Tatjana Schneider

Dr Tatjana Schneider

Senior Lecturer

MArch, PhD

T: +44 (0)114 222 0320
E: t.schneider@sheffield.ac.uk

I joined the School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield in 2004. I am interested in expanding the theoretical and practical scope of dominant architectural debates and discourses by questioning normative ways of thinking, producing and consuming space. I am co-founder of the research centre ‘Agency’ and was founder member of the workers cooperative G.L.A.S. (Glasgow Letters on Architecture and Space), which aimed to construct both a theoretical and practical critique of the capitalist production and use of the built environment. My work is referenced globally and has won a number of prestigious research awards, including the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) research award for practice-located research (2012 – with 00:/ architects and C Cerulli) and for outstanding university-located research (2007 and 2011 – with J Till). G.L.A.S received a National Achievement Award in recognition of the co-operative’s outstanding contribution to a critical dissemination of architectural knowledge from the Scottish Government in 2004.

Teaching Activities

I am leading the 2nd Year Humanities lecture course ‘Issues in Contemporary Architecture’ (ARC204/205), supervise special studies (ARC322), MArch Dissertations (ARC556/566), and PGT Thesis Projects (ARC6988). I mentor Live Projects (ARC552/562) and have co-organised the Theory Forum (ARC553) in 2007 (Alternate Currents, with J Till), 2008 (Agency, with AGENCY), 2009 (Ecology, with AGENCY) and 2012 (Urban Blind Spots, with F Kossak and S Walker). I currently supervise 6 PhD students.
In the past, I have taught Design Studio (ARC550/551/560/561): Softspace (2005/6, with J Till), Conisborough (2006/7, with Prue Chiles), Softpraxis (2007/8, with J Till), and HousingPLUS (2008/9 and 2009/10, with C Cerulli).

I currently hold and have held visiting positions at the following institutions:

CEPT Ahmedabad (India) / Erasmus+, 2016-18
Kunstuniversität Linz (Austria), 2017
University of Johannesburg (South Africa) / Erasmus+, 2017
Chalmers University (Sweden), 2017
HCU Hamburg (Germany), 2016
KTH Stockholm (Sweden), 2011, 2012 & 2016
Konstfack Stockholm (Sweden), 2016
Nanjing University (China), 2015
AHO, Oslo (Norway), 2010 & 2015
unbox, New Delhi (India), 2014
ETH Zurich (Switzerland), 2014
Berlage Institue (The Netherlands), 2014
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (India), 2014
HCU Hamburg (D), 2014-15
Harbin Institute of Technology (China), 2013
Plymouth University (UK), 2013
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, ISCTE-IUL (Portugal), 2013

Administrative Roles

Director of Internationalisation
Space, Cultures and Politics Research Cluster Leader
Internal Examiner for PhDs and PhD Upgrades

In the past, I have held the positions of Director of Teaching and Learning (2010-12) and Director of PhD Programmes (2012-14). I have also been member of university and faculty-wide review committees such as the University of Sheffield UG dissertation review (2013-14). In my role as Director of PhD Programmes I was also member of the Faculty of Social Sciences Post-Graduate Research (PGR) Subcommittee (2012-14).

I hold a certificate in ‘Internationalisation’ from Oxford Brookes University and have participated in a variety of Leadership initiatives including the The University of Sheffield’s Futures Mentoring Programme in 2014 (January – December).

Research Interests

My research bridges profession, practice and education of architects and is concerned with the social and economic mechanisms of the production of the space. I understand architecture as a collaborative, empowering and essentially political discipline. This focus takes various expressions: sometimes, it is formulated visually or in written form as critique against normative intellectual and pedagogical tendencies; in other instances, it is expressed through direct spatial interventions; and, occasionally, it takes activist dimensions.

