SSoA Summer Exhibition 2013


The SSoA Summer Exhibition opens on Friday 14. June 2013.

The exhibition features a large range of drawings, models and videos by students across the different years of the BA, MArch and Masters courses.  The exhibition will also include work from our innovative Live Project programme, which involves our MArch and MAAD students working in teams on real projects with real clients.

A fully illustrated catalogue of the exhibition will also be available.

Our first year students have made a time lapse video of the setting up of their exhibition. You can watch it here.

Extra Information

Opening event: Friday 14. June, at 5.30 pm

The exhibition continues until Wednesday 31. July.  Opening hours 9.00am  - 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Free Entry


Year 1 Matter-Reality Project, 2013 – Photo by Russell Light

SSoA is a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Design

The University of Sheffield is one of four UK universities that are to set up Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering. The new centres at Heriot-Watt University, Loughborough University, the University of Sheffield and University College London will form a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for a more sustainable built environment.

The rationale for improving teaching and research in this area comes from an Academy report published last year, The Case for Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design. The primary aim is to enhance the curriculum for undergraduate engineering students, enabling them to experience interdisciplinary, collaborative problem solving to help them unlock their potential for innovation. The centres will also help to provide continuing professional development to engineers already working in the construction industry.

The four centres of excellence will ultimately collaborate to deliver a common core curriculum and approach in interdisciplinary education for engineers while maintaining their own individual characters and interests.

Decarbonising our society depends crucially on tackling emissions from the built environment, as set out in 2010 in the Academy report Engineering a low carbon built environment.  Author Professor Doug King FREng is leading the initiative to set up the new centres of excellence. He says:

“UK Construction is changing rapidly as the industry assimilates new requirements for sustainability and new working practices. The education of construction professionals is also under scrutiny for its relevance to this new paradigm. The new Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design will develop new research-led teaching for engineers. They will prepare engineering graduates to deliver the sustainable buildings the UK needs at substantially lower cost than is presently achieved. The savings will be measured in billions of pounds to the UK economy and a substantial reduction in commercial risk for developers.”

The universities will work closely with the construction industry to develop their engineering and architectural design courses continue to be as relevant as possible to the work students can expect to do when they graduate. Visiting Professors from industry are a key part of this approach and will be heavily involved in developing the new centres of excellence.

The University of Sheffield  encourages its engineering and architecture students to undertake live projects in industry to help develop the cooperation, outreach, research and education which are key to integrating the principles of sustainable design. Professor Fionn Stevenson, architecture co-director of the new Centre, and incoming Head of School, said:

“Sheffield is committed to producing socially engaged and technically excellent professionals in the built environment. Sheffield School of Architecture is at the forefront of pioneering joint programmes with engineering in the UK. We have recognised the need to upskill architects with new specialisms which provide a sound understanding of key issues in building physics.  This is really essential in order to improve sustainable building performance.”

Dr Buick Davison from the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering and Co-director of the new Centre said:

“With the support of the Academy’s Visiting Professor in Building Engineering Physics scheme we developed and introduced a unique integrated Masters programme in Architectural Engineering Design in 2008. This successful programme combines Structural and Mechanical Engineering with Architecture and is dual-accredited by the JBM and IMechE.  Hosting an RAE Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design is a great endorsement of what we have managed to achieve in a very short period of time and will be a launch pad to develop further this exciting area of teaching and research. Working collaboratively as part of a network of RAE Centres of Excellence we seek to have a much greater influence in bringing about the changes needed in policy, practice and training in order to meet the considerable challenges associated with the design and delivery of sustainable buildings.”

2nd Romanian Convention of Architecture and Design

Professor Peter Blundell Jones gave a keynote paper entitled ‘Reflections on Architectural Competitions’ at the 2nd Romanian Convention of Architecture and Design, organised by The University of Architecture and Urbanism Ion Mincu and held at the Parliament Palace, Bucharest from the14-16th May.  Honorary doctorates were awarded to Daniel Libeskind and Dominique Perrault, and among other speakers were Benedetta Tagliabue, Masayuki Kurokawa, Arturo Vittori and Andreas Vogler.  The group was also invited to a dinner by Prince Radu and visited the open air museum founded in 1935 next to the Elisabeta Palace by his grandfather.

Project Elephant

Drawing out the Elephant in the Room: Supporting Internationalisation and Peer Learning at SSoA

Students and staff members from the MA Urban Design course and Architectural Education module collaborated in a workshop discussing experiences of working together across cultures and how to further enable and support peer learning. Part of the project ‘The Elephant in the Room and the Lice on the Bald Head’, this collaboration between staff and international and domestic students uses visual methodologies to aid recognition of the cultural and social barriers which might limit the potential of groupwork, class discussions, and other key collaborative elements of the School of Architecture teaching and learning experience.

This workshop kicks off a short, experimental project investigating the intercultural dimensions of peer-learning in the design studio.  The overall aim of the project is to support debate and discussion within the school by visualising ‘unspoken’ barriers to integration experienced by both home and international students.  The ‘Elephants’ are those problems that we are perhaps aware of, but are not able to openly and collectively discuss and confront.  This project will contribute to priorities for internationalisation within the School of Architecture, and the wider University, providing support for incoming international students, and developing cultural agility in all students, as a key skill they will take into the global labour market.

We would like to thank MA Urban Design students David Forsyth, Shiwei Li, Nicos Taylor, Anna Wang and Shaomeng Zhang for contributing their time, energy and expertise to this project at what is already a very busy time in the academic year for them.  We are also extremely grateful to Ying Tian, an international SSoA MAUD alumna who came back to share her experiences and perspectives with us.

‘The Elephant in the Room & The Lice on the Bald Head: Visualising and Challenging Barriers to Domestic-International Student Integration’ project was initiated by MA Urban Design staff Julia Udall and Anna Holder, and Kim Trogal, leader of the Architectural Education module. It is supported within the SSoA by Cristina Cerulli, Director of Internationalisation, Ian Hicklin Director of Learning and Teaching, and Florian Kossak, Director of the MA Urban Design. The project is funded by The University of Sheffield Internationalisation of Learning and Teaching Fund and is undertaken as part of the wider strategy of Internationalisation of curriculum content and delivery and student integration carried out across the university, led by Learning and Teaching Services.

We’ll be holding the next workshop to develop visual material at the beginning of June, and outputs from this project will be exhibited at the SSoA end of year exhibition.

Celebration of Enterprise

Second Year Architecture student Guillermo Dochao-Naveira won the Audience Vote at the University of Sheffield, Celebration of Enterprise award ceremony last night. Guillermo’s project Hive, a proposal for a new and unique temporary structure offering greater structural integrity, more rapid construction and disassembly and more efficient use of space than similar tents and marquees, was one of nine projects shortlisted from 76 across the University. He impressed the audience with his one minute pitch in the form of a poem and his excellent proposal.

See our paternoster on the BBC One Show

The BBC One Show’s visit to the Arts Tower was screened last night and we can now reveal that the paternoster won the Arts Tower lift race by a considerable margin.

What other school of architecture offers such choice and diversity of vertical circulation?

You can watch the BBC One Show feature here (from 14.55 mins onwards).


(Images ©BBC 2013)