Symposium on Visual Methods

‘A Symposium on Visual Methods’ – with Penny McCarthy, Huw Wahl, Becky Shaw and Amanda Ravetz

7th February, 12 noon to 4.15 pm (with a lunch break)

Arts Tower, Floor 13, Room 13.18

Amanda Ravetz researches at Manchester Metropolitan University Her talk “Filming Play” will discuss the filming of “Entry”, made in Dahl ni Pol, Ahmedabad, in 2010.

Penny McCarthy lectures in fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. Her talk ‘First Draft’ will focus primarily on the work made as part of a Wellcome Trust research initiative.

Huw Wahl is a postgraduate Bursary award winner, his talk is called ‘Photography and Sound’. He will discuss his project which, through a series of photographs and in-depth interviews, explores the re-presentation of an over documented land.

Becky Shaw lectures in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam. Her talk entitled ‘Reverse Engineering’ discusses a work called ‘Transfer’, made for Manchester Royal Infirmary, Lime and Castlefield Gallery.

East-West Studies Seminars

University of Sheffield School of Architecture and Department of Landscape, East-West Seminars, Second Semester 2013

There will be three seminars held on Thursday mornings in Architecture floor 16, room 16.03 from 9.30 to 1.00, on 14th February, 14th March and 2nd May. Presentations will be made by visiting scholars and by PhD students in the final stages from both departments. The topics are as follows:

14/2 – Ritual Progressions in Chinese Imperial Architecture.

This session will be concerned with the relationship between spatial sequences and their ritual uses, including a presentation of the observances at Royal Tombs, more on the use of the Ancestral Hall, and further consideration of doors and gates.

14/3 – Architecture and Carpentry of the Dong

This session will look at the buildings of the Dong minority from south-west China, which because of their relative isolation and lack of a written script, shows architecture in a powerfully rhetorical role. Since buildings are made by carpenters but assembled by the whole community, the building process is unusually participative and the building rituals have remained strong.

2/5 –  Modern and modernising

This session will return to the question of what it means to be modern, and how various kinds of modernisation took place: political, technological and representative, as well as stylistic.

PBJ 28/1/13

Introducing Visiting Prof. Clark Brockman

Clark Brockman, our new Visiting Professor from SERA architects in San Franscisco will give two public lectures at SSoA on the 5th and 7th of February. This will be a rare opportunity to hear how key architects and cities in the the USA are tackling sustainable resource use in their cities and buildings – demonstrating potential ways forward for other cities.

‘Optimizing Resource Systems at City Scale’ - Tuesday 5th February 2013 at 6pm, in Lecture Theatre 04, Lower Ground Floor, The Arts Tower

Cities are finding themselves on the front lines of simultaneously addressing climate change and improving the human condition. Either one by itself is a tall order- addressing them together is an immense undertaking. Cities are the right scale to focus on these vexing issues – large enough to generate and manage large system flows but potentially small enough to govern these. Traditionally cities have operated within the limits of resources available to them.  Cheap energy and industrialization have, however, globalized all systems, even those that clearly operate more efficiently at local scales- skewing our notions of what an optimal system is at local scale. Cities have thus turned into “in-and-out” machines that use energy, water and other valuable resources only once, and then seek the cheapest way to get rid of the waste generated. Optimizing systems at optimal scales is a rapidly developing strategy being tested in enterprising cities around the world, to counter this trend.  This lecture explores radical, new thinking in relation to resource flows,  highlighting the Eco Districts initiative in Portland, Oregon, USA, and its potential implications for cities everywhere, including Sheffield.

‘The Changing Role of Architects in the Built Environment’ - Thursday 7th February 2013 at 6pm,  in room 16.03, Floor 16, The Arts Tower

Architects are at the nexus of integrating the human-built environment into the natural world, while also optimizing the built environment for human utility – fundamentally, we build things for people. Present day architecture, and built environment projects in general have tended to move away from a place-based approach due to the temporary system disruption of cheap energy and industrialization. However, Architects are now in an ideal position to provide many types of place-based solutions needed today, from resource conservation, to reducing carbon emissions, to (re)localizing wealth.  The task of the architect is growing far beyond that of simply ‘making buildings’. Architects can change the way people use resources, interact with the natural world and build community, through their skills in communication and multi-disciplinary integration. Architects, by nature, are natural synthesizers and integrators – we now need to expand our reach, and focus on wider collaboration to realize our growing potential. This lecture explores the integration of  architecture into the larger built environment, and the changing role of system scale in the architect’s work.

You can find more details about Clark’s work on SERA’s website.

Forum Series: The Thinking Craftsperson

SSoA is pleased to announce this year’s School Forum series – The Thinking Craftsperson.

We have a brilliant programme of speakers who are all makers in different fields. They have been asked to discuss their work, specifically focussing on what it means to craft (particularly in relation to digital technology), what determines their use of materials and techniques, and what is matter’s relationship with culture. The series has been organised by Professor Sarah Wigglesworth.

This weekly series of lectures will start on Tuesday 5. February at 4pm with a lecture by Blanch and Shock on Cuisine and Design.

The full series is as follows:

- 5 Feb – Blanch and Shock [cuisine and design]

- 12 Feb – Laura Bacon [willow sculptor] and Rachael Matthews [guerilla knitter]

- 19 Feb – Jessica Briggs [jeweller] and Amanda Hall [costume designer]

- 26 Feb – Caroline Till [textile futures]

- 5 March – Michael Eden [ceramicist] and Natasha Daintry [ceramicist]

- 12 March – Gail McGarva [boat builder]

All lectures will take place on floor 16 of the Arts Tower, starting at 4pm.  All welcome.

AJ – Women in sustainability

Professors Fionn Stevenson and Sarah Wigglesworth have both been included in the Architects’ Journal’s pick of women who are influencing sustainable architecture today.

The full AJ article can be found online here.

Sarah Wigglesworth described her practice’s approach succinctly: ‘While the prevailing approach focuses on technical solutions we believe the key to a truly sustainable way forward is simple, passive environmental design, backed up by understanding how occupants interact with their surroundings.

Fionn also stressed the role of building users: ‘My interest lies in the deep tacit knowledge that people have in relation to buildings and the means of accessing and utilising this in design through occupancy feedback in order to make buildings work better. A key aspect of this is reducing unnecessary resource consumption in buildings at every level and finding new ways to do this.

AJ Small Project Awards

There are two projects involving people at SSoA that have been submitted for this year’s AJ Small Project Awards.

The first is ‘The Shade House’, for Hulme Community Garden Centre, which was one of this year’s Live Projects. It consists of a shaded sales area to house plants for Hulme Community Garden Centre and is constructed entirely from waste and reclaimed materials.

The second is a project entitled ‘Democratic Seating’ by sixth year MArch student, Bryan Davies, which is an outdoor learning space for a new school designed for those with learning, social and emotional behavioral difficulties.

Clicking on the links also means a vote for the projects, as the most most viewed projects will have a better chance of winning.