Matter Reality

Undergraduate: Year 1


Matter Reality, and its subsequent iterations, is a short group project undertaken in the second semester of Year 1 of the undergraduate architecture degree, in which students design and construct installations within the public realm.

What is Matter Reality

Matter Reality, and its subsequent iterations, is a short group project undertaken in the second semester of Year 1 of the undergraduate architecture degree, in which students design and construct installations within the public realm.  The project is an important element in the thread of “liveness” that runs through the Sheffield School of Architecture, and requires of the first year students a number of attributes which can enhance their employability. 

In the inception of the project, they are required to identify a local community need or user group, and develop a proposal to benefit that in some way.  They are also required to identify potential sites in Sheffield city centre, and engage with the landowner, local businesses, or local government to obtain permission to occupy the site for a day.

Developing ideas & skills

The students need to develop effective group working dynamics and share out roles and responsibilities as they develop designs for the installation to be located on their site, source materials for negligible cost (whilst considering their responsibilities for potential re-use or recycling afterwards), develop and refine construction techniques, and publicise their proposals using social media or in some cases local broadcasters.

On the day of the installation, the students must be resourceful and collaborative in planning and executing the swift and safe erection of their designs, and to be gregarious and welcoming as they engage with the people of Sheffield to discuss their work in situ.

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