Dr Julia Udall

Dr Julia Udall M.Arch (Hons.), PhD.

Senior Lecturer in Architecture


Summary

My research is characterised by transdisciplinary working to address important societal and ecological challenges, exploring critical design pedagogies, artistic spatial practices, and urban commoning. I understand the eco-social both as an area of investigation and methodological approach, that is collaborative, exploratory, rigorous, and situated, with a strong feminist ethical underpinning. Over the past 15 years, I have worked with intercultural competence to develop infrastructures, relationships and pedagogical tools that operate at the highest levels, to enable academics to come together with civic, cultural and community actors and institutions both locally and globally, to have impact that matters. My recent publications explore urban commoning in relation to micropolitics, economies, cultures and learning; the spatialities of repair produced by networks of Little Mesters and engaged architectural pedagogies. I am a director of architectural collective Studio Polpo, who designed a room ‘The High Street of Exchanges’ at the 2021 British Pavilion ‘The Garden of Privatised Delights’.

About

I am a Senior Lecturer in Architecture and have taught primarily at postgraduate level for 17 years. I lead the pan-European Life-centering Cultural HEritage Network (LICHEN), which mobilises innovative art and design approaches, and transdisciplinary participatory methods, to support communities to reconnect with nature through care for their cultural landscape and local economies.

I have a PhD in Architecture from The University of Sheffield (Full Faculty Scholarship) ‘Tools to Create Agency at Portland Works, the Craft of Commoning’ completed in 2016. This was activist design-research into how, in the context of gentrification and loss of affordable space for small-scale industry and making in UK cities, communities can come together to safeguard their spaces in ways that are just, equitable and resilient.

In exploring the case of Portland Works, I proposed that through the co-design of a number of tools, social, political, democratic and pedagogical agencies can be achieved that can support common ownership, and the sharing and development of such resources. I initiated the campaign to save the birthplace of stainless steel from speculative redevelopment, which resulted in the purchase by over 500 shareholders, to retain it as a place of making. As an active member of group from 2009, I helped to lead the process of setting up an Industrial and Provident Society, leading the process of writing the business plan and forming the governance structure, and in the subsequent development for community benefit. I developed a number of business skills during this period, including around how successful organisations operate.

I was the Postdoctoral Research Associate on the AHRC Connected Communities large grant project, ‘Stories of Change’, which investigated energy and industry, past, present and future, working across a number of factory sites in the Don and Derwent Valleys. Using scenario making and storytelling this project sought to engage communities to support agency in relation to energy transitions. I trained as an architect in the UK at the Mackintosh School of Architecture (B.Arch) and Sheffield School of Architecture (M.Arch hons), and I have worked in architectural practice for 20 years in Sheffield and London. I am a director of social enterprise architectural collective, Studio Polpo since 2008.

I am a fellow of the Future Architecture Platform (2021), for the collaborative project, Sonic Acts of Noticing, a prototype of a pedagogical tool to explore listening as critical spatial practice. This project explores how such practice might alter subjectivities and produce space in ways that emphasise care, and shared learning as crucial for collaborative survival.

Teaching

College of Social Sciences and Arts

I have led year Four M.Arch since, I joined Sheffield Hallam University in 2017. I lead third year undergraduate History and Theory of Architecture and Design Studio Four “Co-Dreaming Climates’, and teach History, Theory and Architectural Practice modules at M.Arch level, (Praxis 1 + 2 and Critical Study ‘Vibrant Territories’ ) My approach to teaching and research is collaborative and transdisciplinary. Much of my teaching is engaged, working with communities, industry and practice to understand pressing concerns and build the skills and knowledge required to address them. With the right framework established for teaching and assessment this can enable critical and original outcomes.

Since joining SHU, I have designed and led exciting and rich Year Four M.Arch studio programmes, with strong multidisciplinary professional, civic, and academic partnerships. Their thematic development responds to global issues within architectural practice, research, and education. These are Co-Dreaming Climates (2021-23), Spaces of Learning (2020-21), Caring-with (2019-20), economy/ ecology/ solidarity (2018-19) and Design as Distributed Agency (2017-18). These studios included a year-long studio residency at the Old School in Tinsley, a student exhibition and public reviews at Patrick Street Gallery in Leeds, and a workshop hosted by New School for Space with partners in London, Berlin, and Chicago.

