PhD student published in top Chinese journal

Xiang Ren has published his research article ‘Archi-infrastructure as Urban Patchworks & Generators’ in Time+Architecture this month.

The regeneration and new construction of traffic infrastructures has been one of the key forces in the transition and upgrading of urban structure in both developed countries and emerging economies in the past twenty years. Xiang’s paper explored the transformative value of collaborative architectural design with a case study on the multi-disciplinary transport and infrastructure sector.

Time+Architecture Journal was established in 1984, and is sponsored by the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University, Shanghai. It is an international academic journal which ranks in the top three in China.

Xiang achieved the offer of MArch from Tongji University in March 2010, with one of the highest marks of the country. After practising architecture for three years he came to Sheffield and completed his MA degree with Distinction. Currently writing up his PhD, he has frequently presented his work in referred international conferences in Spain, Belgium, Germany, Italy and throughout the UK.

Xiang said “Every time I publish papers and present in conferences outside the School I feel so proud that my enthusiasm and commitment matches the honourable title of being a Sheffield School of Architecture student.”

Further information

Spatial Agency published by China Architecture and Building Press

Spatial Agency, a book co-authored by Tatjana Schneider, Jeremy Till and Nishat Awan, has been published by China Architecture and Building Press.

The project was initially funded by the AHRC and won the 2011 RIBA President’s Awards for research.640

This book offers the first comprehensive overview of alternative approaches to architectural practice.

At a time when many commentators are noting that alternative and richer approaches to architectural practice are required if the profession is to flourish, this book provides multiple examples from across the globe of how this has been achieved and how it might be achieved in the future.

Particularly pertinent in the current economic climate, this book offers the reader new approaches to architectural practice in a changing world. It makes essential reading for any architect, aspiring or practicing.

Research Symposium with STEALTH.unlimited

On 17 February the School of Architecture is hosting a research symposium with Ana Džokic and Marc Neelen from STEALTH.unlimited. The symposium is part of a 2 day event in which Ana and Marc are running a series of workshops with staff and students in the School.

stealth poster 17 feb

STEALTH.unlimited (2000, Rotterdam/Belgrade) is the practice of Ana Džokić and Marc Neelen. Although initially trained as architects, for 15 years their work is equally based in the context of contemporary art and culture. Through intensive collaboration with individuals, organisations and institutions, STEALTH connect urban research, visual arts, spatial interventions and cultural activism.

PhD Studentship Opportunity

We are pleased to invite applications for a 4 year studentship funded by the Grantham Foundation, Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures.

The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures focuses on advancing the science of sustainability and connecting it with the policy debate around how humans can live in a more sustainable way.

We are recruiting Grantham Scholars who will combine outstanding intellect with a strong commitment to public engagement, leadership and action. If these principles match your ambitions, you are invited to apply for one of our interdisciplinary PhD research projects to help solve the challenges of sustainability. You will be supported by the Grantham Centre through a unique training programme, designed to equip to with the skills to become a policy advocate and leader in sustainability matters.

Project title: Characterising Uncertainty in Complex Environmental Simulations for Public Engagement with Climate Change Conscious Sustainable Planning and Design

Project description: Urban neighbourhoods and buildings designed or retrofitted with future climate in mind are more likely to perform sustainably. To do so, the planning and design process will require uses of detailed site-specific climate projections, and complex urban microclimate and building climate models. Although computationally intensive, the multi-scale environmental modelling and simulation can be used to systematically explore a large number of planning and design parameters and options, to examine the likely effect on sustainability over time. However, the computer simulation involved is often computationally expensive and contains uncertain elements, and the implication of compounded uncertainties in the complex multi-scale environmental simulations is not well understood. This research aims to identify, quantify and visualise such uncertainties.

Further information and applying

Closing date: 7 March 2016

Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience Series

This month Sheffield will host the next Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience event in the ESRC sponsored seminar series. The series combines academic research and debate with practical interventions, aiming to strengthen links between UK and international cohousing networks.

The next seminar will take place in Sheffield on 29 January and will draw attention to collective learning to change and influence ecological behaviour, and empowerment through collaborative design.

In the morning there will be key-note contributions from Lucelia Taranto Rodrigues (sharing community energy to build resilience) and Fionn Stevenson (‘collective learning in co-housing’). Then Betsy Morris and Raines Cohen will join by video from California to introduce a workshop activity on ‘co-developing for ecological living’. Further afternoon workshops cover intersecting themes of ‘retrofit challenges’ (with Mark Parsons), socio-technical challenges, ‘gender challenges (with Jenny Pickerill) and ‘co-designing challenges’.

