learning architecture


a PhD in live projects and architectural education

The IYO revisited – part two


As I discussed earlier today, I’ve been re-visiting the Inconspicuous Yellow Office live project that I participated in at the University of Sheffield in 2006, looking back on the definitions of live projects and alternative practice that we developed. The photograph above was taken on one of the first days of the live project, although amusingly the blackboard remained untouched for some weeks (maybe even months) afterwards. In no particular order, here are the terms that were written down when we first attempted to define what alternative practice was:








process (not product) orientated








These initial definitions for alternative practice evolved into a later exercise to consult the students, tutors and clients participating in live projects. For this exercise, pairs of opposite terms were arranged down a narrow slip of paper and responses were sought along an eleven point scale between the terms. Responses were mapped together within projects to discover whether there was a consensus within and across different projects

To identify the variety of live project experiences, we would grateful if you could mark along the scales how you feel about the live project you have been, or are part of. Please do not spend too long on this as your immediate response is important.

Who are you?

I’m M / F

I’m a Tutor / Student / Client / User

Initial Task

Unfamiliar |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Familiar

Easy |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Difficult

Aware |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Blind

Student Group Dynamic

Fixed roles |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Changeable roles

Flat |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Hierachical

Regulatory |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Freedom

Mechanical Process |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Self Critical Process

Competitive |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Co-operative

Flexible |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Structured

Dictated |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Discussion

Group |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Individual

Student Group – Tutor/Client

Structured |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Flexible

Preaching |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Dialogue

Tutor centered |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Student centered

Feminist |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Masculine

Discussion |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Dictated

Negotiable |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Non-negotiable

Internal Application of Task

Intuitive Process |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Informed Process

Practice |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Theory

Knowledge |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Judgement

Cross-disciplinary |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Enclosed

Static Brief |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Active Brief

External Application of Task

Sharing |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Internal

Personal |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Participatory

Freedom |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Regulatory

Exclusive |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Cross-disciplinary


Process |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Product

Conservative |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Speculative

Form |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Function

Non-profit |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Profit

Temporary |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Permanence

Problem Solving |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Problem Making



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