Within this broader context, my current research focuses on tools and methodologies for urban development that allow spatial practitioners to intervene transformatively in the production of space. In the face of epochal urban transformations and increasing socio-spatial inequalities in many parts of the world, my research engages with case studies that foster principles of justice. There are four main sub-themes:

  • Understanding historical parameters of practice;
  • Exploring the interaction between spatial disciplines and ‘users’;
  • Methodological advances in spatial research;
  • Transforming educational experiences and frameworks.

My current externally funded research projects are ‘Innovative Affordable Housing’ (British Academy, Programme: TACKLING THE UK'S INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGES, £ 45,347 – PI) and ‘Urban Education Live’ (ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures / ESRC, Euro 422,000 - PI). The latter is part of a large consortium that includes partners from Romania, Slovenia and also Finland, who are leading the overall project.

Other main funded research and knowledge transfer projects I have been working on over the past years include ‘m-NAP’ (as CoI with M Edwards), ‘Flexible Housing’ (as PDRA with J Till), ‘Spatial Agency’ (as PIwith J Till) and ‘Right to Build’ (as PI with A Parvin, D Saxby of 00:/ architecture and C Cerulli).

Postgraduate Research Supervision Interests

I’m happy to supervise students on topics such as production and political economy of the built environment; reframing of architectural practice; spatial agency; alternative praxis; alternative histories of the production of space; social appropriation of space; collaboration.

I am currently supervising 9 PhD students (6 as 1st supervisor, 2 as 2nd supervisor and 1 student at the AHO, Oslo)

Ali, Yahia Tahir (2nd supervisor: D Petrescu), ‘The Politics of Urban Development in Iraqi Kurdistan.’ Funding body: Kurdistan Regional Government

Paramita, Kristanti (2nd supervisor: S Walker), ‘Tactics and strategies for spatial interventions along Jakarta’s main waterway.’ Funding body: Ministry of Higher Education Indonesia

Okofu, Patrick (2nd supervisor: B de Carli), ‘Developing a model for teaching social design in Nigeria.’ Funding body: Imo State University Owerri-Nigeria

Ferreira, Rui (2nd supervisor: C Cerulli), ‘Architecture within a “Prosperity without Growth” context.’ Funding body: 4-year scholarship from the Portuguese national funding agency for science, research and technology (FCT)

Zhou, Litao (2nd supervisor: S Walker), ‘Socio-spatial heterotopias? The production of urban villages in Shenzhen.’ Funding body: self-sponsored

Scanlon, Emmett (2nd supervisor: K Pahl), ‘The consumption of homes as a social practice in Ireland 1990-2010.’ Funding body: University College Dublin

Sultan, Reem (1st supervisor: K Nawartek), ‘Physical characteristics of Design Studios and User Behaviour.’ Funding body: University of Bahrain

van Elk, Maria (1st supervisor: C Cerulli), ‘Does the appropriator shape space or does space shape the appropriator?’ Funding body: Self-sponsored

Ascher, Barbara (Co-supervisor), ‘Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment - the Oslo case’, AHO, Oslo. Funding body: HERA

Current Research Assistants

Ivan Rabodzeenko, Dr Maša Šorn

Previous: Emma Graham – THE NEW ARCHITECTURE MOVEMENT; Vera Hale & Anna Holder – MEANS TO BUILD; Mollie Dale-Collen – On Campus Placement; Nishat Awan – ALTERNATIVE ARCHITECTURAL PRAXIS; Mel Bax – RRKTs; Sarah Considine – RRKTs; Alastair Parvin – A RIGHT TO BUILD; Adam Towle – RRKTs

Current Research Students

Ali, Yahia Tahir; Paramita, Kristanti; Okofu, Patrick; Ferreira, Rui;
Zhou, Litao; Scanlon, Emmett; Sultan, Reem; Van Elk, Maria

External Research Students

Ascher, Barbara (AHO)

Current and Past Visiting Research Students

Omar Al Hafith, University of Mosul (2011/12); Marcelo Andreoli, Graduate Program in Urbanism (PROURB) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (2016); Emre Akbil, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, Cyprus (2017/18)

