In the media: All together now: how to build a social campus by Satwinder Samra

The School’s Director of Future Practice, Satwinder Samra, has written an article for the Guardian exploring the design of University Campuses as social spaces. Satwinder uses space in the School to illustrate his thoughts.

“The “well space” in the University of Sheffield’s school of architecture, for example, is one of my favourite locations. Because it is double height, and able to accommodate a wide variety of activities, it has become the physical and social heart of our department.Students can pass in and through as they wish, sometimes participating, sometimes observing. It is particularly useful on open days where parents and prospective students can see first-hand how the ethos of the school manifests itself – the informality helps to break down traditional hierarchies and encourage interaction.”

Full article

In the media: Satwinder Samra interviewed in The Statesman

The School’s Director of Future Practice, Satwinder Samra, had been interviewed by Indian publication The Statesman in an article titled ‘Course to build a dream up’.

In the article Satwinder talks about the MArch course at Sheffield, the School’s Live Projects initiative and how we are preparing students for practice.

“We motivate students to be astute, flexible, responsive and socially enterprising. This enables them to face the challenges of our times and also opens the door to what ‘Future Practice’ might be – a practice that can listen, evolve and advocate clients’ and users’ needs from the project while at the same time produce meritorious design.”

Full article

Autumn Statement – what the experts say

Experts at the University of Sheffield give their views as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement.

Professor Fionn Stevenson, Head of the Sheffield School of Architecture, brings her expertise to UK housing.

“The current housing crisis in the UK shows no sign of abating, with house prices remaining unaffordable for many first time buyers, despite various government initiatives. In some places, mortgages of up to seven times the size of a first time buyer’s salary are required.”

Click here to view the full guide.

Fionn is part of SSoA’s Home Research Group and her areas of expertise include Housing Performance Evaluation, Sustainable Housing Design, Custom Build policy and issues. Fionn is advisor to Innovate UK and Board Member of Good Homes Alliance

Irena Bauman co-authors article for The Guardian

Can Art Inspire Climate Change?

Professor Irena Bauman has co-authored an article alongside Professor Elke Weber and Olafur Eliasson which is featured in The Guardian online.

Olafur Eliasson is an environmental artist known for sculptures and large scale installation art. Elke Weber is a Professor of Psychology at Columbia University. Weber focuses much of her time on environmental decisions, in particular responses to climate change and climate variability.

The article discusses the notion of art inspiring climate change through an ice installation. To coincide with the latest IPCC climate report, 12 blocks of Greenland ice will be left to melt in Copenhagen City Hall Square as a visual representation of climate change. To read this inspiring article please visit the Guardian website.

Irena Bauman, Professor of Sustainable Urbanism, is heavily involved in SSoA’s research platform Building Local Resilience. This platform is intended to help make a coordinated step change. Namely, bridging from past and current research that is based within more known conditions of climate, demographics, governance and economic stability, towards developing the transformations required in a dynamic and rapidly changing world. In stepping up to the multiple, connected crises we face, we require new products and processes for making, inhabiting, organising, retrofitting and adapting our cities and neighbourhoods. To read more about the research platform click here.

One of the major outputs from this platform has been the development of the international conference Architecture and Resilience on a Human Scale. This conference focuses on research, strategies and projects that are testing how we can build local resilience in preparation for major societal challenges, such as global warming, scarcity of resources, increase in extreme weather events and shifts in demographics. The call for papers has recently been issued and we are welcoming researchers and practitioners from many fields including urban design and planning, landscape and ecology, geography, social sciences and other fields related to spatial studies to present their work. To discover more about the conference, please click here.

SSoA staff and students collaborate on UK’s first ‘urban room’

In 2013/14 SSoA students in Carolyn Butterworth’s and Ellen Page’s MArch/PGT Studio ‘LiveWorks’ and the ‘(re)Create Blackburn’ Live Project worked with creative regeneration initiative Blackburn is Open. The Blackburn is Open initiative, funded by the Arts Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, aims to regenerate the town centre of Blackburn through filling empty shops with entrepreneurs and creative practitioners. Wayne Hemingway, locally born designer and Creative Director of Blackburn is Open, worked with the students to develop design ideas for the future of the town.

Many of these ideas have influenced ‘Urban Room Blackburn’; the next phase of Blackburn is Open. The recent Farrell Review recommended that every town and city should have its own ‘urban room’, where the past, present and future of that place can be debated by its citizens.

Blackburn will launch the UK’s first urban room on 21st October at an event featuring talks by Wayne Hemingway, author of the Farrell Review Max Farrell and Carolyn Butterworth.

The work produced by SSoA’s students has been instrumental in the development of Urban Room Blackburn and their drawings and models are now on show in a public exhibition in the town centre. A book of their work ‘Blackburn ReMade’ has been commissioned by Blackburn Council and will be published as part of the launch event.

Live Projects and Live Works are initiatives set up by the Sheffield School of Architecture to encourage students to be both socially and politically engaged. Live Projects, working with real clients in the community, is in its 15th year and is responsible for over 150 completed projects. Live Works is a new initiative and incorporates an Enterprise Teaching Centre and Social Enterprise, creating an Urban Room for SSoA in Sheffield City Centre where local people and organisations can learn about our civic engagement activities, suggest and collaborate with us on Live Projects.


Satwinder Samra chosen as one of 12 successful figures from the world of architecture for latest RIBA publication

Satwinder Samra, Director of Future Practice in the Sheffield School of Architecture, has recently been interviewed for the book ’21 things you won’t learn in Architecture School’ which was released this week. The book by Adrian Dobson, aims to draw from real life experiences of renowned architects across the country and includes fascinating insights from the world of psychology, sociology, marketing, economics, persuasion and resource management in relation to the practice and education of architects. It includes anecdotes, both witty and poignant as well as some beautiful hand drawn sketches from each of the participants. In the book Satwinder describes ‘some if his ideas for innovation in study routes and collaboration between leading architecture practices and students to create better links between academia and industry’.

More details here.

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