External Research Events

Reflections Seminar Programme

The Reflections Seminar Programme is designed to celebrate new, challenging and provocative thinking in architecture. We have invited a range of international speakers to share their work in areas such as design, theory, culture and science. The events are open to practitioners, academics, staff and students and will give attendees the opportunity to meet and socialise with colleagues in the Sheffield region.

2018-2019 Programme


Dr Léa-Catherine Szacka

British Breakfast On Air: TV-am, Postmodernism and the Notion of Style

1st May 2019
The Well, Floor 16, The Arts Tower, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN

4.30pm - 5.30pm Seminar and Q&A
5.30pm - 6.30pm Refreshments and Networking

TVamSzackaOn 28 December 1980, UK’s Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) awarded a ‘national breakfast-time’ franchise to TV-am, a television company part of the commercial network ITV. From its television studio located in Camden Town and design by architect Terry Farrell, TV-am aired Daybreak, followed by Good Morning Britain, between 6.00am and 9.25am, seven days a week, from 1st February 1983 to 31 December 1992.

Using the frame of mass communications and looking at the cultural and technological history of television in its intersection with politics and architecture, this paper argues that not only did the TV-am studio building became the ultimate image of the flamboyant new and innovative television station, but that it contributed to the construction and diffusion, during Britain’s core years of neoliberalism, of a distinctive postmodern style, through architecture and the moving images. This paper mobilises notions of display, performativeness, spectatorship and branding to question the intricate relationship of 1980s Britain popular cultural industry, with new forms of labour and aesthetics.

Léa-Catherine Szacka is Lecturer in Architectural Studies at the University of Manchester and Visiting Lecturer at Harvard GSD and the Berlage. She is the author of Exhibiting the Postmodern: The 1980 Venice Architecture Biennale (Marsilio, 2016) – for which she was awarded the 2017 SAH GB Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion – co-author of Le Concert: Pink Floyd à Venise (B2, 2017) and co-editor of Mediated Messages: Periodicals, Exhibitions and the Shaping of Postmodern Architecture (Bloomsbury, 2018) and Concrete Oslo (Torpedo Press, 2018). Léa-Catherine is currently co-editing two journal special issues - OASE103, Critical Regionalism Revisited and Architecture Theory Review 23:1, The Architecture Exhibition as Environment - while working on Biennials/Triennials: A Geography of Itinerant Display, a collection of conversations to be published in 2019 by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City.

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Irit Katz

Spaces on the Move: Ephemeral Architecture of Displacement and Refuge

26th June 2019


Past events

Jos Boys

Dr Jos Boys

Doing disability differently changes architectural education and practice

27th February 2019Jos Boys - Doing disability differently

Whilst there are many discussions within architectural education and practice about the relationships between race, gender, sexuality and space, disability remains stubbornly located in an ahistorical, non-theoretical category, as a technical and legalistic after-thought. But what happens if we realize that disability (and ability) are problematic concepts; build creatively on the diverse knowledge about space that disabled people already have; and start design from a valuing of our many different ways of being in the world? By treating dis/ability as both a creative generator and a means to critique normative bodies and ‘normal’ social and spatial practices, this talk aims to offer some exciting and innovative new ways of rethinking relationships between bodies and space.

Jos is a Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, and Co-Director of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project which develops creative collaborations between disabled artists and architectural students, educators and practitioners. She was co-founder of Matrix feminist architecture and research collective in the 1980s, and is a member of a feminist artist-architecture platform Taking Place. Having trained in architecture, Jos is most interested in exploring how everyday social, spatial and material practices come to frame what is ‘normal’ and ‘ordinary’, and to work with others on design interventions that question our assumptions about who gets valued and who doesn't (in society, in the design of built space and in architecture as a discipline).

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Malcolm InnesMalcolm Innes

Lighting for Cities Inhabited by People, Not Cars 

Wednesday 5th December 2018

Malcolm Innes workCommunity Co-Design, Creative Lighting and Research Through Design. Electric street lighting has developed wholly in the age of the motor car. Therefore, normal models of urban lighting are based firmly on designing for vehicle traffic. Even in completely pedestrian spaces, it is common for the same roadway lighting equipment and methodologies to be employed. However, people deserve urban lighting that promotes fun and engagement; aids interpretation of their surroundings; provides visual enhancement or artistic interventions; creates a sense of place and a sense of time. Pedestrian areas, free of the need to light vehicle routes, provide a perfect opportunity to create engaging and exciting environments. When a city decides to upgrade public lighting, we should be taking the chance to rethink traditional models of urban lighting to ensure that these vital urban systems produce the maximum benefit for both residents and visitors. We should also engage residents in the process of designing a captivating night-scape for their city.

This presentation will explore these subjects through the example of an ongoing permanent urban lighting project in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. Commissioned by an enlightened client and city government, the project developed a new model of community co-design to empower local residents to take a stake in the dynamic and creative relighting of public spaces.

Malcolm Innes is an artist by training and has extensive experience of architectural lighting design and light art from 24 years working on international projects. Having worked for Kevan Shaw Lighting Design and Speirs and Major before setting up his own practice, Malcolm’s portfolio includes several multi-award winning projects including two IALD Radiance awards and nine IIDA awards.

After many years of part-time involvement in higher education, Malcolm is now a Reader in Design at Edinburgh Napier University. He specialises in architectural lighting, light art, projection and interactive digital arts and he is Programme Leader for the university’s 6 MA design programmes. Malcolm’s 2012 book, “Lighting for Interior Design” has been published in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.