In the media: All together now: how to build a social campus by Satwinder Samra

The School’s Director of Future Practice, Satwinder Samra, has written an article for the Guardian exploring the design of University Campuses as social spaces. Satwinder uses space in the School to illustrate his thoughts.

“The “well space” in the University of Sheffield’s school of architecture, for example, is one of my favourite locations. Because it is double height, and able to accommodate a wide variety of activities, it has become the physical and social heart of our department.Students can pass in and through as they wish, sometimes participating, sometimes observing. It is particularly useful on open days where parents and prospective students can see first-hand how the ethos of the school manifests itself – the informality helps to break down traditional hierarchies and encourage interaction.”

Full article

Sheffield student recognised in top RIBA awards

Niamh Lincoln has received a Commendation in the Dissertation Medal category at the 2015 Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) President’s Medals Ceremony.

Niamh graduated from Sheffield School of Architecture’s MArch in Architecture in June 2015. Her dissertation ‘tempelhof – articulating the void’ presents a very particular form of public space, as a 386-hectare vacuum in the city of Berlin.

Niamh said “It is a great honour to be commended at the RIBA President’s Medals for a piece of work that I took such pleasure in writing. I would like to particularly thank Florian Kossak for his extensive knowledge and support throughout the writing of my dissertation as well as my thesis tutor Carolyn Butterworth for her constant encouragement during my most crucial year of study.

The focus that SSoA places on research and theory drew me back to the university post Part 1. I already look back at my time at the school with great fondness, thank you for five truly inspiring years.”

This is an outstanding achievement for Niamh, making her dissertation one of the best out of the entries received from around 320 Universities in 65 countries.

The ceremony was held at the RIBA in London on the 2nd December with Niamh receiving her award from RIBA president Jane Duncan. The President’s Medals are regarded as the most prestigious student awards in architectural education. They are awarded annually, by a panel of respected international academics and practitioners, to students nominated by schools of architecture worldwide.

RIBA President Jane Duncan said:

“Congratulations to our deserving medal winners who have fought-off tough competition from around the world and truly excelled with their innovative, challenging and thought-provoking projects. It’s an honour to present these awards to the future trailblazers and current innovators of the architecture profession.”

RIBA Press release

Find out more abour the RIBA President’s Medals


tempelhof – articulating the void


Exploring the complexities of public space

Students participate in Theory Forum 2015.

Public space plays a major role in influencing the quality of our cities, providing spaces of social interaction and community cohesion. As part of the School’s annual Theory Forum initiative we are giving students the opportunity to explore the idea of public space through a workshop and symposium.

The forum will examine diverse theoretical approaches and practice methodologies applied to the production of public space by bringing together academics with key thinkers and practitioners in the area.

“I believe public space is extremely complex and politics lies at the heart of any true public space. But what does public space mean to you and what is the role of the architect in the design public space? Can we design public space for private clients? What is the role of the public collaboration in its production? What are the major issues that architects are facing?”Dr Teresa Hoskyns, Theory Forum Organiser

Open Space Technology Workshop with Improbable

On 24 November the Theory Forum launched an interactive ‘open space’ workshop. Students were invited to take part in collaborative conversations and discussions and produce a ‘public space pop-up’ at the venue by inviting people who passed by to participate.

The main debate in the workshop was on the feasibility of the production of public space through collaboration. Groups were asked to define: What is public space? Is public space defined by the existence of private space, so in this case does it mean that public space endures when no one is in it?

Public Space Symposium: Design methodologies and the production of public space.

9 December, Theatre Delicatessen, The Moor, Sheffield

Following the workshop held in November, MArch and MA in Architectural Design students will participate in the Public Space Symposium. The aim is to bring together a range of speakers from across the School to collaborate on the theme of ‘Design methodologies and the production of public space’. The event will end with a key note lecture from Massimo de Angelis, who is Professor of Political Economy and Development and co-director of the Centre for Social Justice and Change at the University of East London.

SSoA Lecturer Sofie Pelsmakers is one of the UKGBC Rising Star 2016 judges

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) and PRP Architects have recently launched the Rising Star Award 2016. The award is an opportunity to nominate a colleague or peer who has made a real difference to the sustainability agenda and shine a light on their achievements.

Sofie Pelsmakers was highly commended for the Rising Star 2013 award for her book “The Environmental Design Pocketbook” and has been invited as one of the 2016 judges.

Nominations are open until 11 February 2016 and you can read more about the award and process for nominations here.

Rising Star Award 2016

Nominations for Rising Star Award 2015

The Rising Star Award was launched in 2013, in memory of Mel Starrs, a prominent built environment practitioner and Associate Director at PRP, who sadly passed away in 2012.

Read more about Mel Starrs

Read more about the Rising Star Award

How can we build a more sustainable future?

Researchers from the Sheffield School of Architecture joined world leaders and policy makers in Paris for the start of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (30 November – 11 December 2015).

Professor Doina Petrescu and Dr Renata Tyszczuk are attending the conference to share their expertise on urban resilience, industry and energy. Professor Petrescu ran an event on Collaborative Civic Resilience and Dr Tyszczuk will take part in workshops at the Le Bourget conference centre, gathering material for the Creative Climate project she helped launch in 2009.

Collaborative Civic Resilience Event, Climate Generations Area, COP21

Professor Petrescu organised an event and exhibition which took place on 5 December as part of the Climate Generations area of the conference. These areas are open to the general public and those taking part in the international climate negotiations.

The event offered a forum for debate on different approaches of Collaborative Civic Resilience. It aimed to address the role of grassroots urban resilience initiatives in allowing neighbourhoods to adapt to the complex crisis we face: climatic, social, ecologic, economic.

Professor Petrescu is exhibiting the R-Urban research project throughout the conference, which is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and her practice, Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée. R-Urban involves a network of community driven bottom up strategies of urban regeneration. One commons project, in a suburb of Paris, now has 400 citizens co-managing 5000 square metres of land, producing food, energy and housing, while actively reducing waste and water usage.

In order to become more effective, more strategic and have a lasting impact at a larger scale, these initiatives need to act convergently with other initiatives and frameworks. The exhibition presents a number of practices, structures and tools for initiating collaborative resilience and propose a co-produced vision of resilient urban regeneration of metropolitan suburbs.

Culture and Climate Change launch Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios

Culture and Climate Change, a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and The Open University, are pleased to launch Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios, a new networked residency programme that embeds artists within contemporary thinking on climate research and policy. Three individual artists or collectives working in any artform will be offered an award of £10,000 each for a year-long residency beginning in June 2016.

The Climate Change in Residence project is supported by the University of Sheffield, the Open University, the Ashden Trust and Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Dr Tyszczuk will launch the project alongside the delegation from the Open University who are attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

This is a pilot artist residencies programme that aims to put more culture into climate scenarios. Scenarios are a key element in the political and public conversation about climate change but have to date been almost exclusively the preserve of natural science modellers and economists. They need company.

Rather than being based in one place, the project aims to follow the networked nature of climate change knowledge by experimenting with ‘network residencies’.

“This project offers artists interested in climate change a unique and exciting opportunity to work within a network of internationally renowned climate researchers and policy makers. By establishing new forms of collaboration, we can open up and bring more energy to contemporary debates about climate change and the future.”

Dr Renata Tyszczuk, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield School of architecture