Live Difference

Year | 2013
LocationSheffield & Leeds
Client | Live Difference Research Group & Together For Peace

We live in increasingly multicultural societies; however, this does not necessarily mean that they are integrated societies. This Live Project has brought together an international team, who, for six weeks, has collectively carried out a series of spatial experiments aimed at bringing people of difference together in conversation and interaction.

These experiments focused on transforming existing spaces where people of difference might encounter one another into spaces of positive interaction, first through static interventions and later through architectural games and group discussions.

The initial brief was to translate the client’s research into a series of spatial experiments and to produce a report on the findings. This was expanded on by the Live Project team to include encouraging the active creation and adaptation of space through workshops at public events, schools and youth groups.

To facilitate the team’s engagement with communities, a kit of parts combined with a spatial game was developed. Participants were able to experiment hands-on with the creation of space, discuss ideas and share values. The team was able to record and analyse the participants’ production and use of space and how this affected their interactions with each other. The space around an activity and its affect on the success of the interaction between participants was also analysed.

In addition to work carried out within communities, the team capitalised upon its own diverse make-up, using themselves as a study where people of difference come together around a shared task. This further informed the development of the project and will continue to inform the client’s research through handing over reflective diaries.

Ideas developed from the team’s research fed into a body of work, including a short film, produced to aid the client’s research into the characteristics of spaces where meaningful contact can occur. In addition to this, the Kit of Parts and Spatial Game was developed further at the request of Together for Peace so that it may be retained as a tool to be used by a range of third sector charities at future events.


  • Credits.

    School of Architecture.
    Wei Ranran
    Lin Yiye
    Li Xiaolong
    Yuan Yaqi
    Wang Pengrong
    Jess Haigh
    Tom Bellfield
    Akin Lisk-Carew
    Sarah Hussain
    Giulia Torino
    Lorna Watmore
    Mike Pirrie
  • Coordination.
    Dr Tatjana Schneider
    Dr Florian Kossak