PhD Completions

Fraser, Carl: ‘Architecture, Protest and Democracy’ (2011-2015, 2nd supervisor)
Harboe, Lisbet: ‘Contemporary Architecture and Social Engagement. Ethics as a generator of architectural working strategies’, AHO, Oslo (2007-11, expert supervisor)
Ascher, Barbara: ‘Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment - the Oslo case’, AHO, Oslo (2012-2016, co-supervisor)

Grants, Awards and Consultancy


A Right to Build – The RIBA President’s Award for Practice-located Research (with A Parvin, D Saxby of 00:/ architecture and C Cerulli), 2012

Spatial Agency – The RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding University-located Research (with J Till), 2011

Flexible Housing - The RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding University-located Research (with J Till), 2007

G.L.A.S. - Scottish Executive and The Lighthouse: National Achievement Award (with G.L.A.S.), 2004

Grants, consultancy and knowledge transfer projects

British Academy, Programme: TACKLING THE UK'S INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGES, £ 45,347 – PI

‘Urban Education Live’ (ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures / ESRC, Euro 422,000 - PI).

ICM / Erasmus+ 2016 Key Action 107 (08/2016 – 07/2018): Pedagogical models, methodologies, and tools for educating future spatial practitioners. €190,488 (with B de Carli and FKossak)

AHRC (2014): m-NAP. £19,855 (with M Edwards, University of Edinburgh)

AHRC / British Council (2014): Future Cities Fellowship, Ahmedabad.

TUoS, Research Futures 2022 (2014): Proof of Concept. STEMCURE. £20,000 (with C Lewis, A Chantry, A Lavda and G Brown)

TUoS, Strategic Development Fund / On CampUS Placements (2013). £736

TUoS, Faculty RESEARCH Fund (2013). MEANS TO BUILD. £2,400 (with C Cerulli)

Citta di Venezia (2011). PARTICIPATORY STUDY FOR ST GIOBBE. €20,000 (with C Cerulli and F Kossak and Fram_menti)

IUAV. WAVE 11 (2011). €5,000 (with AGENCY and Frammenti)

TUoS: Research Stimulation Fund (2010). DESIGN ARCHIVES. £1,200

TUoS: Faculty research fellowship / teaching buy-out (2010). AFFORDANCES OF THE TERRACED HOUSE. £6,137.

TUoS: RRKT (2009). £10,000 (Partner organisation: RIBA and South Essex Homes; RAs: M Bax and S Considine)

TUoS: RRKT (2009). £9,764 (Partner organisation: 00://, RA: A Parvin) (with C Cerulli)

TUoS: RRKT (2009). £7,331 (Partner organisation: St. Luke’s Healthy Living Centre in Southend-on-Sea; RAs: M Bax and S Considine)

TUoS: RRKT (2009). £9,387 (Partner organisation: CABE; RAs: M Bax, S Considine and A Towle)

EC: Culture 2007 (2008). RHYZOM. €46,500 {Total Grant €380,000} (with AGENCY)

TUoS: IBL Grant Cilass (2008). £4,070 (with C Cerulli)

EC: Culture 2000 (2006). PEPRAV. €22,000 {Total Grant €190,000} (with F Kossak and D Petrescu)

AHRC: Standard Grant (2006). ALTERNATIVE ARCHITECTURAL PRAXIS £189,452, AHRC (with J Till)

RIBA: Research Grant (2005). ARTS TOWER. £7,500

Scottish Executive: The Lighthouse Innovation Fund (2004). ON THE EDGE. £5,000 (with G.L.A.S.)

Kulturstiftung des Bundes (2003). SPACES OF LABOUR. £7,000 (with G.L.A.S.)

British Council (2003). UNSER BERLIN. £8,000 (with G.L.A.S.)

Scottish Arts Council (2003). URBAN CABARET. £8,675 (with G.L.A.S.)

