Doina Petrescu’s work with atelier d’architecture autogeree – in the exhibition Net Works: An Atlas of Connective and Distributive Intelligence in Architecture at Architectural Association

Net Works: An Atlas of Connective and Distributive Intelligence in Architecture 19.11.2011 – 14.12.2011

Net Works records the modern and contemporary history of connective and distributed intelligence in architecture. The book and exhibition present the ways in which networks and distributed organisations have long operated within architectural practice and culture.

A key objective is to frame and better understand the early modern foundations on which much of current architectural experimentation lies, as a means to reassess the social, cultural and political implications of architectural culture in the early 21st century.

The exhibition displays the work of 4×4 contemporary young offices, schools and emerging forms of practising whose projects openly explore the potential of connective design technologies, distributed material structures, or diffused operational/managerial working approaches in architecture today. Contributors include Atelier d’Architecture Autogerée, AADRL, AA Visiting School, Ball-Nogues, Misuk Cho, Sou Fujimoto, Vicente Guallart, Exyzt, Theo Jansen, Kram/Weisshaar, Achim Menges, Supersudaca, Stalker, Studio-X Global Network Initiative, School of Missing Studies and Talca School of Architecture.

See website

MArch and MAAD Live Projects 2011 Receive Fantastic Client Feedback

MArch and MAAD student teams brought this year’s Live Projects to a close with a series of excellent presentations and reviews last week. Students worked on ten projects, in locations including Sheffield, Northern Ireland, London and Zanzibar, with real client organisations outside the University. The groups produced built, strategic and detailed design proposals for their clients with a particular emphasis on communityparticipation and collaborative working.  Live Projects give students a chance to practice creatively in a politically and socially-engaged context and to explore these ways of working hands-on.

Here are a few comments from the clients this year:

“Their positiveengagement with the kids and the way they involved the users was asurprise and something they did completely unprompted. Their creativity andenthusiasm shone through the planning stages and I am sure the kids will havebenefitted from experiencing the interaction with students.” Wadsley Scout Hut, Sheffield

“I have to be honest- I didn’texpect as much- despite having worked with architects for many years. Theirfocus on our brief was impressive and their desire to really grasp all thedimensions of that.” The Art House, Wakefield

“I think the pieces they made, especially the model, are fantastic, they have created some tools that will be really useful to us as a creative community in communicating our project to potential interested parties. Looking through the vision document there is so much packed in their – we can’t wait to get using all these tools.” Portland Works, Sheffield

“It now seems inevitable that this work will form the basis for the newmasterplan going forward, and will without doubt result in a much moresuccessful outcome to the overall development.  The community group hasbeen empowered with a fresh knowledge and awareness of the issues and potentialof the development to carry into the next stage of consultation, and has alsobeen gifted with many new ideas about what the site could become.” Forkhill and District Development Association, Northern Ireland

For more information on all of this year’s Live Projects go to the website

Completed Live Project in Forkhill in Northern Ireland

Eleven M.Arch and MAAD students have recently completed a Live Project in Forkhill in Northern Ireland. The project involved assisting a community group to develop ideas for the urban potential of a site in the village, producing an interactive ‘masterplan in pieces’ that the client could use as a toolkit with which to inform later development. The client said that “the community group has been empowered with a fresh knowledge and awareness of the issues and potential of the development to carry into the next stage of consultation, and has also been gifted with many new ideas about what the site could become. This is a milestone in the long journey toward a successful community driven development of the Barracks site at Forkhill. A long standing member of the community also said that ‘the work has exceeded that which would ever be produced by any professional consultants… the future of the profession is in safe hands, if the students coming out of Sheffield University are anything to go by.’

SSoA Theory Forum 2011

Theory Forum flyerTheory Forum is an annual event at SSoA, focusing each year on a topic of contemporary relevance for architectural theory and practice. This year’s Forum will consider digital modes of design, communication, and expression, and their relation to the material production of architecture.

Speakers will include Phil Ayres, CITA (Center for Information Technology and Architecture Copenhagen); Enrico Costanza, University of Southampton; Lucy Holme, Aedas R&D; Jeffrey Huang, Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne; Julien Nembrini, Universität der Künste, Berlin; and Katie Lloyd Thomas, Newcastle University.

