Russell Light

BA, Dip Arch

School of Architecture

Senior University Teacher

Alumni Engagement Coordinator
+44 (0)114 222 0317

Full contact details

Russell Light
School of Architecture
Arts Tower
Western Bank
S10 2TN

I studied architecture at Portsmouth Polytechnic from 1978 to 1984. Directly after this, I established the practice `Ferenczi Design' with two colleagues, which had successes in a number of competitions and was exhibited at the Venice Biennale.

I have been teaching at SSoA since 1987 and have had a major role as a design tutor throughout my time here. I continue to run my own practice and passionately believe that this experience contributes to the way that I teach (and vice versa).

Research interests

My research interests include architectural theory, re-use of existing buildings, architectural drawing and perspective.

Published research includes subjects such 'The Architectural Legacy of Pliny the Younger', the restoration of Palladio's Villa Saraceno and papers about my own published design projects. I have presented papers at international conferences in Canada, Italy, India and the United States.


Alongside teaching at Sheffield, I have established my own practice, mainly focussing on small scale, domestic projects (published in BD, Perspectives, ARQ and Financial Times). These have included a considerable amount of work with listed buildings and projects that have investigated a range of craft-based techniques. These themes are also developed in my work as a Trustee of the South Yorkshire Building Preservation Trust. Larger, more recent residential projects have explored a range of environmental strategies, including green roofs, storm water management and ground source heating.

Teaching activities

My main teaching role is as a studio tutor on the MArch in Architecture course, where I run Studio One. In recent years, Studio One has focused on the European city and issues of re-using and imaginatively converting existing buildings. In 2011-2012 the studio investigated the relationship between cinema and architecture, visiting Rome and the film studios at Cinecittà This provide rich material for exploring how space can be constructed cinematically and for developing drawing techniques that spanned the two disciplines. These explorations formed the basis of the individual design agendas that were developed throughout the year. The theme for 2012-2013 is 'Venice - Behind the Mask' and will begin with a field trip to the Venice Biennale.

I also have a long standing interest in perspective drawing and give lectures and workshops on the undergraduate course. All of this course material is freely available on my perspective website (see link at the top right).

I have considerable experience across the different years of the School, having co-ordinated the MArch course (from 2002-2011) and prior to that, co-ordinating the second and third years of the degree course. My teaching spans the areas of architectural theory, precedents, urban design and composition and my particular interest is in the relevance of these subjects to the design studio.