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)
  • 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

Urban Education Live

Funding: ESRC (UK), award value €422,000 (UK component)

Urban Education Live (UEL) aims to contribute to the making of inclusive, vibrant and accessible urban communities. The three-year project brings together university partners from Finland, the UK, Slovenia and Romania to develop and test new models of collaboration between universities, urban communities, NGOs and public bodies.

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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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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