SSoA Live Project exhibited at Tate Modern

Through their recent Live Project, Masters students at the School of Architecture have been working with the owners of the Merz Barn [Littoral Arts] in the Lake District to explore the legacy of Kurt Schwitters and to develop ways to celebrate his life and work. The students’ work will be exhibited at Tate Britain’s Clore Gallery on 27 November as part of a conference on Kurt Schwitters, which will be opened by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and chaired by Melvyn Bragg.

After fleeing Germany to escape Nazi persecution, architect, artist and poet Kurt Schwitters briefly lived in Norway, before arriving in the UK in 1940. After being interned on The Isle of Man, Schwitters moved to the Lake District and continued to work on the production of his Merz art Projects. Part installation, part sculpture and part architecture, Schwitters Merz work defies categorisation, but has had a profound impact on contemporary artists across the world. Schwitters died in the Lake District leaving his final Merz Barn incomplete. On the day of his death Schwitters received a letter confirming his British Citizenship, making him one of this country’s most influential artists.

SSoA Alumni set up new practice

Holland Harvey Architects has been established by Richard Holland and Jonathan Harvey. Both Richard and Jonathan studied at SSoA and feature in November’s Architects Journal practice profiles.

Since graduating Richard worked in Toronto, Canada working on conservation projects before moving to London to work at Studio Egret West on such projects as the Stirling Prize nominated Park Hill in Sheffield.

Jonathan moved to London to complete his studies and worked at several design practices including Squire & Partners before establishing Holland Harvey with Richard in 2012. He is also a design tutor at UCA in Canterbury.

“Our practice was born in Sheffield, we met in the Arts Tower, which is where we decided that one day we would start a company together. We decided on the name in a pub on West Street, and we are proud to be finally working together.

Our main focus is residential projects across London, however we also have a growing portfolio of retail and hotel projects in the city. We are currently six people, and are based in a converted church in east London.

We would like to grow: we would like to match the scale of our projects to that of our ambitions, although for the moment we enjoy being a small team as it allows us to be responsive as designers.

We are open to new opportunities and excited about the future.”


Students enjoy visit to Stirling Prize winning Everyman Theatre

During our year 2 SSoA visit to Liverpool our students were delighted to receive a tour of the RIBA Stirling Prize winning Everyman Theatre by Haworth Tompkins Architects.

The students were also able to visit The Unity Theatre, The Epstein, The Lantern, Camp and Furnace, Bluecoat Gallery and FACT Arts Centre as an introduction to our new project ‘Perform’.



Jian Kang wins the John Connell Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Jian Kang has been presented with a lifetime achievement award during the Noise Abatement Society’s John Connell Awards, held on 6 November in the House of Commons.

The award “recognises those who have made outstanding contributions to raising the profile of noise pollution as a critical environmental issue and worked tirelessly, over the course oftheir careers so far, to effect solutions for the public benefit”.

Jian explains ” I am very delighted to be given this prestigious award.

We are currently carrying out an EU project on sound environment planning, in particularly soundscape. We hope this will contribute considerably to the urban development and urban planning practice.”

The Noise Abatement Society Awards are named in honour of the Society’s founder, John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK. To find out more visit the Noise Abatement Society’s website.

Jian has been Professor of Acoustics at the University of Sheffield, School of Architecture since 2003. To read more about Jian and his research please visit the Acoustics website.

Doina Petrescu to give talk at Parsons The New School for Design

Doina Petrescu is due to give a talk on ‘The Feminine Reconstruction of the Commons’ on 28 Nov at Parsons The New School for Design, New York.

Her talk is part of the event Cooperative Cities organised by The Journal of Design Strategies. Other speakers include Silvia Federicci, Ana Rodriguez and Elke Krasny.

For further information please visit the Parsons The New School for Design website.


Doina has recently joined a select group of international Architects and academics to be a Visiting Professor in Urban Planning and Design this semester at the highly prestigious Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Doina runs a studio and a seminar on Resilient Practices and participates in different research networks.

Culture and Climate Change: Narratives

7pm 11 November, ArtsAdmin, Toynbee Studios E1 6AB

Conversations around the ‘Culture and Climate Change: Narratives’  book  coedited by SSoA’s Renata Tyszczuk with Joe Smith and Robert Butler continue at Arts Admin’s Whitechapel Green Drinks event on 11 November 2014, hosted by Arts Admin and TippingPoint. Further information.

In June 2014, The Mediating Change Group published ‘Culture & Climate Change: Narratives’. This collection of essays proposes more diverse and dynamic accounts of this complex topic in place of the simplistic insistence that ‘the science is finished’. The publication is intended to be used as a working document – to be argued with, to be inspired by, and to influence practice.

The book was launched at the Free Word Centre in London with an event called ‘What Sort of a Story is Climate Change?’

The book has since been used as the springboard for a workshop for 80 writers, ‘Weatherfronts’ with TippingPoint and Free Word funded by ACE, and also as the discussion point of a further event in October, also at Free Word.   

The first publication in the series, ‘Culture and Climate Change: Recordings’, came out in 2011. Both publications are available to download online for free.

The Culture and Climate Change books are part of a wider series of discussions, podcasts and publications exploring the relationship between culture and climate change by the Mediating Change group – a collaboration between The Open University Geography Department, The School of Architecture, University of Sheffield and the Ashden Trust.

Further information.