Theory Forum

Our Theory Forum is an annual event that showcases the work of architectural researchers and practitioners who are exploring a contemporary theme or challenge in architecture and urban design.

Live Works

Theory Forum 2020: LIVENESS

The most recent online Theory Forum, held on 25-26th November 2020, explored the value of 'liveness' in architectural education. The event was co-curated and hosted by the School of Architecture's student activist groups MatriArch, Students for Climate Action and Anti-Racist Call to Action. It was sponsored and supported by the Urban Education Live research project and by Live Works, Sheffield School of Architecture's project office and urban room.

Speakers at the event:

  • Nana Biamah-Ofosu and Bushra Mohamed, Kingston University School of Architecture
  • Samuel Kalika, Critical Concrete
  • Jordan Whitewood-Neal
  • Joseph Zeal Henry, Sound Advice
  • FeiFei Zhou, Feral Atlas
  • Lola Conte, Forensic Architecture
  • Prof Bernd Kneiss, Hafencity University Hamburg
  • Prof Doina Petrescu, Sheffield School of Architecture
  • Carolyn Butterworth and Tom Moore, Sheffield School of Architecture

Over two sessions the speakers addressed the following questions: 

  • In the context of global and local challenges how can a school of architecture respond and act effectively and ethically?
  • How can a school of architecture model an intersectional approach to anti-racist, feminist, zero-carbon, inclusive and just architectural education, practice and research?

The event featured talks, conversations and the collective production of a ‘Live Manifesto’, hosted by the Sheffield School of Architecture’s undergraduate Zine group. 

The event was very well attended by students and staff from across the School of Architecture and by many recent graduates and alumni of the School. The speakers presented a thought-provoking range of research, design projects and initiatives, all seeking to critique and rethink the normative methods and structures of architectural education. The lively conversations that followed demonstrated a clear desire in the student body to be more ‘live’, that is more activist and responsive to contemporary challenges throughout their educational careers. We’d like to thank all of the contributors to the Theory Forum, especially the co-curating student groups. Our School highly values the contribution our students are making to this important debate and are committed to work together to continue to develop as the ‘Social School of Architecture’.

Watch the Theory Forum 2020 recordings below: 

Wednesday 25 November: 

Carolyn Butterworth, Tom Moore & Cith Skelcher
Nana Biamah-Ofosu & Bushra Mohamed, Samuel Kalika, Jordan Whitewood-Neal

Thursday 26 November: 

Joseph Zeal-Henry, Feifei Zhou, Lola Conte
Doina Petrescu and Bernd Kneiss