Ian Hicklin

Hon RNCM, BA(Hons), BArch, Dip Professional Practice (Dist), ARB

School of Architecture

Senior University Teaching Fellow


My early 20's were spent operating the sound desk for punk bands throughout Europe. I later qualified as a furniture maker; this led me to study architecture.

I worked with Ian Simpson Architects and for 10 years with MBLA Architects, where I focused on residential, healthcare and Higher Education projects.

The Royal Northern College of Music awarded me Hon RNCM in 2008 in recognition of the architectural services I had provided over many years.

  • 2013 Higher Education Academy Collaborative Grant Scheme: £60,000 grant to develop a toolkit supporting Flexible Formative Feedback for the University.
  • 2010 University of Sheffield Rapid Response Knowledge Transfer grant, with Rosie Parnell, to help develop families outreach programme with The Hepworth Wakefield.
  • 2010-11 CEBE Teaching Exchange grant with James Sloan of BIAD to compare technology teaching.
Teaching activities

I have contributed to all levels of the BA, MArch and Taught Masters courses.

Higher Education and the imperative for students to take responsibility for their own learning can be disorientating for students until they get become familiar with the sensation of uncertainty that accompanies inquiry and exploration. I am interested in how students make this transition and in engendering trust between students and tutors.

With Leo Care, I authored the web-based Feedback Handbook for the School. This resource provides information for students and for staff. It aims to explain and contextualise the types and uses of feedback that might be available to students, and how the feedback process might be used to best effect. It has been acknowledged as good practice by the University and by external bodies.

Leo and I also authored ‘What is it like at Sheffield School of Architecture?’ with Jen Langfield. This resource is designed to help students orientate themselves as they experience or anticipate different stages of their education.

I run undergraduate Year 2 Environment and Technology modules and MArch Dissertation modules. I am interested in the intersection of art and architecture and the physical properties of spaces and buildings.

Professional activities and memberships
  • From 2011-2018 I was Director of Learning and Teaching and Examinations Officer for the School.
  • I am a member of the University Student Conduct and Discipline Committee.
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Awarded Hon RNCM, honoris causa, for architectural services to the Royal Northern College of Music.

Practice awards with MBLA Architects:

  • 2010 Kingsway Lancaster: LABC Best Large Housing Project
  • 2009 Walkden Gateway Health Centre and Library:
    • MSA Design Awards, Commendation
    • RICS Best Community Benefit Project, shortlisted
    • Building Better Healthcare Awards, shortlisted Best Primary Healthcare Building
  • 2008 RNCM Oxford Road Wing:
    • MSA Design Awards, Community / Education Building, Commendation
    • RIBA Regional Design Awards, Commendation
  • 2008 Picture House Apartments: MSA design Awards, Commendation, Large Residential Building
  • 2008 MBLA Studios, MSA Design Awards, Commendation, Commercial Building
  • 2006 Green Lane Triangle: Your Move Awards, Best New Build Housing Scheme
  • 2006 Lock Building Apartments:
    • MSA Design Awards, Best Residential Building,
    • MSA Design Awards, Best Overall Building
  • 2005 Lock Building Apartments: MEN Residential Awards, Apartment Building of the Year