I am PI of cross-disciplinary research led Teaching and Learning Enhancement project Snorkelling in Soil which received college-level funding to bring together academics and students from Architecture in their M.Arch programme, with Bioscience, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, to explore the soil at Langsett Lab. This teaching programme and citizen-science research project was developed in relation to the imperatives outlined in the RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide, and core university objectives around research-informed teaching.

As a teacher I recognise the value that each student brings to the institution and seek to draw out and support their curiosity and interests to establish environments for mutual and peer learning. Academic study offers the opportunity to explore new ideas and interrogate and expand meanings, values and understandings; this should be situated, and developed with an ethics of care as well as intellectual rigour.

Research

My research considers how a more diverse group can gain agency to transform the spaces and places that they care about, from the scale of a tool to a building, to the city, through to radical system change. In order to support such investigations, the topics and methods I explore include architectural and urban activism; scenario building; participatory and critical spatial practices; diverse economies; commoning; tools, industry, making and craftsmanship; design research; and architectural pedagogy.

I lead the pan-European Life-centering Cultural HEritage Network (LICHEN), which mobilises innovative art and design approaches, and transdisciplinary participatory methods, to support communities to reconnect with nature through care for their cultural landscape and local economies. LICHEN brings together nine pioneering trial sites, in line with the principles of the New European Bauhaus, as immersive and inclusive open-air innovation laboratories. Each site brings together multisectoral stakeholders in the co-creation of regenerative practices that prioritise biodiversity, health and wellbeing and the quality of human and non-human relationships in cultural landscapes. Taking a feminist posthumanist approach, the overarching objective is to redirect power relations away from extractivist approaches that exploit local communities and natural environments, underscoring the importance of producing and preserving landscapes of ecological and social diversity for the benefit of everyone—both in the present and for future generations. Our approach stresses community as a multispecies endeavour; this is a recognition that all life forms are intertwined and co-constitutive in complex ways.

Publications

Journal articles

Udall, J. (2024). Co-dreaming Climates: Public Space for More-Than-Human Socialities. City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 1-14. http://doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2024.2352135

Udall, J., Shaw, B., Payne, T., Gilmore, J., & Bushaj, Z. (2021). An unfinished lexicon for autonomous publishing. Ephemera: theory and politics in organization, 21 (4).

Udall, J. (2019). Mending the commons with the ‘Little Mesters’. Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization, 19 (2).

Smith, J., Butler, R., Day, R., Fyfe, H., Goodbody, A., Llewellyn, D., ... Whyte, N. (2017). Gathering around stories: Interdisciplinary experiments in support of energy system transitions. Energy Research & Social Science, 31, 284-294. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2017.06.026

Udall, J., Forrest, D., & Stewart, K. (2014). Locating and building knowledges outside of the academy : approaches to engaged teaching at the University of Sheffield. Teaching in Higher Education, 20 (2), 158-170. http://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2014.966237

Udall, J.M., & Holder, A.M. (2014). The ‘Diverse Economies’ of Participation. Footprint, 13, 63-80. http://doi.org/10.7480/footprint.7.2.770

Vardy, S., & Udall, J. (n.d.). Spaces of Learning. .

Udall, J. (n.d.). EPHEMERA,‘Repair Matters’ Mending the commons with the ‘Little Mesters’. .

Conference papers

Udall, J. (2022). Co-dreaming Climates: Publics and Planetarity. In Radical Entanglements: Architectures, Societies, Enviornments, Politics'. Radical Architecural Practice for Sustainability Second INternational Conference, Eindhoven, 10 November 2022 - 11 February 2023. Radical Architecural Practice for Sustainability

Udall, J. (2022). Co-Dreaming Climates: Landscapes of Public Participation, Keynote. In Equali(city): Collective Co-Existence, Manchester School of Architecture Manchester Metropolitan University The University of Manchester, 7 June 2022.