The day before the seminar will involve a coach tour of several collaborative housing developments in Sheffield, facilitated by The University of Sheffield, engaging in discussion with the residents at each development.

Find out more

Future Scenarios – Surgery & Network Event

The University of Sheffield and the Open University have launched the Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios project. This funded programme of work provides an opportunity for three artists to be ‘in residence’ for one year from June 2016 within key climate change networks and institutions. They will be supported to develop new cultural work in the context of climate change scenarios.

This event has been organised by SSoA’s Renata Tyszczuk and will take place on 27 January 2016. The evening will explore why scenarios are such a key element of climate change research and politics, and also why it is important to invite a wider range of perspectives on these themes.

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Understanding Lighting For Pedestrians

The Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) has launched a discussion document which reviews what is currently known about the desirable characteristics of lighting for pedestrians and considers the extent to which the existing UK standard is adequate.

The report was written by Steve Fotios and Peter Boyce. Steve Fotios is Professor of Lighting and Visual Perception in the School of Architecture where he leads research of lighting and its impact on people, their ability to see and how they feel. Two key themes of the Lighting Research Group are lighting for pedestrians and bias in research procedures.

He is lead investigator for two £1M EPSRC funding awards on lighting for pedestrians. The MERLIN project (Mesopically Enhanced Road Lighting: Improving Night-vision) concluded last year and Professor Fotios has recently secured funding for MERLIN-2.

The aim of MERLIN is to gather empirical evidence of the lighting conditions that enable pedestrians to walk safely, and to feel safe, so that a cost-benefit analysis of road lighting can be properly informed. The project has led to new guidance on the colour of road lighting and MERLIN-2 will involve working with UK, US and international bodies to specify how much light is needed. It could have a significant environmental impact by identifying unnecessary energy consumption by street lights.

The Institution of Lighting Professionals is the main professional body in the UK for outdoor lighting

You are invited to read the document and comment

How can we build a more sustainable future?

Researchers from the Sheffield School of Architecture joined world leaders and policy makers in Paris for the start of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (30 November – 11 December 2015).

Professor Doina Petrescu and Dr Renata Tyszczuk are attending the conference to share their expertise on urban resilience, industry and energy. Professor Petrescu ran an event on Collaborative Civic Resilience and Dr Tyszczuk will take part in workshops at the Le Bourget conference centre, gathering material for the Creative Climate project she helped launch in 2009.

Collaborative Civic Resilience Event, Climate Generations Area, COP21

Professor Petrescu organised an event and exhibition which took place on 5 December as part of the Climate Generations area of the conference. These areas are open to the general public and those taking part in the international climate negotiations.

The event offered a forum for debate on different approaches of Collaborative Civic Resilience. It aimed to address the role of grassroots urban resilience initiatives in allowing neighbourhoods to adapt to the complex crisis we face: climatic, social, ecologic, economic.

Professor Petrescu is exhibiting the R-Urban research project throughout the conference, which is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and her practice, Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée. R-Urban involves a network of community driven bottom up strategies of urban regeneration. One commons project, in a suburb of Paris, now has 400 citizens co-managing 5000 square metres of land, producing food, energy and housing, while actively reducing waste and water usage.

In order to become more effective, more strategic and have a lasting impact at a larger scale, these initiatives need to act convergently with other initiatives and frameworks. The exhibition presents a number of practices, structures and tools for initiating collaborative resilience and propose a co-produced vision of resilient urban regeneration of metropolitan suburbs.

Culture and Climate Change launch Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios

Culture and Climate Change, a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and The Open University, are pleased to launch Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios, a new networked residency programme that embeds artists within contemporary thinking on climate research and policy. Three individual artists or collectives working in any artform will be offered an award of £10,000 each for a year-long residency beginning in June 2016.

The Climate Change in Residence project is supported by the University of Sheffield, the Open University, the Ashden Trust and Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Dr Tyszczuk will launch the project alongside the delegation from the Open University who are attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

This is a pilot artist residencies programme that aims to put more culture into climate scenarios. Scenarios are a key element in the political and public conversation about climate change but have to date been almost exclusively the preserve of natural science modellers and economists. They need company.

Rather than being based in one place, the project aims to follow the networked nature of climate change knowledge by experimenting with ‘network residencies’.

“This project offers artists interested in climate change a unique and exciting opportunity to work within a network of internationally renowned climate researchers and policy makers. By establishing new forms of collaboration, we can open up and bring more energy to contemporary debates about climate change and the future.”

Dr Renata Tyszczuk, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield School of architecture