The Forum will take place between 09:30 and 17:30 on November 15 in Arts Tower 16.03, followed by a supper at 18:30 for all attendees. For more information please contact Mark Meagher or Rachel Cruise.

See full Theory Forum webpage

Seminar – Modernisation in East Asian Architecture 1850-1950

East-West posterSince Bauhaus-based architectural education has swept across the world, bringing with it an International Style and more or less universal practices in designing and procuring buildings, modernisation in general tends to be considered synonymous with the arrival of modernism in architecture.  Yet the modernisation of building technology, of engineering techniques, of the role of architect as opposed to master carpenter, of the beginning of architectural education, predated modernist architecture by at least half a century, and the transformation was gradual and highly complex. Several of our Ph D students are working on this period and concerned with the relation between local values and western imports, and this seminar will give us a chance to compare occurrences in China, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand.

Sheffield’s outstanding performance at Friday’s RIBA Northern Networks Awards

Butterworth Architecture, Prue Chiles Architects and Sarah Wigglesworth Architects all won awards at Friday night’s RIBA Northern Network Awards ceremony held at the Newcastle Civic Centre.  Prue Chiles Architects and Sarah Wigglesworth Architects won gold awards for their entries, a Private House in Stockport and Sandal Magna Community Primary School. Carolyn Butterworth won a silver award for Hangingwater House in Sheffield.  Sarah also won the Sustainability Award and Best Yorkshire Region Project Award for her practice’s work at Sandal Magna.  Carolyn also won the Best Housing Award for her own Hangingwater House.

Sheffield alumni Student Matthew Ollier of Ollier Smurthwaite Architects also won in the categories of Interior Design and Best Small Project for the economical refurbishment of their own offices.

Butterworth Architecture: Hangingwater House, Sheffield

Hangingwater House is a new family house situated in an inner Victorian suburb of Sheffield. Built to a high level of airtightness and insulation, it also features a living roof to maintain the biodiversity of the former brownfield site. Much of the design of the house has been influenced by the previous uses of the site. The site’s original use as the kitchen garden for a large Victorian house to the north informed the development of the site as a walled garden. In true Sheffield style, everyday access is via a door at the side of the house (the front doors of the surrounding terraced housing are rarely used) that accesses the main living accommodation on the upper floor. The main room is a large dual-aspect living/kitchen area that has a large south-facing window reminiscent of the industrial workshop that once stood on the site. Judges Comments:”It has been designed to adapt over the years to the demands of the occupants young family creating an interesting, yet restrained “new neighbour” within the older street-scene”

Prue Chiles Architects: Private House, Stockport

Private House, Stockport

The domestic extension uses scale and proportion to create a highly contemporary space that is sensitive to the original Victorian villa situated at the heart of the Heaton Moor conservation area. The project seeks to open the rear of the house to the garden, create a kitchen and dining space suited to contemporary living whilst improving the relationship between the inside and outside spaces by dealing with the half storey level difference in a positive manner. Transparency, light and views between spaces are all integral to the success of the scheme, creating a space that is animated throughout the day. Judges Comments: “This project displays a clever manipulation of space which belies its size yet avoids visual clutter.  The complexity is carefully concealed giving all the spaces the air of inevitable simplicity.  A pleasure to have seen this project.”

Sarah Wigglesworth Architects: Sandal Magna Community Primary School, Wakefield

Sandal Magna Community Primary School replaced a run-down Board school in one of Wakefield’s most deprived wards. A 210-place primary with a 26-place nursery, the buildings are designed to enable expansion of the roll to 315 primary pupils. The school takes the form of three single storey blocks linked together, and all classrooms have direct access to dedicated outdoor play areas. Made of brick cross-walls with solid timber infill, the buildings are designed on passive low energy principles but additional funding for renewables means the school is predicted to be one of the most energy efficient primary schools in the UK. Judges Comments: “It is and will remain an inspiration to its pupils, teachers, the local community and anyone else who visits”


Whole School Event posterThe Whole School Event kicks off Monday, 7th Nov, commencing with a lecture by Graham Willis Visiting Professor, Siv Helene Stangeland at 6pm in LT09 in the Arts Tower.

Afterwards there will be drinks and a food fuddle upstairs in The Well, floor 16. If you are coming to the food fuddle please bring some sort of edible contribution so that there is lots to go around.