArch(Hons) MArch

Sedayah is a spatial practitioner with a particular interest in the social impacts of architecture, specifically for Black and ethnic minority communities. Her work seeks to intervene within fragmented areas with small and medium-scale interventions, using architecture as the catalyst for positive local development and enhanced opportunities.

Her academic projects have always maintained an inextricable community focus. She has developed a philosophy that good design is responsive and conscious, where value lies in co-design and the delivery of place-specific, creative solutions that respond to contemporary social needs.

Sedayah’s work is strengthened by her academic rigour and the creation of new narratives to drive her projects, applying knowledge rooted in spatial design, urban sociology and public health to address issues of equality and equity holistically.

Most recently, Sedayah undertook a 2-month research placement with Thrive LDN, a public and mental health task-force within the GLA, to support her research into how spatial practitioners can aid in the UK’s post-Covid health recovery.


© 2023 Deft.Space Ltd.

© 2023 Deft.Space Ltd.