Vardy, S., Udall, J., Vodicka, G., & McCloskey, P. (2019). Constituent relations across the city: Three perspectives from practice. In (Im)possible Complicities, Berlin, 23 May 2019 - 24 May 2019. Tesseræ / CoCreation– EU Marie Curie Rise project: https://vimeo.com/338880369

Tyszczuk, R., & Udall, J. (2015). Future works: stories of energy, industry and resilience. Proceedings–Cross-Disciplinary Conference Sheffield (September 2015) Architecture and Resilience on the Human Scale, 353-362.

Cristina Cerulli, , & Julia Udall, (2011). Collective Production and Action: the Re-imagining Portland Works Project. In ISBE 2011 Conference - 34th ISBE Conference Sustainable Futures: Enterprising Landscapes and Communities.

Udall, J., & Orlek, D.J. (2022). AA Global Forum: Venice Biennale to LondonA tour of The Garden of Privatised Delights and panel discussion by the curators and designers of the 2021 British Pavilion. In AA Global Forum, London, 11 October 2022.

Book chapters

Udall, J., Orlek, J., & De Little, A. (2023). Sonic Acts of Noticing. In Mao, Y., van Dijck, N., & Smith, R. (Eds.) Forest, City, Body, Flow. Landscapes of Care. DPR Barcelona: https://dpr-barcelona.com/forest-body-city-flow-landscapes-of-care/

Udall, J. (2023). Ethics in Built Environment Practice(Second Edition). In Challenging Practice: Essentials for the Social Production ofHabitat. Architecture Sans Frontières UK (2022)

Udall, J., & Wakeford Holder, A. (2023). Placemaking and the civic university: interface sites as spaces of tension and translation. In Dobson, J., & Ferrari, E. (Eds.) Reframing the Civic University. An agenda for impact. (pp. 143-162). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-17686-9_8

Udall, J., Orlek, J., & De Little, A. (2023). Field Trip: Sonic Acts of Noticing x Landscape Lab. In Field Trip. (pp. 12). Foundation Press: http://balticplus.uk/field-trip-a-collective-playbook-for-making-art-in-the-outdoors-c35878/

Udall, J., & Moore, T. (2022). The Economies of Portland Works. In Handbook of Urban Commons. DPR Barcelona

Udall, J., & Moore, T. (2022). The economies of urban commons. In Akbil, E., Axinte, A., Can, E., De Carli, B., Harrison, M., de Andes, A.M., ... Petrescu, D. (Eds.) Handbook of Urban Commons. DPR Barcelona: https://dpr-barcelona.com/urban-commons-handbook/

Udall, J. (2019). Demystifying social research methods. In Demystifying Architectural Research. (pp. 43-50). RIBA Publishing

Tyszczuk, R., & Udall, J. (2018). Future Works. In Architecture and Resilience Interdisciplinary Dialogues. Routledge

Tyszczuk, R., & Udall, J. (2018). Future Works. In Architecture and Resilience. (pp. 32-48). Routledge: http://doi.org/10.4324/9781315159478-3

Vardy, S., & Udall, J. (2017). How Do We know, who knows? A history of enacting spaces of learning. In Explorations in Urban Practice. Barcelona: Dpr-barcelona

Udall, J. (2011). Opposing Practices: Making Claims to the 'Works' in a post-industrial northern English city. In Trans-Local-Act: Cultural Practices Within and Accross. aaa-PEPRAV

Books

Dobson, J., & Ferrari, E. (Eds.). (2023). Reframing the civic university: an agenda for impact. Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-17686-9

Cerulli, C., & Udall, J. (2011). Re-imagining Portland Works. Antenna Press.

