After completing his national service, Walker went on to study architecture at Leeds Art School, it was here he met his first wife Jill Messenger.
He recruited a team and over seven years produced a landscaping strategy for the 'new city', eleven village plans, the structure for the programme for producing 3000 houses per year with supporting community, leisure, retail and sporting and cultural facilities.
Amongst many buildings possibly the most celebrated was the Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre. At the time of its opening in 1979 it was a unique concept for 1,000,000 sq ft (93,000 m2) of retail space with a plan generated around covered landscaped streets. The team for this complex included Stuart Mosscrop, Christopher Woodward and Syd Green.
In 1980, Walker was involved with Norman Foster and Frank Newby in a controversial scheme to expand the Whitney Museum in New York City using air rights purchased from nearby properties to build a mixed-use skyscraper which would include a new wing for the museum. When a furore developed, the museum denied it had solicited the team.
- Professor of Architecture and Design Royal College of Art, London
- Visiting Professor University of Southern California, Los Angeles
- UCLAS at Los Angeles
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Tennessee
Derek Walker was born on the 15th June 1929 in Blackburn, Lancashire, and grew up in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Walker was a lifelong sports fanatic, with a passion for cricket and a supporter of Leeds United FC.
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- Housing Association, Newton Garth, Leeds 1968/69
- Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre, Milton Keynes
- Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds
- The City Park and Sculpture Park for Central Milton Keynes
- Extensive Renovations of the Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong
- The Whitney Museum extension in New York, with Sir Norman Foster
- Kowloon Park Hong Kong including Olympic Pools, Sports hall, Piazza, Sculpture walk and Chinese garden
- New Equine Training Facility for Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club at Shatin
- Master Plan for New City of Jubail in Saudi Arabia
- The Lijnbaan covered Shopping Precinct, City of Rotterdam
- Central Business District for New City of Jubail, Saudi Arabia – Masterplan
- The Wonderworld Themepark and Related Industries proposal for a 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) site Corby
- Clarence Dock – Masterplan mixed use development, Leeds
- Telluride Year Round Resort Masterplan Colorado USA
- Commodores Point mixed use Development and Marina, Jacksonville, Florida – Masterplan
- Museum of British History – a proposal for the St Bartholomew's Hospital site London
- Ushiku – Masterplan for a city of 100,000 people Ushiku, Japan
- "Xanadu" – an unrealised 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m2) mixed use Leisure Development Rotherham Lancashire
- National Museum of the United States Army Washington DC – Concept and Detailed Design
- "Golden Eye for Blackpool" – a proposed Second Gateway Covered Leisure Facility and Mixed Use Development
- The Great Engineers: The Art of British Engineers 1837–1987. ISBN 0-85670-917-4.
- Happold: The Confidence to Build. ISBN 0-419-24060-8.
- Animated Architecture.
- 'Derek Walker Associates 'The View from Great Linford' Monograph" ISBN 978-1-85490-282-5
- 'Los Angeles Profile Architectural Design Magazine with USC 1982"
- Structural Engineering Design in Practice. With Roger Westbrook.
- The Royal Armouries The Making of a Museum. With Guy Wilson ISBN 0-948092-26-2.
- New Towns (Architectural Design, No 111). With Maggie Toy.
- AD Milton keynes 1.2.3 Volumes Profiles Architectural Magazine 1973-4-5.
- The Architecture and Planning of Milton Keynes.
- "Derek Walker: Milton Keynes - The Art of Illusion". MK Gallery. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buckinghamshire, 2nd edition, Penguin Books (Buildings of England), 1994, ISBN 0-14-071062-0, page 494.
- Milton Keynes shopping centre becomes Grade II listed – The Guardian, 16 July 2010
- Early housing in Milton Keynes Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre
- The Whitney Museum repulses Norman Foster's first assault on New York, 1980.
- "THE MUSEUM IN LEEDS". Royal Armouries. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "DEREK WALKER: Former Chief Architect and Planning Officer for Milton Keynes has passed away". MK Web. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "Derek Walker: Architect whose greatest achievement was serving as the chief designer of Milton Keynes, the 'Forest City'". The Independent.
- Financial Times (13 May 2015). "Architect of Milton Keynes who blended utopia and nostalgia". Euro 2day. Retrieved 18 May 2015.