Sheffield Mobility: Spatial Design Research

2018 marks the final year of a 3 year mobility exchange between the University of Johannesburg’s DSD Desis Lab and the Sheffield School of Architecture.

The broader exchange network, Research As Urban Method (RAUM), includes CEPT in Ahmedabhad, India and Nanjing University in  Nanjing,China,I have been facilitating this exchange and alongside Angus Campbell and Terrence Fenn have hosted and taken part in several events and workshops that aim to co-develop a shared field of ‘Spatial Design’ between the various disciplines of design involved in the exchange.

RAUM is a collaborative project investigating spatial design education in relation to global urban development challenges, and is interested in expanding knowledge about teaching in this field.

RAUM is an initiative by Beatrice de Carli, Florian Kossak and Tatjana Schneider at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield (UK) and is in partnership with the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) (Ahmedabad, India); School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University (China); and the University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Design Society Development DESIS Lab (South Africa). The project began in 2016 and will run until October 2018, made possible through European Commission Erasmus+ funding focused on academic staff and PhD student mobility. The focus of the mobility with all partners will be on jointly rethinking the capacities, qualities, methodologies and tools that spatial practitioners need to develop, in order to have a positive impact in the face of epochal challenges affecting cities globally, such as climate change and social inequality. The outcome will be a joint publication that will document the activities undertaken and the methodologies tested in different geographical settings

Updates on events and activities will be posted here:


The initial exchanges centred around commonality and theory in design, and produced a broad word cloud that captured the links and connections.

The exchange also hosted Dr. Tatjana Schneider who spoke on a panel with students from UJ around what the role of Spatial Agency in South Africa could be.