Reports

Wakeford Holder, A., & Udall, J. (2012). Knowing Common Grounds: Architectural Research Methods. https://issuu.com/anna.m.holder/docs/common_grounds

Internet Publications

Payne, T., & Spencer, J. (2022). ark-sheffield. https://www.ark-sheffield.org/

Smith, J., Renata, T., Brandon, S., Spencer, J., Rohse, M., & Lewis, K. (2017). Stories of Change: Exploring the Past, Present and Future of Energy. https://storiesofchange.ac.uk/

Smith, J., Renata, T., Brandon, S., Spencer, J., Rohse, M., & Lewis, K. (2017). Stories of Change: Exploring the Past, Present and Future of Energy. https://storiesofchange.ac.uk/

Smith, J., Renata, T., Brandon, S., Spencer, J., Rohse, M., & Lewis, K. (2017). Stories of Change: Exploring the Past, Present and Future of Energy. https://storiesofchange.ac.uk/

Exhibitions

Cerulli, C., Udall, J., Wakeford Holder, A., Orlek, J., & Parsons, M. (2020). The High Street of Exchanges (part of the British Pavillion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020). [Interactive installation]. Venice.

Payne, T., Udall, J., & De Little, A. (2023). Comes the Flood: Ark Sheffield. [Multi-media installation]. Ruskin Collection, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield Museums.

Payne, T., Udall, J., & De Little, A. (2022). Ark Sheffield: Experimental Climate Lab. The Atrium, Sheffield Hallam University.

Spencer, J., Orlek, J., & Machin, T. (2022). The High Street of Exchanges, Studio Polpo: The Venice Architecture Biennale at Sheffield Hallam University. [Installation]. Post Hall, Head Post Office, Sheffield Hallam University. https://gallery.shu.ac.uk/event/high-street-of-exchanges/

Barber, P. (2020). 100-Mile City and Other Stories. Sheffield, UK.

Barber, P. (2020). 100-Mile City and Other Stories. Sheffield, UK.

Performances

Payne, T., Udall, J., & De Little, A. (2022). Ark Sheffield (at the Crucible Theatre for Together in the City). The Crucible Theatre Live performance.

Payne, T., Udall, J., & De Little, A. (2021). Amplifying Climate Dialogues. The Performance Lab, Sheffield Hallam University

Payne, T., Udall, J., & De Little, A. (2022). Ark Sheffield at Sheffield and District African Carribean Community Association (SADACCA). SADACCA, The Wicker, Sheffield

Scafe Smith, S., Scafe Smith, A., Tolloci, G., Ortiz, C., Villamizar, N., Payne, T., ... De Little, A. (2022). Sheffield Otherwise: a poetry night (Ark Sheffield: Experimental Climate Lab). The Atrium, Sheffield Hallam University

Media

Udall, J., Orlek, J., & De Little, A. (2021). Sonic acts of noticing: Future architecture rooms. Future Architecture Platform

British Council, (2021). High street of exchanges: call to action. [Video]. British Council: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTXBga-SIBs

British Council, (2021). High street of exchanges: call to action. [Video]. British Council: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTXBga-SIBs

Presentations

Udall, J. (2022). Co-Dreaming Climates: Pedagogical Tools to Support Sonic Practices for More than Human Societies, Plenary Session. Presented at: AHRA International Conference, Climate Collectivism, Pratt Institute New York

Udall, J. (2022). Co-Dreaming Climates: Public Space and Planetarity. Presented at: Architecture, the Urban, and the Politics of Public Space, The Univerisity of York

Udall, J. (2021). Sonic Acts of Noticing: If These Walls Could Talk. Presented at: If These Walls Could Talk, Belgrade Cultural Centre

Software / Code

Spencer, J., Orlek, J., & De Little, A. (2021). Sonic acts of noticing. Sheffield Hallam University. https://sonicactsofnoticing.org/

Other publications

Dobson, J., Udall, J., Archer, B., & Cerulli, C. (2024). A sustainable future for local high streets. UK Parliament: https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/128930/pdf/

Orlek, J., Udall, J., & Dobson, J. (2022). High Streets Network. Sheffield Hallam University: https://highstreets.network/

(2022). High street exchange(s) : essays, ideas and artworks on the future of the high street. Sheffield Hallam University

(2022). High street exchange(s) : essays, ideas and artworks on the future of the high street. Sheffield Hallam University

(2022). High street exchange(s) : essays, ideas and artworks on the future of the high street. Sheffield Hallam University

