Leo Care

Leo Care

University Teacher

BA(Hons), DipArch(Dist), ARB

T: +44 (0)114 222 0304
F: +44 (0)114 222 0315
E: l.care@sheffield.ac.uk

I am currently director of the MArch course and co-director of Live Works, the first university-led urban room in the UK.

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.

Teaching Activities

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:

I co-ordinate the Masters Participation in Architecture and Urban Design module. This is 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.

Administrative Roles

MArch Director
Live Works Co-director
Disability Liaison Officer

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 and construction of projects. This incorporates a wider use of Live Projects in architectural education and establishing systems to support and facilitate this. Recent research into the integrating health and safety into design and making projects for students with the HSE, RIBA and Construction Industry Council, reinforces this work.

I am also interested in 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 am currently 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.

I am currently involved in 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 2nd of 7 buildings has now been completed, along with community facilities including a ground source district heating system.

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.

The related approaches are related to the widening access to the architectural process as well as the product. I have recently engaged in a research project to develop a ‘studio pack’ for architecture students around the issues of toilet design in terms of faith, accessibility and gender.

Grants, Awards and Consultancy

Around the Toilet: cross-disciplinary arts based research project, funded by AHRC 2016-2017

Empowering Design Practices: AHRC funded research/consultancy 2015-2019

Senate Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, 2014

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, this consultancy work involved creating a range of proposals for the transformation of the AMPTC in terms of its situation and relationship with the wider manufacturing park, as well as exterior treatment and internal organisation. The project encompassed strategic urban and landscape design, as well as architectural and interior proposals.

CABE Design Your Neighbourhood, 2013
A consultancy project in collaboration with BEAM to deliver design support and vision for a new community facility. The project brought together multiple agencies including, sports groups, working men’s club and local library groups.

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.

Professional Standing and Distinctions

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)

Involvement with university of Sheffield outreach programme through, ‘Aim Higher’ and ‘Aim Higher Summer School’

Jointly co-ordinated and delivered the Architecture for Everyone @ CABE Summer School residential course for the Stephen Lawrence Trust, Summer 2010

Joint recipient of the CILASS Inquiry based learning award 2009

RIBA Yorkshire White Rose Award for Architecture, Bronze, for the Hillsborough Park Pavilion, 2008.


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, Kemp C, Chiles P, Evans H, Holder A. School Building: Key Issues for Contemporary School Design - forthcoming publication, published by Birkhauser in 2013/2014.

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

Peng C, Roberts D, Patlakas P, Basu P, Care L, Evans H, and Powell A (2009) “Visualising Future Learning Spaces in Context: the Sheffield Experiment”, in Proceedings of EDULEARN09, the International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, L. Gómez Chova, D. Martí Belenguer, I. Candel Torres (Eds.), Barcelona, Spain, 6-8 July, 2009.

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.

Little City of Makers outreach project Open House Project Co-Housing Matter-reality: student research, design, build and inhabit project

Mission Addition: collaborative design and construction project