Professional Standing and Distinctions

Keynote for Association of Architectural Educators Conference, Oxford, UK, 2017

Invited Scientific Board Member for the Graduierten Kolleg „Dispositiv Wohnen: Gestaltungsspielräume von Wohn-Wissen für eine gerechte Stadt“, Hafencity University Hamburg, Germany, 2017

Profiled as 1 of 50 graduates from Strathclyde University who have made significant contributions to the creative and cultural landscape, both nationally and internationally, between 1967 - 2017.

Scientific Board Member of the Conference ‘COEXISTENCE. Bodies, actions and Hybrid Spaces in the contemporary city’, Roma Tre University, Italy, 2017

External academic programme reviewer, Loughborough University, 2016

Expert Advisor for ‘Architecture in Development’, since 2015

Expert Advisor for ‘Designing for Democracy’, a major research and public engagement project run by The Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics at the University of Sheffield, since 2015

Professor, History and Theory of the City, Hafencity University Hamburg, Germany, 2014-2015

Expert Juror, Europan Norway, 2015

Visiting Fellow, Kassel University, 2014

Winner of 3 RIBA President’s Awards (2007, 2011, 2012)

Invited to run a prestigious summer school workshop at the Università Iuav di Venezia (with AGENCY), 2011

Invited by Impact Hub London as 1 of 100 people who are sparking the change, building the future and collaborating across sectors, 2011

Advisor to the Arts Tower Conservation Plan committee, 2007-8

Co-founder of award-winning workers co-operative Glasgow Letters on Architecture and Space (1999-2007)

Peer-College Membership of Formas (Swedish Research Council) (since 2015) - Expert Consultant; AHRC, Arts and Humanities Research Council (since 2014) - Peer Review Member; MRC, Medical Research Council (since 2010) - Expert Reviewer

Peer Reviewer for International Research Journals: Architecture & Culture, Building Research & Information (BRI), Charette – The Journal of the Association of Architectural Educators, DrawingOn - Journal of Architectural Research By Design, field:; Journal of Architecture and Urbanism; Housing Studies; Nordic Journal of Architecture; International Journal of Urban and Regional Research; building material; The Journal of Architecture; Space and Culture; Environment and Planning D: Society and Space; International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

Editorial Board Member: field:; Spurbuch; drawing-on

Book Reviewer for: Ashgate, Palgrave, Routledge and Spurbuch

External Examiner for PhD Candidates at University of Sydney, Australia (2017), University of Bath (2016), University of Cardiff (2015, 2016), University of Manchester (2016), University of Melbourne (2014), University of Trondheim (2014)

Successful Completions as Co-Supervisor for 1 PhD: Dr Lisbet Harboe (2014, AHO Norway); as 2nd supervisor for 1 PhD: Dr Carl Fraser (2016).

Currently Supervising 8 PhD students at The University of Sheffield as first or 2nd supervisor and 1 PhD student as co-supervisor at AHO, Norway.

External Examiner for Newcastle University: Architecture, Planning and Landscape: BA (2013-17); Plymouth University: MRes Programme (2013-15); KTH Stockholm: Critical Studies Course (2012 & 2011); Berlage Institute, Rotterdam (2008);
Scottish Schools of Architecture (2007)

Organisation of Conferences

2017 RAUM Dialogues #2 - Theory-based education (with Florian Kossak)

2016 RAUM Dialogues #1 - Design Education (with Florian Kossak and Beatrice de Carli)

2012 Urban Blind Spots, The University of Sheffield (with Florian Kossak and Stephen Walker)

2009 Changing Practices, RIBA (with Jeremy Till)

2008 Agency - 5th International AHRA conference, The University of Sheffield (with Agency Research Centre)

2007 Alternate Currents, The University of Sheffield (with Jeremy Till)

2005 Flexible Housing, The University of Sheffield (with Jeremy Till)

Invited External and International Keynotes and Lectures (Selection)


Masterclass, IE School of Architecture & Design, Segovia, Spain 7-12 January


Architecture, Land & Alternative Ownership Models, IE School of Architecture & Design, Segovia, Spain, February


