Leo Care

BA(Hons), MArch(Dist), ARB, SFHEA

School of Architecture

Senior University Teacher

Year 3 Programme Leader

Live Works Co-director

Leo Care
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+44 114 222 0304

Full contact details

Leo Care
School of Architecture
Arts Tower
Western Bank
S10 2TN

I am currently the Year 3 Undergraduate Programme Leader and Co-director of Live Works, the first university-led urban room in the UK.

I have taught and led courses across the School of Architecture, including: Year 2 Undergraduate Leader (2019-2021), Director of MArch Programmes (2015-2019) and Postgraduate module leader (2012-2018).

After graduating in 2002 from the University of Sheffield I became a founding member of Bureau – Design + Research (BDR) set up in 2003, specialising in creative engagement strategies and visioning processes.

The work of the BDR and Live Works links to my teaching role, where I have enjoyed developing learning programmes that aim to connect students with external communities and organisations.

I am also a Director of Chiles Evans + Care Architects, and co-founder of the Open House Project Cohousing group.


BA(Hons), MArch(Dist), ARB, SFHEA

Research interests

I am interested in creating opportunities for architecture students to undertake experiential learning activities that encompass the full architectural process of research, design, fabrication, construction and evaluation of projects. This approach incorporates a wider use of Live Projects in architectural education and establishing systems to support and facilitate Live learning.

My scholarly activities seek to reinforce the importance of students engaging with real issues and connecting with 3rd sector organisations and community groups. A recent invitation to deliver a workshop at the Bauhaus 100 celebrations, provided an opportunity to test and reflect upon the value of Liveness to students across their learning experiences in the School of Architecture. The work was recently published in the AAE Charrette Journal.

Healthy Design, Creative Safety
Research into integrating health and safety into design and making projects for architecture students, with the HSE, RIBA and Construction Industry Council, reinforces the importance of taking an integrated and experience-based approach to learning.

Community-led Design
I am also committed to developing community-led design and participative design approaches at all scales of architectural intervention; from neighbourhood and urban design to detailed architectural design projects. This area of research focuses on the development and delivery of design training and capacity building for community groups and those ordinarily not involved in the design and construction process.

I have recently been engaged in a five year AHRC funded research project entitled Empowering Design Practices. It is focused on supporting groups to develop and regenerate historic places of worship for wider community use. My role involves delivering design training to community groups and building the capacity of students to engage in such projects in their future careers.

Spaces of Inclusion
I am also keen to explore issues of faith, accessibility and gender in architecture. I have had the pleasure of working with architecture students and colleagues on the 'around the issues of toilet' project, which aimed to create resources for designers so that they are able to make toilets that are inclusive and non-discriminatory places.

Cohousing: Co-design, Co-production, Self-build and Co-living
I am the co-founder of a self-build co-housing project called Open House Project, where I am investigating the role of the architect as facilitator and the specific skill base required by the architect to effectively support cohousing communities. The 4th of 7 buildings has now been completed, along with community facilities including a ground source district heating system.

Learning Environment Design
The design of learning environments, with a particular focus on contemporary global practice and policy is an on-going research interest. This subject is perhaps even more important at this point in time given the challenging school building climate in the UK.

Reflective Learning
Scholarly activities within the School of Architecture have sought to create spaces for students to undertake structured reflection on their learning. Through this work, I have created a range of resources to enhance student learning experiences. Many of the resources have been used by other departments and institutions.

My research interests are united around widening access to the architectural design and creation processes as well as the products.


Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

  • Peng C, Roberts D, Patlakas P, Basu P, Evans H & Care L (2010) Developing a Web-based 3D visualisation modelling platform to support innovative planning and design of learning spaces a case study of the University of Sheffield campus. 10th International Conference on Design and Decision Support Systems, DDSS 2010 RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Pedagogy, Practice and Scholarship

  • Bauhaus 100: School Fundamental Workshop 2018
  • Remapping the Learning Landscape, Senate Fellows Award 2018
  • Around the Toilet: cross-disciplinary arts based research project, funded by AHRC 2016-2017 
  • Empowering Design Practices: AHRC funded research/consultancy 2015-2019
  • UnLtd Grant Award, Social Enterpise Support Funding, 2013
  • Re-imagining The Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre [AMPTC] Visioning, 2013. Funded by the Homes and Communities Agency
  • CABE Design Your Neighbourhood, 2013: A consultancy project in collaboration with BEAM
  • Healthy Design, Creative Safety 2010 - 2014: A research project looking at innovative ways of teaching Health and Safety in undergraduate architecture courses. January 2010-August 2011. RIBA and HSE. Co-Investigators L Care, H Evans, D Jary, R Parnell.
  • Community-led Design PhD Studentship. 2011-2014 AHRC Connected Communities Programme. Supervisor P Chiles, 2nd supervisor R Parnell, 2nd Supervisor L Care [to cover maternity leave]. PhD developed in collaboration with The Glass-House.
  • Afghanistan Schools Project March-November 2010. Rapid Response Fund, HEIF. PI L Care.
Teaching interests

My teaching approach is based on the importance of students engaging people outside the academy in their design projects. I believe that this agenda provides students with the opportunity to respond creatively to real issues and make design propositions that have a tangible impact.

This philosophy is underpinned by a range of teaching roles:

In my current role as 3rd year programme leader, I have introduced a year-long theme of 'High Street Futures', which enables students to position their design work in a wider cultural, political, environmental and physical context. We are exploring alternative visions for local and global high streets, and questioning how individual architectural interventions can help to re-programme our high streets, moving away from a model of consumerism to create more pluralistic and diverse towns and city centres.

During my role as 2nd year programme leader I brought Live learning into the main studio design project. Students work in collaboration with South Yorkshire Housing Association, to design a small-scale social housing scheme. The project has given the students a clear architectural and social imperative, and has provided a huge range of ideas, opportunities and avenues of exploration for SYHA, to widen the scope of their existing housing provision. in 2021, I organised the 'towards zero carbon housing' symposium for students and guest speakers to explore how we may address the environmental and social imperatives associated with the design and construction of housing.

I coordinated the Masters Participation in Architecture and Urban Design module between 2012-2018. This has been an ideal opportunity to integrate my specialist knowledge and experience of engaging a range of communities in architecture projects.

One particular area of interest explored within the wider theme of participation is advocating the importance of engaging young people in architectural projects and the benefits that this offers to participants and the wider community.

Through Live Works [and previously the BDR research and consultancy unit], we aim to employ students on projects so that they can gain first-hand experience of undertaking alternative architecture projects in the real world, working with real clients.

This provides valuable learning opportunities that often link directly to student’s evolving architectural agendas. The work of Live Works creates a number of Live Project opportunities and a vehicle for projects to continue and develop into on-going professional commissions.

I established the MArch Learning Culture studio in 2015; exploring how people, communities and places learn. The studio process encourages reflective working, exploration of pedagogies and the value of life-long learning.

The studio has been working across Sheffield, Barnsley and the Dearne Valley with local authority’s Better Barnsley team and Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership. The area has a rich industrial history and an impetus to reinvent itself, whilst maintaining its distinctive local character.

My interest in learning and pedagogy has also extended to the development of teaching resources such as the Feedback Handbook, What is it like to study at SSoA and the Thesis Project Attributes.

Previous MArch and MAUD studio teaching with Rob Thompson has focused on the subject of Activators in Place. The studio explored how communities can engage in shaping places, and how places shape people.

The work produced in the studio examined the interface between top-down and bottom-up production of the city and how co-production can create environments that are socially and environmentally vibrant.

Until 2010, I taught primarily at 1st year degree level. During this period I jointly created the innovative ‘Matter-Reality’ project that aims to enable students to experience a full architectural process from research, through design development to construction and use. The project culminates in exhibiting student-built installations in the city centre, reinforcing how important it is for architects to understand how their work is perceived and enjoyed by others.

