Four SSoA students win RIBA Yorkshire Awards

Four of our exceptional students have been recognised in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire Student Awards for their outstanding, imaginative and well resolved schemes.

The 2015 RIBA Yorkshire Student Awards celebrate and reward the talent and excellence of the region’s architecture students. Winners were announced at the prestigious RIBA Yorkshire awards ceremony held Thursday 23 April 2015 in Leeds. Undergraduate and Postgraduate work from architecture students at various universities in the region were entered into the awards which were judged by a panel of industry leaders.

There are two entry classes for the awards. We submitted design projects by our top two Part 1 and Part 2 students and this year all of our entries won an award.

Part 1 (undergraduate)

Silver Winner: Stefania Tsigkouni – ‘Urban [Re]Generator, Northern Quarter, Manchester’

Gold Winner: Cameron Clarke – ‘Alzheimer’s Plant Science Centre, Liverpool’


Part 2 (postgraduate)

Bronze Winner: Joanna Beal – ‘The Heeley Energy Hack Farm’

Silver Winner: Neil Michels – ‘Civic School’


Emma England, Director RIBA Yorkshire said

“The standard of work this year was very impressive with some highly ambitious, accomplished and challenging projects which shows that these students are at the top of their game.  2015 has seen some of the best pieces of drawing and model making we’ve had in the competition.  I was especially pleased to celebrate the student’s success alongside that of the RIBA Yorkshire Awards, by bringing both schemes together at the dinner in Leeds.  We hope that this will help foster links between students and the wider architecture profession.”

The RIBA Yorkshire Student Awards 2015 were presented by David Smith, Chair of the WYSA (West Yorkshire Society of Architects), who sponsored the awards. Members of the judging panel were Peter Cartwright, Cartwright Pickard, Ben Elliot, Northumbria University, Mark Hodson, Hodson Architects and Liz Peck, Director of LPA Lighting and President Elect of the Society of Light & Lighting, chaired by David Saxby of 00 Architecture.



University of Sheffield to host AECB Conference

At the Sheffield School of Architecture our ethos is firmly rooted in sustainable and resilient design. We are therefore delighted to be able to work with the AECB to bring their annual conference to the University of Sheffield on 19-20 June 2015. We will be inviting delegates to visit our annual summer exhibition during the conference as well as the Vibrancy Festival happening in Castlegate at the same time. All these events are part of Sheffield Design Week, which the School is closely associated with

The AECB Conference is the place where all the most interesting, challenging, best informed and engagingly communicated knowledge and ideas about green building are shared and examined. Major themes for 2015 include retrofit, monitoring and usability, landscape and neighbourhood ecology.

Fionn Stevenson, Irena Bauman and Ranald Lawrence will present some of their innovative research into social and environmental connections in local environments, as well as buildings, alongside speakers involved in community based retrofit projects. On the wider scale, speakers will explore the concept of ‘Natural Capital and Circular Economics’ and why these whole system and collaborative initiatives are important for ‘building knowledge’.

The conference is open to non-members.

Further information about the conference.


International award for Lakshmi Rajendran’s PhD thesis

Lakshmi Priya Rajendran has been awarded the SIRF 2015 Best Doctoral Dissertation Award, by the Society for Research on Identity Formation (SIRF) at Florida International University.

Lakshmi completed her PhD at Sheffield in 2014. Her doctoral research aimed towards interdisciplinary understanding of identity negotiation of people in contemporary multicultural cities today. Her PhD developed a set of propositions for studying identity construction and negotiations in urban environments.

Lakshmi explained “It feels great when your PhD is acknowledged by experts as a significant contribution to one’s field of study. This award had greatly motivated me and will boost my confidence for my further research pursuits. It is an honour to receive this award from Florida University US.”

“My supervisors, Dr Stephen Walker and Dr Rosie Parnell had been a great support and motivation throughout my research which I think is one of the main reasons for me to receive this award.”

Lakshmi already had a Lectureship offer before she completed her PhD. She is currently working as Senior Lecturer in School of Architecture, Building and Design, Taylor’s University, a top private university in Malaysia.

 Lakshmi’s story has also featured in the Deccan Herald

Masters students involved in discussions on the future of Sheffield City Centre

On Tuesday 21 April SSoA Masters students from Studio Global Praxis held an exhibition to examine the future of some key sites in Sheffield City Centre – Sheffield’s Cultural Industry and New Retail Quarters. The exhibition was held at InteGreatPLUS and proposed plans and solutions for these areas. The event proved popular and gave the students the opportunity to actually engage with various people involved in the planning process for these sites.GlobalPraxisExhibition1

The exhibition will be displayed on the InteGreatPLUS website and due to the high level of interest in the work, particularly the New Retail Quarter, there is going to be a follow up event with key members from Sheffield City Council Planning.