Spatial Discourses on the Just City, TISS Mumbai, December

Agency and Architecture, SEA Mumbai, January

Architecture Connects, Keynote for AAE Conference, 7 September

Good and Bad Urban Practices, Raumlabor, 26 July

Innovative Affordable Housing, TU Berlin, 25 July

Recent invitations


Schnittstelle Architektur/ Intervention/ Improvisation, Kunstuniversität Linz, 31 May

Discussions on practice, Dublin University 8 April

The architecture of use value, Museum of African Design, Johannesburg, 5 May

Spatial Agency, University of Johannesburg, 3 May

Architecture & Gender, Chalmers University, 15 March

Methodologies for participatory engagement, CEPT University, 11 January

Alternative Practices and the city Institute of Indian Architects, National Convention in Bangalore, 1-3 December 2016

Dark Community - ”better a cricket pitch, then, than an empty lot” or the polylemmas of spatial practice, Vestry Hall, 24 November

The Scholarship of Social Engagement, The University of Kansas, 19-21 October

Notes on agency and the agency of agency, HCU Summer School Poppenbüttel, 19 September

Urban practices in the UK. Challenges and possibilities, @homebaked Liverpool, 9 September

Dwelling and its Discontents: Art, Home and Economy , Newcastle University, 15 July

Translating Change - ‘Political Imagination and the City’, Universidad de Chile, 7 July

Urban Crisis: resistances, opportunities and co-optation, Edinburgh University, 6 June

Nike makes 30.6 billion a year without producing a single pair of shoes, TU Vienna, 10 March

Keywords of social architecture, KTH Stockholm, 26 February

Agency, Konstfack, Stockholm, 25 February


Urban Histories, Konstfack, Stockholm, 14 December

Death to the Project. Long live systemic change , Bergen School of Architecture, 27 September

Spatial Agency. Other Ways of doing Architecture, Nanjing University, 23 June; Tongji University, Shanghai, 30 June; Shenzen University, 28 June

HUST, Wuhan University, 25 June & Wuhan Planning Bureau, 26 June

Re-designing the gap - Urbanization between Formal Institutions and Informal Dynamics
House of Literature, Oslo, 25 April

Proto-Publics, Lancaster University, 16/17 April

Spatial Agency, EPFL, Lausanne, 24 March


mNAP, unbox festival, New Delhi, 12-14 December

Architecture without Architects...Architects without Architecture? The Berlage Center, Delft University of Technology, 10 November

Resistance/Relevance/Resilience, ETH Zürich, 3-4 November

Living / Learning: Madame Rosina will read your palms (with AGENCY), 2nd Conference of the Association of Architectural Educators, Sheffield, 4 September

Henri Lefebvre: An Architecture of Enjoyment - Book Launch, Manchester Architecture Research Centre / RIBA Hub, 2 July

Reflexionen über Interventionen im öffentlichen Raum, Kassel University, Kassel, 26-28 June

Designed to improve? HCU - Hamburg, 21-22 May

Multistory, Canterbury University - Canterbury, 10 April

Future City, Milton Keynes Gallery - Milton Keynes, 13 March

Future Cities, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad - Ahmedabad, 7 March

Spatial Design, Liverpool John Moores University - Liverpool, 27 January

The Future of the Architectural Profession, CEPT, Ahmedabad, 11 January

National Education Summit, Gandhinagar, 10 January

CEPT University, Ahmedabad, 8 January


National Convention of the Indian Institute of Arcitects, Chennai, 26-29 December

Superstadt 2013, Kunzuniversität Linz, 21-22 November

The Institute of Radical Spatial Eductation, workshop (with J Till and N Awan) - Close, Closer, Triennale, Lisbon, 17-20 October

What is Social Design? Social Design. Public Action, Vienna, 26-27 October

Shaking-up Alberti, 3rd International Architectural Education Summit Berlin, Aedes, 12-15 September

Critical Pedagogy and the Design Studio, lectures and workshop at Harbin IoT, China, 1-6 September

