Live Projects are an amazing experience and the closest thing you'll get to being in practice whilst at uni

A profile picture of Genevieve
Genevieve Leake
Postgraduate student
MArch Architecture Part 2
Genevieve has just finished studying for her MArch Architecture (Part 2) course, having previously studied with Sheffield School of Architecture for her undergraduate (Part 1) degree. She wanted to continue studying here because of the School's strong social ethos,

Tell us a little about yourself from before your University days

I grew up in Cardiff and have wanted to study architecture since I was about 14 - just in time to choose GCSE art! I enjoy reading, drawing, dancing and spending time with friends. I also love to spend time outdoors appreciating nature, which makes Sheffield the perfect place to be!

You also studied your BA at the Sheffield School of Architecture. What made you come back?

I knew how good the school was and how lovely Sheffield is to live in. Although the main reason why I chose the Sheffield School of Architecture for the MArch course was because of the school's social ethos. The social impact is the reason I am interested in architecture, and I think Sheffield is the best place for that kind of teaching.

What is working on a Live Project like? 

Live Projects are an amazing experience and the closest thing you'll get to being in practice whilst at uni. They can be intense, since they're only 6 weeks long and have a real client, but you learn more about how practice runs, managing workloads and working in a team than you will in any lecture theatre. The leadership and management skills I learnt during Live Projects will be so valuable in the future, and I'm sure I'll be much more useful in practice for having learnt them!

What module have you enjoyed most so far?

I really enjoyed our Research Methodologies module which runs in the first year of the MArch course. There's an event called the Theory Forum, where a number of speakers present their research to you, based on a particular theme. Then you write an essay comparing and contrasting the different research methods and methodologies between two of the speakers. I learnt a lot about different methods of research and was able to discuss the speakers' approaches with regards to a topic which interested me, the value of the artistic research methods.

What do you enjoy about the course?

We're encouraged to explore themes and methods which push the limits of our imagination. That means nearly anything goes when it comes to design! The studio culture is supportive and friendly, which also makes the Arts Tower a great place to be.

What do you do outside of study? 

I've been involved in the Christian Union and the Dance Society since returning for MArch, which have both been great fun and helped me maintain a good work-life balance. Me and my housemates have also been working through a film challenge so I've spent much more time in front of the TV with friends than I'd like to admit this year! Getting out of the city to the Peak District is also a great break which I've loved this year.

What do you like about the wider University and about Sheffield as city.

The university is generally very friendly and safe. The Students' Union being the best in the country means there are always great events on and things to do. Sheffield itself is also really friendly and a great size to get to know in a short time. It's a lovely place to just be in and there's so many beautiful parks and places to go for walks. There are great food places too, I'm particularly a fan of Let's Sushi for Japanese food, and Cutlery Works on Kelham Island is a food hall which is great for visiting with large groups, and is guaranteed to have plenty of options so you'll always be satisfied!

Do you have some work you'd like to share?

These images are from my Year 5 (first year of MArch) project, which was a Design Guide for new towns in a rural setting, which placed a focus on sustainable infrastructure and appreciating landscape. The studio was run by a tutor who also teaches the MALA (Masters in Architecture and Landscape Architecture) students, so it gave me a chance to learn about how to design landscapes as well as architecture, and especially in a large scale project, completely different to any scale I've worked at before.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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