Goran joined Sheffield Hallam University in July 2018 as a Lecturer in Architecture. He teaches design studios on MArch programme and the history and theory of architecture across undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Prior to this, Goran taught at the Sheffield School of Architecture, University of Sheffield. He has also been an active practitioner since 2004, working in the UK and internationally.
I have extensive professional experience of practice in various contexts, including post-socialist and post-conflict ones and in different types of architecture practices and international organisations (United Nations Development Programme/UNDP, Shelter Centre, Architecture & Développement). I have also been involved in initiating projects with local groups and communities. For example, here in Sheffield I was part of an alternative development agency (SKINN) as well as an experimental urban practice (Sheffield Dream City). Currently I am an Associate of Architecture Sans Frontières-UK (ASF-UK), a not-for-profit organisation aiming to make community and international development issues integral to the practice and teaching of architecture. All of these experiences directly inform my teaching and research practice.
My approach to teaching is constructivist and is underpinned by my professional experiences as designer, researcher and educator. I believe that a range of learning experiences are vital in higher education and this means that I try to encourage and support students to learn in diverse and transformative ways: for example, learning actively through collaborative exploration and discussion with their peers and with others (including professionals from practices/organisations as well as the general public); challenging and questioning existing approaches and assumptions; critically reflecting on their learning experiences etc. I believe this can facilitate a deep understanding of the urban environment with all of its political and socio-economic complexities, in order to intervene in its design. It also provides an appropriate learning environment for students from diverse backgrounds and cultural contexts, allowing them to share, and build on, their own academic, professional and lived experiences.
Apart from contributing to teaching across the department, in 2018/19 I am leading undergraduate modules on the history and theory of architecture - Cultural Context 1 and Cultural Context 3. On the MArch programme I co-lead Studio 4 ‘Re-thinking the CLUB: exploring Community Led Urban Block in Sheffield’ with Dr Cristina Cerulli (in collaboration with Sheffield CLT), and Atelier 3 ‘design / infrastructures / inclusion’ with Dr Sam Vardy (in collaboration with Foodhall Project).
As part of ASF-UK, I contribute to the independent learning programme Challenging Practice which provides continuous professional development courses seeking to enable built environment professionals to engage reflexively and ethically with the challenges of socially engaged architecture/urban practice.
My research is broadly focused on urban challenges and is inherently interdisciplinary and boundary-crossing. The main themes of my research could be defined as urban inclusion and diversity (particularly in relation to public space and housing) and socially-engaged design practice and education.
I am a doctoral researcher in the Department of Landscape, the University of Sheffield, where I am a member of the Transnational Urban Outdoors (TUO) research group. The focus of our research is on addressing issues of ethnic and cultural diversity in urban places.
Recently I have been involved in the DESINC Erasmus+ project looking into practices and pedagogies for designing inclusion. This is a collaboration between 3 schools of architecture (University of Sheffield, Milan Polytechnic and KU Leuven) and 2 international organisations (Housing Europe and ASF International).
Part of my research work is also related to an on-going initiative, Cities, Languages & Autonomies, which I co-founded with Professor Terry Lamb (University of Westminster) in 2013. It explores the intersections between urban spaces and interlingualism and involves reconceptualising autonomy as a collective and activist construct.
Previously, while working with Shelter Centre (University of Cambridge), I was involved in a research project on the shelter needs of displaced populations and contributed to the seminal publication of guidelines for specialists working in humanitarian relief ‘Transitional Settlement: Displaced Populations’.
Rishbeth, C., Ganji, F., & Vodicka, G. (2018). Ethnographic understandings of ethnically diverse neighbourhoods to inform urban design practice. Local Environment, 23 (1), 36-53. http://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2017.1385000
Lamb, T., & Vodicka, G. (2017). Collective autonomy and multilingual spaces in super-diverse urban contexts. In Murray, G., & Lamb, T. (Eds.) Space, place and autonomy in language learning. (pp. 9-28). Abingdon, England: Routledge: https://www.routledge.com/Space-Place-and-Autonomy-in-Language-Learning-1st-Edition/Murray-Lamb/p/book/9781138656727
FRSA - Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
AFHEA - Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Associate of Architecture Sans Frontières-UK (ASF-UK)
Member of editorial team for The Journal of Public Space
Member of Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA)