Twenty years of pioneering Live Projects programme at the Sheffield School of Architecture could hold the key to the future of education and the profession

Founded by SSOA in 1999, Sheffield University’s Live Project programme is the longest running Live Project programme in the UK, with an established track record. The internationally renowned initiative could hold the key to reforming British architectural education and re-establishing the role of the architect in society through its pioneering engagement philosophy.

Every year around 220 architecture master’s students collaborate with local community partners to help them deliver their social mission. Partners have  been based in Sheffield, across the UK and internationally, and include community groups, charities, health organisations, schools and regional authorities.  Clients have received services that for them would be otherwise unaffordable or impossible to obtain, such as detailed design, strategic urban visions, feasibility studies, sustainability strategies, community participation and built projects. 

Live Projects is one of the most visible and impactful community engagement programmes in British architectural education and one of the most significant outward-facing programmes in The University of Sheffield. Celebrating 20 successful years of architectural community activism SSoA’s unique and long-lasting model of Live Projects provides a socially engaged alternative to training future architects and generating tangible community benefits in an age of austerity.