The new Sheffield Retail Quarters have been a key topic of discussion since Sheffield City Council purchased the properties in the area from developers. Work has been going on behind the scenes to develop what the quarter could look like and who it will attract.

InteGreatPLUS Plus is a social enterprise which provides design and economic development support for communities, local authGlobalPraxisExhibition3orities and built environment professionals.

Studio Global Praxis combines MArch, MA in Urban Design and MA in Architectural Design students and works at the intersection of spatial practice and critical reflection, assuming the city as a field of dispute that is informed and transformed by competing social, economic and political relations. This year Studio Global Praxis is studying future possibilities for civil society in the development of city centres, exploring trading spaces and practices as a key element of the urban streetscape.


Studio Global Praxis students engage in collaborative workshop in Cairo

In February 2015, Studio Global Praxis went on a research trip to Cairo, Egypt to engage in a workshop with Cairo-based design and research practice CLUSTER – Cairo lab for Urban Studies, Training, and Environmental research.

Building on our ethos around the relationship between architecture and society, Studio Global Praxis experiments with architecture and urban design as they intersect with critical theory and a live engagement with the processes of urban change. This year, the focus of our work has been on exploring how design intervenCairo-03tions can support alternative modes of thinking and practicing ‘urban regeneration’ in three sites: Sheffield’s city centre; the Euston area in London; Downtown Cairo. For each site, students have developed mapping explorations and design proposals contributing to the work of local practitioners, researchers, and community activists, in dialogue with local students from a variety of backgrounds relating to urban development and design.

Our Cairo partnership fed into this broader line work and took the form of a collaborative workshop titled: Mapping Relationscapes. The workshop, involving Sheffield and Cairo based planners and designers, discussed collaborative modes of spatial practice, based on an investigation of the uses and appropriations of passageways in Downtown Cairo. The 5-day workshop included 21 students from thCairo-01e Sheffield MArch, MA in Urban Design and MA in Architectural Design programmes, and 18 students from a range of Universities in Cairo. The workshop aim was to test methods of mapping the social relations underpinning spatial production in the city centre, while simultaneously exploring passageways as key sites in the redevelopment of Downtown.

Workshop activities were complemented by a range of visits to key sites across the city, including Tahir Square and the Egyptian Museum, Old Cairo, Islamic Cairo, and the Giza pyramids. Further information and images on the workshop can be found here.

Césare Peeren shares Superuse Studios’ approach to reuse on an architectural scale

This week we are welcoming Césare Peeren to the School to collaborate with our students and research groups. Césare Peeren is a Visiting Professor at the Sheffield School of Architecture and is Co-founder, Director, and Head of Design at Superuse Studios.

Césare is involved in number of activities throughout his visit, including a packed evening lecture last night in the Arts Tower. In his lecture, Césare shared his sensitive approach to design through intensifying use and closing loops. He is also running tutorials with individual students, and has held discussions with our Agency research group. Due to the nature of Césare’s studio our MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies students have had the opportunity to take part in workshops and sessions on subjects such as low impact materials.090722-ViWelp-2012-12_edit_2

Starting with the observation that in nature the outputs of one system are not waste, but rather the inputs for another system, Superuse Studios began investigating the creative re-use potentials of discarded materials for design and architectonic purposes. They went on to develop concepts and processes such as ‘superuse’, ‘recyclicity’, ‘harvest mapping’, and ‘cyclifying’. Their aim being to facilitate the optimal (re)use in architecture of not only physical waste materials, but all discarded and under-utilised resources and energy within a design system.

Sarah Wigglesworth hosts RSA event on Designing for Wellbeing in Environments for Later Life

On Friday 8 May Professor Sarah Wigglesworth will host an informal Q&A at the Royal Academy of Arts (RSA) on Designing for Wellbeing in Environments for Later Life. Sarah’s talk is part of the RSA’s season of events on the future of UK housing which includes the exhibition ‘Four Visions for the Future of Housing’.

The exhibition features Sarah Wigglesworth Architects (SWA), in collaboration with our DWELL (Designing for Wellbeing in Environments for Later Life) research group, and aims to address questions around the challenges faced by UK housing and how they can be overcome.

