I joined Sheffield Hallam University in 2018 as a Lecturer in Architecture. I lead the second year of the BSc Architecture course and teach design studios and the history and theory of architecture across undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have been an active architectural 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 environments 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 am part of an alternative development agency (SKINN) as well as an experimental urban practice (Sheffield Dream City). Currently I am also 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.
Over the years my work has been funded by: ESRC, British Council, Newton Fund, HERA, Erasmus+, European Cultural Foundation, Leonardo Da Vinci Programme, European Urban Research Association, Department for International Development, Norwegian People’s Aid, Austrian Development Agency, The University of Sheffield (PhD Faculty Scholarship, Research Exchange for the Social Sciences, Festival of the Mind, Arts and Humanities Knowledge Exchange and Impact), University of Westminster (Sustainable Cities and the Urban Environment Research Community), Sheffield Hallam University (Staff Student Research Project, Research Support Fund).
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.
Between 2014 and 2019 I taught at the University of Sheffield in both the Department of Landscape Architecture and Sheffield School of Architecture where I was a key member of the MA in Urban Design teaching team. Here at Hallam I am leading the undergraduate modules Cultural Context 1, Cultural Context 2 and Design Studio 2. In 2018/19, on the MArch programme, I co-led 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 my work with ASF-UK, I am project manager of the RIBA-accredited learning programme Challenging Practice. This programme 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 socially-engaged design practice and education.
My doctoral thesis ‘Everyday public spaces in an ethnically diverse neighbourhood: contextualised convivialities and boundary-crossing urban design’ was completed in 2018 at the University of Sheffield and focused on exploring intercultural sociability in everyday public spaces through engaged socio-spatial enquiry.
In 2019/20 I was a Research Fellow in the School of Architecture and Cities at the University of Westminster on the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) funded project ‘Festival, events and inclusive public space in Europe’. The project includes five research teams each focusing on events and spaces in their own city (London, Dublin, Gothenburg, Barcelona and Glasgow). 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.
I was also involved in the DESINC project looking into practices and pedagogies for designing inclusion. This was a collaboration between three schools of architecture (University of Sheffield, Milan Polytechnic and KU Leuven) and two international organisations (Housing Europe and ASF International).
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. (2017). 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
Vodicka, G. (2018). Over-Researched Places: two perspectives from different contexts. In Royal Geographical Society (RGS) Annual International Conference, Cardiff, UK, 28 August 2018 - 2018.
Lamb, T., & Vodicka, G. (2017). Resisting the monolingual hegemony in super-diverse urban contexts: Collective autonomy and interlingual spaces. In 18th AILA World Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 23 July 2017 - 28 July 2017.
Rabodzeenko, I., & Vodicka, G. (2015). Questioning citizen-led urban development in the UK: Sheffield case study. In Transforming Cities: Transformative Cities - European Urban Research Association (EURA), Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu, Romania, 17 September 2015 - 20 September 2015.
Horvat, V., & Vodicka, G. (2020). Something Former. In Baker, E.-.R., & Crawley Jackson, A. (Eds.) Invisible Wounds: Negotiating Post-traumatic Landscapes. (pp. 85-92). Sheffield, UK: University of Sheffield
Vodicka, G. (2018). Voices in my research. In Orlek, J. (Ed.) Multivoices A Script by Researchers. Spirit Duplicator
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
Smith, A., & Vodicka, G. (2020). Events in London's parks: the friends' perspective. London: Festspace. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3878727
Rishbeth, C., Vodicka, G., & Farnaz, G. (2016). Design for Diversity: Intercultural Outdoor Places. Sheffield: University of Sheffield. https://issuu.com/tuo13tuo/docs/design_for_diversity_single_pages
Smith, A., & Vodicka, G. (2020). Festivals and events in London’s parks. http://festspace.net/festivals-and-events-in-londons-parks/
Casini, L., De Carli, B., & Vodicka, G. (2015). Exploring Neepsend. Open Your Space: Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB), China.
Vodicka, G., Rabodzeenko, I., & Porohina, J. (2013). Car + Park, RIBA Forgotten Spaces Preston Shortlist exhibition. [Design Competition]. RIBA North West, Preston, UK.
Orlek, J., & Vodicka, G. (2019). P.S. A Postscript Before Concluding, From Brooklyn Works to Brooklynism exhibition. [Film]. Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield, UK.
Vodicka, G., Rabodzeenko, I., & Porohina, J. (2013). Rethinking Urbanity - Vacancy Budapest, Wonderlab 24 Hour City: All Inclusive. [Design Competition]. Architekturzentrum Wien, Vienna, Austria.
Smith, A., & Vodicka, G. (2019). Mapping Finsbury Park, Citizen Sci-Fi Future Fair. [Participatory Map]. Furtherfield Commons, London, UK.
Vodicka, G., & Guillard, S. (2019). FESTSPACE: Festivals, events and inclusive public space. Presented at: HERA JRP Uses of the Past & Public Spaces Conference, European Solidarity Centre, Gdansk, Poland, 2019
Ganji, F., & Vodicka, G. (2015). Transnational Urban Outdoors: focus on everyday public spaces in two northern cities. Presented at: RGS-IBG Postgraduate Conference, University of Sheffield, UK, 2015
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
- Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
- Associate of Architecture Sans Frontières-UK (ASF-UK)
- Member of Urban Design Group (UDG)
- Member of Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA)