External research events

Book onto our research events, and view details on past events held by the School of Architecture.

Lunch time lecture event in the arts tower

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

Spaces on the Move: Ephemeral Architecture of Displacement and Refuge
Irit Katz

October 2019,
The Well, Floor 16, The Arts Tower

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

Borderscapes, camps, and emergency shelters create hyper-temporary spaces which are quickly formed, transformed, disappear, and reappear as part of the fragmented journeys and emplacements of forcibly displaced people and irregular migrants. From the rapid construction and demolition of institutional and informal border migrant camps to the immediate appropriation of prefabricated shelters by their dwellers, the built environments created by and for ‘people on the move' could be equally described as 'spaces on the move'. These spaces are not only used by people who are moving through them as part of their broader trajectories of migration and refuge. Rather, these spaces are also rapidly moving themselves as the result of the conflicting powers acting within and upon them.  

By drawing on critical spatial and political theories and analysing refugee and migrant camps and shelters in the Middle East and Northern France, this talk aims to invoke the concept of ‘spaces on the move’ to reflect not only the turbulent movements through spaces but also of spaces evolving around irregular human mobility. The constant creation of these spaces, I will argue, reflects not only the attempts of irregular migrants and displaced people to cross increasingly fortified national borders, but also their simultaneous attempts to create a ‘place in the world’ (Arendt) as those who are considered surplus people that should only exist on the ‘nowhere land of non humanity’ (Bauman).

Temporary housing containers

Past events

Doing disability differently changes architectural education and practice
Dr Jos Boys

27th February 2019

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).

View the presentation slides


Lighting for Cities Inhabited by People, Not Cars
Malcolm Innes

Wednesday 5th December 2018

Community 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.

PhD Study

As part of our vibrant research environment our PhD students enjoy strong links to our research groups.

PhD opportunities