Teaching activities
3rd Year Design Studio Modules:
I coordinate the design modules for the 3rd year undergraduate cohort that engage with global and local contexts; encouraging students to identify and understand global issues and how these can be addressed in local contexts. The first semester module is an international design project focused on five global cities. Collaborators have been established in each city, who provide invaluable insight into the specific socio-cultural situations, and support students in understanding place-based approaches to environmental design.
Live Works:
I set up Live works in 2014 with Carolyn Butterworth. This initiative gives students the opportunity to engage with the public from a city centre location through workshops, debates and exhibitions for their Live Projects and Studio projects. Students and graduates are employed to work with community clients on real projects, often emerging from Live Projects. This is an excellent opportunity for us to support graduates as they embark upon their future practice careers.

Dissertation Supervision:
I supervise a range of special studies and dissertations at undergraduate and post-graduate level covering a range of topics.
Professional activities and memberships
  • Architect ARB Director Chiles
  • Evans and Care Architects
  • GlassHouse Enabler
  • Yorkshire and Humberside regional design review panel member
  • Barnsley Building Schools for the Future design review panel member
  • Founder Member of PLAYCE (International organisation for Children's Architectural Education)
Publication and Teaching awards


(Forthcoming) Butterworth, C. Care, L. (2021) A Part Of, and Apart From...
AAE Charrette Journal, Published by the Association of Architectural educators.

A.M Cox, M. Benson Marshall, J.A.J. Burnham, L. Care, T. Herrick & M. Jones (2020) Mapping the campus learning landscape, Pedagogy, Culture & Society, DOI: 10.1080/14681366.2020.1788124

Care L, Kemp C, Chiles P, Evans H, Holder A. School Building: Key Issues for Contemporary School Design. Published by Birkhauser in 2015

Butterworth, C. Care, L. A Live Currency: introducing The SSoA Live Projects Handbook. AAE Charrette Journal, V. 1, No. 1, pp.72-81(10). Published by the Association of Architectural educators.

Care L, Jary D, Parnell R. Healthy Design, Creative Safety: Approaches to health and safety teaching and learning in undergraduate schools of architecture – RR925 Published by The Health and Safety Executive and the RIBA in 2012.

Cox A, Chiles P, Care L. Exploring students’ group work needs in the context of internationalisation using a creative visual method. Published in The International Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2012.

Care L, Chiles P, Petrescu D. Live Projects Abroad: Building Networks for Internationalisation. Published by CEBE in 2011.

Care L, Kemp C, Chiles P, Evans H, Holder A. (2009) www.imagineschooldesign.org, Open access web-resource funded by for Partnerships for School and Balfour Beatty.

Care L, Kemp C, Chiles P. (2010) ‘Buildings by Design’ and ‘Spaces by Design’ resource books, Glass-house Community Led Design. Self-published

Chiles P, Care L, (2010) “Not brave enough” Building Schools for the Future - the process and the product. Conference

Care L, Chiles P (2009) A long engagement; wider benefits of sustained community-led regeneration. Scratch the surface, Dig a Little Deeper Conference Paper

Care L, Chiles P, Kemp C. (2009) Woodworks: A report on the potential of locally-sourced timber.

Care L. (2008) Cityscape Sheffield; an architecture and photography walking tour, developed for the Sheffield Galleries Youth Forum 2008.

Care L and Trogal K. (2007) ‘A quick conversation about the theory and practice of control, authorship and creativity in architecture’. Field: Journal for Architecture.

Care L. and Chiles P. (2006). ‘Primary Ideas: Projects to Enhance Primary School Environments’. Department for Education and Skills.

Care L. ‘Primary Ideas, Second Thoughts’ (2006). Century 21 Schools Journal: 34-37

Care L. (2005) Text and graphics contributions. ‘Schools for the Future: Sports and P.E. facilities’. Published by the Department for Education and skills.

Teaching awards

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 2019
  • University Senate Fellowship for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, 2014
  • Since 2014 Live Works has received funding from UoS Partnerships and Regional Engagement, ReNew, UnLtd, and UoS Enterprise
  • Joint recipient of the CILASS Inquiry based learning award 2009