The University of Sheffield School of Architecture is one of the longest established architecture schools in the UK, opening in 1908. It is known for its strong social conscience, recognised nationally and internationally for its commitment to socially-engaged design and research. The students, staff and graduates are committed to working with community groups through teaching, research and partnerships, engaging with real local societal, environmental and architectural issues.
Live Projects are the School’s pioneering educational initiative, where masters students work with community clients in real time, with real budgets, on socially-engaged projects. Over 17 years 1600 masters students have collaborated with community partners on 170 national and international co-design projects, making Live Projects the longest running programme of live pedagogy in the UK. Projects include design/build, masterplanning, building feasibility studies, sustainability strategies, online resources and participation toolkits.
Live Works is an ‘Urban Room’ in Sheffield city centre combining research, teaching and outreach to foster better citizen participation in the development of neighbourhoods, towns and cities, with a particular focus on the city of Sheffield. Since the launch in 2014, Live Works has worked with many local partners across the city and region, and engaged over 8500 members of the public, 2000 of which have visited our city centre Urban Room. Many of the projects are interdisciplinary and work with academics across the University to benefit clients with best practice and expertise from the arts, education, social sciences and humanities. Through its leadership of the Urban Room Network, Live Works is also setting the national agenda in place-based community participation.
As an existing hub in the city centre of Sheffield, Live Works is already established as a bridge between academia and the local community. Its role in UEL is to foster a productive and effective dialogue between city stakeholders and the target groups identified through the initial research stages, seeding the location of satellite hubs to then maximise impact on a neighbourhood level.