Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience Series

This month Sheffield will host the next Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience event in the ESRC sponsored seminar series. The series combines academic research and debate with practical interventions, aiming to strengthen links between UK and international cohousing networks.

The next seminar will take place in Sheffield on 29 January and will draw attention to collective learning to change and influence ecological behaviour, and empowerment through collaborative design.

In the morning there will be key-note contributions from Lucelia Taranto Rodrigues (sharing community energy to build resilience) and Fionn Stevenson (‘collective learning in co-housing’). Then Betsy Morris and Raines Cohen will join by video from California to introduce a workshop activity on ‘co-developing for ecological living’. Further afternoon workshops cover intersecting themes of ‘retrofit challenges’ (with Mark Parsons), socio-technical challenges, ‘gender challenges (with Jenny Pickerill) and ‘co-designing challenges’.

The day before the seminar will involve a coach tour of several collaborative housing developments in Sheffield, facilitated by The University of Sheffield, engaging in discussion with the residents at each development.

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In the media: “Scrapping student grants will cause talent shortfall”, comments from SSoA staff and students

Staff and students from the Sheffield School of Architecture have commented in the Architects Journal on the government’s decision to scrap maintenance grants. In the article, architects and students have hit out at decision saying the move will deter budding architects from going to university

The plans were first announced by George Osborne in the Budget but the change, which is expected to affect more than half a million students, went through without a debate or vote in the House of Commons last week (14 January).

The scrapping of the grants will affect students starting university in September 2016.

Part 2 student Lily Ingleby said: “It’s a terrible move away from education equality and creating diverse and representative professions of the future.”

Head of School, Professor Fionn Stevenson commented “Will this affect the number of students applying for architecture? Of course it will. Even when we manage to reduce the time spent in full-time education for students, as we are doing in Sheffield with our new RIBA accredited MArch Collaborative Practice route, where students spend a year in practice while they are learning with us, some students still need grants.”

Satwinder Samra & Sofie Pelsmakers, Sheffield School of Architecture & RIBA Role Models, said “The cutting of maintenance grants only raises the barriers for many talented students to enter the profession, which is already fairly exclusive. We need architects from all walks of life to contribute to the built environment – not just those that can afford it.”

A petition launched against the plans has already amassed 6,881 signatures.

Read the full article

Celebrating the success of our class of 2015 masters students

Congratulations to all our postgraduate taught masters students who graduated last Thursday (14 January 2016).

Students graduated from the MA in Architectural Design, MA in Urban Design, MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies, MSc in Digital Design and Interactive Built Environments and MA in Conservation and Regeneration.

At the ceremony an honorary degree was awarded to Bob Adams. Bob is a distinguished architect-planner and a former member of staff in the University’s Faculty of Architectural Studies who was instrumental in setting up the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Following the ceremony we welcomed the graduates to a reception in the School.

View the pictures

Our graduates join a global community of alumni. We maintain a strong network allowing our students, staff and alumni to benefit from one another.

SSoA Alumni


Future Scenarios – Surgery & Network Event

The University of Sheffield and the Open University have launched the Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios project. This funded programme of work provides an opportunity for three artists to be ‘in residence’ for one year from June 2016 within key climate change networks and institutions. They will be supported to develop new cultural work in the context of climate change scenarios.

This event has been organised by SSoA’s Renata Tyszczuk and will take place on 27 January 2016. The evening will explore why scenarios are such a key element of climate change research and politics, and also why it is important to invite a wider range of perspectives on these themes.

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Understanding Lighting For Pedestrians

The Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) has launched a discussion document which reviews what is currently known about the desirable characteristics of lighting for pedestrians and considers the extent to which the existing UK standard is adequate.

The report was written by Steve Fotios and Peter Boyce. Steve Fotios is Professor of Lighting and Visual Perception in the School of Architecture where he leads research of lighting and its impact on people, their ability to see and how they feel. Two key themes of the Lighting Research Group are lighting for pedestrians and bias in research procedures.

He is lead investigator for two £1M EPSRC funding awards on lighting for pedestrians. The MERLIN project (Mesopically Enhanced Road Lighting: Improving Night-vision) concluded last year and Professor Fotios has recently secured funding for MERLIN-2.

The aim of MERLIN is to gather empirical evidence of the lighting conditions that enable pedestrians to walk safely, and to feel safe, so that a cost-benefit analysis of road lighting can be properly informed. The project has led to new guidance on the colour of road lighting and MERLIN-2 will involve working with UK, US and international bodies to specify how much light is needed. It could have a significant environmental impact by identifying unnecessary energy consumption by street lights.

The Institution of Lighting Professionals is the main professional body in the UK for outdoor lighting

You are invited to read the document and comment