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. I have held visiting positions at the Universität Kassel, IUAV and Strathclyde University and was guest professor at the Hafencity University in Hamburg in 2014/15.

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).

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.

The main funded research projects I have been working on over the past years include ‘m-NAP’ (with M Edwards), ‘Flexible Housing’ (with J Till), ‘Spatial Agency’ (with J Till) and ‘Right to Build’ (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.

Research Assistants

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 PhD Students

Ali, Yahia Tahir: ‘The Politics of Urban Development in Iraqi Kurdistan. The role of urban actors in restructuring the urban architectural landscape, 2003-2013.’
Paramita, Kristanti: ‘Tactics and strategies for spatial interventions along Jakarta’s main waterway’
Okofu, Patrick: ‘Developing a model for teaching social design in Nigeria’
Ferreira, Rui: ‘Architecture within a “Prosperity without Growth” context’
Zhou, Litao: ‘Socio-spatial heterotopias? The production and reproduction of urban villages in Shenzhen, China’
Scanlon, Emmett: ‘The consumption of homes as a social practice in Ireland 1990-2010’

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 - RIBA Award: Practice based Research (with A Parvin, D Saxby of 00:/ architecture and C Cerulli), 2012
Spatial Agency - RIBA Award: Outstanding University-located Research (with J Till), 2011
Flexible Housing - RIBA Award: 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

ICM / Erasmus+ 2016 Key Action 107 (08/2016 – 07/2018): Pedagogical models, methodologies, and tools for educating future spatial practitioners. €190,488 (with Beatrice de Carli and Florian Kossak)
Europan Norway (2015)
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

Peer-College Member

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

Invited External and International Keynotes and Lectures of Standing


Landscapes of the contemporary city, Roma Tre University, 13-18 May 2017
Methodologies for participatory engagement, CEPT University, 11 January 2017
Alternative Practices and the city Institute of Indian Architects, National Convention in Bangalore, 1-3 December 2016


The Scholarship of Social Engagement, The University of Kansas, 19-21 October 2016
Notes on agency and the agency of agency, HCU Summer School Poppenbüttel, 19 September 2016
Urban practices in the UK. Challenges and possibilities at homebaked in Liverpool, as part of the Urban School Ruhr, 6 September 2016
Sheffield Live Works – Urban Education Live @turning tables, Palazzo Mora, Venice –15th Venice Biennale, 25 August 2016
Disziplinäre Grenzgänge. Neue Arbeitsfelder in Stadtgestaltung und Stadtforschung, Hafencity University Hamburg, 21-23 July
Dwelling and its Discontents: Art, Home and Economy
Newcastle University, 15 July 2016
Translating Change: ‘Political Imagination and the City’
Universidad de Chile, 7 July 2016
Urban Crisis: resistances, opportunities and co-optation
Symposium; Edinburgh University; 6 June 2016
Nike makes 30.6 billion a year without producing a single pair of shoes, TU Vienna; 10 March 2016
Keywords of social architecture, KTH Stockholm; 26 February 2016
Agency, Konstfack, Stockholm; 25 February 2016
Urban Histories, Konstfack, Stockholm; 14 December 2015
Death to the Project. Long live systemic change, Bergen School of Architecture; 27 September 2015
Spatial Agency. Other Ways of doing Architecture, Tongji University, Shanghai; 30 June 2015
Spatial Agency. Other Ways of doing Architecture, Shenzen University; 28 June 2015
Spatial Agency. Other Ways of doing Architecture, HUST & Wuhan Planning Bureau, Wuhan, China; 25 June 2015
Spatial Agency. Other Ways of doing Architecture, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China; 24 June 2015
Wohnungsfrage - Martin Wagner, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; 11 June 2015
Radical Pedagogies, CASS School of Architecture, London; 4 June 2015
In Conversation with Viviana d’Auria, Urban margins / Urban imaginations; The University of Sheffield; 13 May 2015
Urbanization between Formal Institutions and Informal Dynamics, House of Literature, Oslo; 25 April 2015
Spatial Agency, EPFL, Lausanne; 24 March 2015
mNAP, India Habitat Centre, 11 December 2014
Architecture without Architects ... Architects without Architecture?, The Berlage Center, Delft University of Technology; 10 November 2014
Resistance/Relevance/Resilience, ETH Zürich; 3 November 2014
Living / Learning: Madame Rosina will read your palms (with AGENCY), Association of Architectural Educators Conference, Sheffield; 5 September 2014
Henri Lefebvre: An Architecture of Enjoyment, MARC / RIBA Hub Manchester; 2 July 2014
Soft-space: planning for the otherwise, Universität Kassel; 27 June 2014
Designed to improve? University of Hamburg; 21-22 May 2014
Built environment, knowledge, praxis: Postcolonial conversations between India & UK, UCL, 16-17 May 2014
A right to build and other stories, Multistory; Canterbury University; 10 April 2014
Future City, Milton Keynes Gallery; 13 March 2014
Spatial Design, Liverpool John Moores University; 27 January 2014
The Future of the Architectural Profession, CEPT, Ahmedabad; 11 January 2014
National Education Summit, Gandhinagar, India; 10 January 2014
Strategies for social productions of space. A European perspective, CEPT, Ahmedabad; 8 January 2014
National Convention of the Indian Institute of Architects, Chennai, India; 26-29 December 2013
Superstadt 2013, Kunstuniversität Linz; 21-22 November 2013
The Institute of Radical Spatial Eductation, Close, Closer: Triennale, Lisbon; 20 October 2013
What is Social Design? Social Design. Public Action, Vienna; 26-27 October 2013
Shaking-up Alberti, 3rd International Architectural Education Summit Berlin; 12-15 September 2013
Critical Pedagogy and the Design Studio, Harbin Institute of Technology, China; 5 September 2013
Raumlabor City Discussion, flatterschaft Basel; 22 August 2013
Brave New World?! Plymouth University; 13 June 2013
Scale Matters, INDESEM 13, TU Delft; 23 April 2013
Design charades, Plymouth University; 8 March 2013
City Agencies, Supertanker / Copenhagen; 20 February 2013
Architecture, Participation, Practice, RIAI and Arts Council Ireland, Dublin; 21 November 2012
Spatial Agency and the notion of Informality - Keynote
UMICH & University of Cambridge, Morelia, Mexico; 8/9 November 2012
Spatial Agency, Manchester Architecture Research Centre; 2 October 2012
Spatial Agency, KTH Stockholm; 25 May 2012
Acting Otherwise or The Social Production of Architecture, The University of Sheffield; 13 March 2012
The future of architecture and the architect’, Oxford Architectural Society; 23 February 2012

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.


  • Schneider T, Awan N & Till J (2011) Spatial Agency: Other Ways of Doing Architecture. Routledge.
  • Saxby, D , Parvin A, Cerulli C & Schneider T (2011) A Right to Build. The next mass-housing industry. London: Architecture 00:/.
  • Kossak F (2010) Agency: Working with Uncertain Architectures. Taylor & Francis.
  • Schneider T (2008) This Building Should Have Some Sort of Distinctive Shape.
  • Schneider T & Till J (2007) Flexible housing. Architectural Press.

Journal articles


  • Schneider T (2017) Land for Sale. North West London. Approximately 87.7 sq m. Suitable for a Variety of Uses (subject to obtaining all relevant consents). Freehold Guide Price=£185,000. In Hinkel R (Ed.), The Society of Interiors (pp. 63-89). Baunach: AADR.