Manchester Metropolitan University – Successful Alumni who Founded Startups

If there is someone you would like to add to the list, please email us directly. Please see our shortlist below!




Dan Kelso – Architecture Unknown


dan kels architecture unknown


Architecture Unknown was founded to change how the construction industry engages clients, communities and the general public in the design of the built environment. They believe life would be better for everyone if architecture was made accessible through co-creation and innovative methods of community-led construction that have the potential to unite communities behind a hopeful vision for their places.

They are a big hearted, ambitious, social design practice who believe architecture and construction should be an inclusive dialogue where everyone takes part, one where architecture becomes more than just the route to a building. They aim to create social connections where none previously existed as people construct a shared understanding of place.

They succeed by embracing everything that makes a scheme unique, primarily the people who use it. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re shy about modern, modular methods of manufacture. In fact, it’s the opposite, they think that modular fabrication has the potential to democratise construction and put the power of building in the hands of people. This is why they have become specialists in the WikiHouse construction system, which is designed to be the “IKEA-furniture” of buildings, to enable everyone of any age, skill or ability to participate in their assembly of their built environment. They think this system has the potential to unlock the untapped potential of the community construction sector and inspire the next generation of young architects, engineers, prefab specialists and sustainable tech advocates.

In the future, they see community-led design and construction revolutionising the regeneration sector. They think that employing these methods in projects concerning public buildings or spaces, especially in deprived communities, generates the greatest benefits to those who need it most. In this way, they hope to achieve the “holy grail” of delivering holistic, affordable, community-defined regeneration that truly benefits residents and offers opportunities to those who are rarely invested in.


If there is someone you would like to add to the list, please email us directly.