Sarah Wigglesworth is Professor of Architecture at SSoA where, as part of the Home Research Group, she leads the DWELL project that aims to design exemplary places for ageing well. As one for the four visions for the exhibition they take Sheffield as a case study and aim to explore how older residents might be attracted to ‘down-size’ to the city centre in later life. The issues and considerations of making this type of move are expressed first-hand in the stories of three down-sizers. Over the next 2 years SWA and DWELL aim to develop and refine the initial proposals with the City Council and housing developers.

The Royal Academy of Arts “aim to unpick old assumptions and challenge established positions about housing, while at the same time offer a vital platform for fresh ideas that will provoke and inspire in equal measure.” With the country in the grip of a housing crisis, the future of housing is one of the key issues in the lead up to this year’s general election.

The exhibition will be held at the Royal Academy of Arts and is open from 7 February – 17 May 2015.


Royal Academy Future Housing Talk – Sarah Wigglesworth

Royal Academy Future Housing Exhibition

Royal Academy – Exploring the future of housing

Join the debate on Twitter: #FutureHousing

Alumni success at RIBA North West Regional Awards

Congratulations to all those who were recognised at the RIBA North West Regional Awards on Thursday 16 April. Our Alumni featured strongly at the event which took place in Manchester, picking up the following awards:

  • Tony Skipper and Matt Burl (John McAslan + Partners) for Lancaster University Engineering Building, Lancaster, which also won the North West Sustainability Award
  • Andrew Groarke (Carmody Groarke) for Maggie’s Merseyside, Wirral, which also won the North West Small Project Award
  • Sue Emms (BDP) for St John Bosco Arts College, Liverpool, which also won the North West Client of the Year Award
  • Neil Dawson (Snook Architects) for Westmorland private house, Liverpool
  • Simon Branson (MUMA) for the Whitworth Art Gallery reworking and extension, Manchester, which also won the North West Building of the Year Award

The winners of the RIBA Regional Awards 2015 are currently being announced as part of a series of events across the country.

Beyond Building Performance Evaluation Conference

Professor Fionn Stevenson, Head of School, will be chairing a national architectural education conference at the RIBA on 9-10 April which explores ‘Beyond Building Performance Evaluation’. The event is supported by the Standing Conference of Heads of Schools of Architecture (SCHOSA), representing 48 different Schools and programmes in the UK. She has organised this conference with others in response to a perceived gap in architectural education at present in terms of how students are taught to evaluate actual building performance in all aspects.

The event begins with an evening debate titled ’How can we educate architects to evaluate their own work’. Five key speakers will present their views on building performance evaluation in relation to the five societal challenges of wellbeing, energy, food, transport and climate change. This will be followed by an open debate with the audience. On the following day, a mixture of international experts, educators and practitioners will present their thoughts on the complexity of evaluating building performance from both qualitative and quantitative viewpoints. Professor Stevenson and Professor Flora Samuel will both be giving presentations on the day. The event finishes with a Plenary to discuss how best to embed building performance into architectural education.

Professor Stevenson commented: “This is the first time that SCHOSA is hosting a holistic debate on building performance evaluation which strives to get beyond the usual rhetoric of monitoring and surveys. We need to recognise that building performance evaluation includes aesthetics and culture as well as building physics – we need to develop better methodologies for understanding the Difficult Whole that makes architecture so interesting. As educators we also need to catch up with cutting edge practice where building performance evaluation is rapidly gaining ground.”

This event comes hot on the heels of the RIBA Education Forum on 24 March, where it was agreed to align practice more closely with education. It will help to inform the future development of architectural programmes in higher education institutions and beyond. It will also inform a forthcoming RIBA Conference in November 2015 that Professor Samuel is organising on Design Quality and Performance.

BeyondBuildingPerformance1 BeyondBuildingPerformance2

Construction Youth Trust rewards the next generation of professionals

Sarah Haberson has been announced as the winner of the Design Prize at the 2015 Construction Youth Trust Young Achievers Scheme Awards. Sarah won for her thesis project, [re]Working Bingley, which is a college with associated public facilities and rentable accommodation. Graduating from SSoA’s MArch Architecture in 2014 Sarah has gone on to work as an Architectural Assistant at Hawkins\Brown Architects in London.

During the awards ceremony 36 young professionals from across the UK construction industry were applauded by the Duke of Gloucester as he announced the winners. The scheme is in its fourth year and looks to celebrate young people who have not only achieved excellence in their careers, but who have had to overcome barriers and challenges to get to where they are.

“These young people have made a significant contribution to the industry and the progress they have made in their careers so far is to be admired,” said the Duke of Gloucester ahead of the awards.

“They have all had to overcome barriers in their lives and it is wonderful to be able to recognise their achievements,” he added.


Sarah’s thesis project: [re]Working Bingley