Raumlabor City Discussion, flatterschaft, Basel, 22 August

Brave New World?! Re-industrialisation Conference. Plymouth University, 13 June

Scale Matters, INDESEM 13, Delft, 23 April

Design charades, Plymouth University, workshop and lecture, 8-9 March

City Agencies, workshop with Supertanker, Copenhagen, 20-22 February


Architecture, Participation, Practice, RIAI and Arts Council Ireland, Dublin, 21 November
Spatial Agency and the notion of Informality

UMICH and University of Cambridge, Morelia, Mexico, 8/9 November

Spatial Agency - Manchester Architecture Research Centre (MARC), 2 October

Spatial Agency, KTH, Stockholm, 17 May

Acting Otherwise ‘The Social Production of Architecture’, TUoS, 18 March

‘The future of architecture and the architect’ iOxford Architectural Society, 28 February

Before 2012

‘Other productions of Space’ [Wonderland symposium, Vienna]; ‘Taking Part’ (with Agency + fram_menti) - invited lectures & 3-week workshop [Venice Summer School, 25 June – 16
July 2011]; ‘Spatial Agency’ [Research Symposium – KTH, Stockholm, 20 May 2011] ; ‘Il progetto democratico dello spazio pubblico’ [Qui è Ora: Spazio e tempo Pubblici – Turin, 14/15 March 2011]; ‘Transforming Rules and Regulations: A Research Project’ [Further Reading Required – UCL 18 February 2011]; ‘Things that inspire me…alternatives to the capitalist production of space’ [SUAS lunchtime lectures, Sheffield, 16 February 2011];
‘Spatial agency and the politics of space’ [Ljubljana, 11 January 2011]; ‘Hard times/Soft space: Collaborative Approaches to the Production of Housing’ [RIBA Yorkshire Conference, Leeds, 14 September 2010]; ‘Collective (adj.)’ [RMIT, Melbourne, July 6 2010]; ‘Spatial Agency and the Politics of Locality’ - Politics of Design [Manchester, 24/25 June 2010]; ‘Architecture ≠ building’ [Manchester Architecture Research Centre, March 2010]; ‘Spatial Agency and the context of education’ [Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo, Norway, 2010]; ‘Unpacking the myth: Power to the people; Consensus Design and Social Capital’
[Ecobuild London, February 2010]; ‘Bringing new developments in social sciences into design education’ [Manchester Architecture Research Centre, October 2009]; ‘What architects also do’ [RIBA Research Symposium ‘Changing Practices’, September 2010]; ‘The Invisible Ethic: The Motivations of Spatial Agency’ [Nottingham University, September 2010]; ‘Lesarten zeitgenössischer Raumproduktion’ [Kunstuniversität Linz, Austria, June 2010]; ‘Architecture Fiddles While the World Burns’ [Bauhaus Universität Weimar, April 2010]; ‘Über die Fähigkeit anderweitig zu agieren’ [Österreichische Gesellschaft für Architektur (OeGfA), Wien, March 2010]; ‘Alternative Currents’ [2nd Camp for Oppositional Architecture, Utrecht, November 2006]; ‘The opportunities of flexible housing’ [European Network for Housing Research, Reykjavik, June 2005]; ‘Printed Matter. Glaspaper’ [OSA, Oslo, February 2004]; ‘Spaces of labour’ [Manifesta, Liverpool, October 2003]; ‘Women in
Architecture 1890-1940s’ [Glasgow University, June 2003]; ‘Glasgow Letters on Architecture and Space’ [Protoacademy, Edinburgh College of Art]; ‘Crossing Boundaries’ [Architecture Foundation and London Borough of Camden]; ‘G.L.A.S. and glaspaper’ [Bauhaus, Dessau, January 2002]; ‘alternative modes of knowledge dissemination’ [Popular Education Forum, Glasgow].

The Institute of Radical Spatial Education at Close, Closer (IRSE) Wilhelmshöhe Freibad Taking Part, IUAV
Agency Research Centre Brochure field: Flexible Housing

Spacial Agency


A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of recent publications please click here.

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