Design, Engagement and Practice

About usDEP Map

Researchers in this group are working with an expanded notion of design and an understanding of the architect as a catalyst for social change and innovation. Their approach works in partnership with different disciplines and a range of communities and industries. The work builds on the Sheffield School of Architecture’s pioneering practices, pedagogies and research on participation and public engagement. All of the group’s projects are underpinned by tools, processes, methodologies and knowledge of design.

The group’s research projects include:

  • R-Urban, an alternative strategy of regenerating neighbourhoods with the principles of urban commons (ADEME)
  • Culture and Climate Change, a series of interdisciplinary initiatives, events and publications on the topic of climate change
  • Designing for Inclusion (Erasmus+)
  • Stories of Change, creative engagements with industry, policy and the everyday around energy transitions (AHRC)
  • Odessa, an EU-China project on understanding population change focussed on care delivery models that support ageing-in-place (ESRC)

Researchers in this group have been involved in a number of cross-cutting School initiatives on themes of Agency, Urban Resilience and Globalisation and Spatial Practice. They have also been key in developing Live Works, the School of Architecture’s urban room, through projects such as Urban Education Live (ERA-NET).

Selection of projects

Optimising Care Delivery Models to Support Ageing-In-Place (ODESSA)

Funding: ESRC (UK), ANR (France) and NSFC (China), €1 million

This three-year venture will work with people who are over the traditional retirement age of 60 to find new and innovative ways of adapting a person’s home so that they can live independently for longer and avoid going into residential care as well as making it easier for them to access public services.

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Culture and Climate Change

Supported by UK Research Councils, funding bodies, charitable trusts, the University of Sheffield and the Open University

Culture and Climate Change is a framework for a series of research and public engagement projects on climate change. We convene research projects, workshops, exhibitions, events and publications that invite contributions from leading researchers, artists, producers, journalists and policymakers. All of our work tends to be collaborative, interdisciplinary, experimental and ‘in public’. We want all of this work to contribute to a more dynamic and plural conversation around climate change.

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Research making an impact

R-Urban: Networks of resilience in suburban neighbourhoods

Neighbourhoods across Europe are becoming more resilient as a result of research which proposes new models of urban regeneration. Communities in France and London have set up a network of hubs which host and support a range of collective activities and this strategy is being adopted in other cities across Europe.

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R-Urban - digital resourses developed through Ecoda project

PhD students and projects

Our School has one of the largest groups of architecturally based research students in the UK. We are renowned for the quality of our PhD programmes and have a vibrant Graduate School that enjoys strong links to our research groups.

Find out more about our current PhD projects and opportunities

Postgraduate Research Activitites