Udall, J. (2022). Ethics in built environment practice. Architecture Sans Frontieres: https://issuu.com/asf-uk/docs/cp_handbook_complete_july28?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=www.asf-uk.org

Scafe Smith, A., Scafe Smith, S., Ortiz, C., Villamizar, N., Tolloci, G., Payne, T., ... Udall, J. (2022). Sheffield Otherwise: Final Presentations & Celebrations (Ark Sheffield: Experimental Climate Lab). RESOLVE Collective

Payne, T., Udall, J., & De Little, A. (2022). Ark Sheffield: Experimental Climate Lab (audio workshop). Future Now Festival

Payne, T., Scafe Smith, S., Scafe Smith, A., Udall, J., & De Little, A. (2022). Ark Sheffield: Experimental Climate Lab (ark building workshop). Future Now Festival

Scafe Smith, S., & Scafe Smith, A. (2022). Sheffield Otherwise: Reflections on Local (Ark Sheffield: Experimental Climate Lab). RESOLVE Collective

Udall, J., Vardy, S., Vodicka, G., & Cerulli, C. (2021). Researching in the city zine. AHRA: https://issuu.com/shu_architecture/docs/ahra_researching_in_the_city_zine_1_

Udall, J., Vardy, S., Vodicka, G., & Cerulli, C. (2021). Researching in the city zine. AHRA: https://issuu.com/shu_architecture/docs/ahra_researching_in_the_city_zine_1_

Udall, J., Vardy, S., Vodicka, G., & Cerulli, C. (2021). Researching in the city zine. AHRA: https://issuu.com/shu_architecture/docs/ahra_researching_in_the_city_zine_1_

(2019). Housing Imaginations. Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery: https://issuu.com/shu_architecture/docs/exhibition_newspaperforprint

(2019). Housing Imaginations. Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery: https://issuu.com/shu_architecture/docs/exhibition_newspaperforprint

(2019). Housing Imaginations. Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery: https://issuu.com/shu_architecture/docs/exhibition_newspaperforprint

Udall, J. (2015). Tools to create agency at Portland Works: The Craft of Commoning. University of Sheffield

Udall, J. (2007). Architecture by Other Means: Instances of Representation and Participation. University of Sheffield, School of Architecture

Other activities

External Engagement 

Together with Dr Tom Payne and Dr Alex De Little, I developed a feminist and performative approach to polyvocal public conversation around climate justice, through Amplifying Climate Dialogues and ark-Sheffield. ark-Sheffield included an extensive programme of research and public engagement around climate justice. An inter-cultural project, situated at the intersection of critical spatial practice and performance, ark brings people together to explore the impacts of climate crisis as part of the mess of everyday life. This project has an extensive number of nationally and internationally recognised arts, and community partners, including Sheffield Theatres, Museums Sheffield, City of Sanctuary, Open Kitchen, Blend Kitchen, Peak District Mosaic, Foodhall, South Yorkshire Climate Education, Sheffield and District African and Caribbean Association (SADACCA), Heeley City Farm, Migration Matters, and University College London, The initial period of ark activity culminated in a performance and exhibition at the world- renowned Crucible Theatre to an audience of over 400 people, as part of Together in the City Festival, and exhibitions at Millennium Galleries, ‘Together in the City’, the ‘Festival of Social Sciences’, ‘Future Now’ and ‘Being Human’.

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise Doctoral Students around themes of eco-social architectures, commoning, design pedagogies, the civic university, and critical spatial practice. I welcome applications around these themes. I have acted as External Examiner and Internal Examiner for doctoral students, in both the UK and Europe.  

Sheffield Hallam University
Director of Studies

Catalina Ionita, Sheffield Hallam GTA: 'East Street Arts as Urban Activator', completion due July 2024 

Second Supervisor,

Jackie Leaver: In Conversation: developing a dialogue between the past, present and future home, completion due January 2027

Matthew Guest: Exploring Civic Leadership characteristics within Higher Education Institutions, National Civic Impact Accelerator, completion due September 2030 

External

Erika Conchis, Co-creative Mapping for Urban Health, Leverhulme Centre for Cities, Manchester Metropolitan University, completion due April 2025

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