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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Sheffield Modern

Sheffield Modern is an arts festival inspired by the city's architecture, taking place for the second time on 22-24 November 2019.

Sheffield's experiments in modern architecture have played a significant role in defining not just the skyline but also the character and culture of the city. Looking at the past and present of the city's design and developments, the second Sheffield Modern weekender aims to get people thinking about the shape of the city in new ways – through exhibitions, talks, walks, family-focussed workshops, installations, and film screenings. This year's programme is themed around two strands:

Social Housing at 100 – looking at questions around housing today, one hundred years on from the Housing Act (also known as the Addison Act), which paved the way for large-scale council housing developments.

Return to the Workshop – taking its name and inspiration from the teachings of the hugely influential Bauhaus art school, founded in Germany one hundred years ago. The school's manifesto called for artists to bring the spirit of architecture into other art forms, unite disciplines, and "return to the workshop" in order to become "a world that builds".

See below for the full programme.

Giant Dolls' House Project: At Home in Sheffield

Multiple dates

Join in a collaborative art project led by architect Catja de Haas, creating a community of dolls' houses made out of shoeboxes. Contribute to the installation at one of two workshops, followed by a storytelling session with Nana-Essi Casely-Hayford.

Sounds of the Estates

Fri. 22 November 2019

Site Gallery

At this panel discussion, speakers from Sheffield's music community will look at the role of social housing estates in the local music scene, particularly in the 1990s. Speakers include Winston Hazel and Amy Carter, with moderator Auriel Majumdar.

Modern Living

Multiple dates

Department of Art and Design, Sheffield Hallam University, Head Post Office Building, Fitzalan Square, S1 2AY

Graphic designers and illustrators from Sheffield Hallam Uni explore the past, present and future of social housing – delving into archives, remembering their experiences growing up in council properties, and responding to the current housing crisis.

Sheffield Drift: Social Housing History

Sat. 23 November 2019

Meet at Sheffield Station/Sheffield Hallam University tram stop, Sheffield Station, S1 2BP

Join history enthusiast Mick Nott for an urban walk passing a number of examples of council and social housing from the 1920s to the present day. You're welcome to listen, and to contribute, to the telling of a history about Sheffield social housing.

Photographing Gleadless Valley

Sat. 23 November 2019

Holy Cross Church, Gleadless Valley, Spotswood Mount, S14 1LG

Earlier this month photographer Stephen Marland and local history enthusiast Mick Nott led a free Photo Walk in Gleadless Valley. See the results from the Photo Walk in this exhibition at the estate's awe-inspiring 1960s hill-top church.

Bauhaus Ball

Sat. 23 November 2019

Sidney + Matilda

It may have been one of the world's most famous art and design schools, but the Bauhaus wasn't all about learning. It also knew how to party! Join GRL. DJs for a night of dancing inspired by the Bauhaus art school's legendary fancy-dress parties.

Forgotten Bauhaus Women

Sat. 23 November 2019

Sidney + Matilda

When people think of the Bauhaus they often think of names like Gropius, Klee and Kandinsky. What about the women students, why did they become overshadowed? Design enthusiast Lauren Rickards gives an informal talk on four forgotten Bauhaus women.

Fantastical Cities

Sat. 23 November 2019

Yorkshire Artspace

Construct a fantasy cityscape from cardboard and Lego at this drop-in workshop, designed to inspire the architects of the future.

Talking Buildings

Sat. 23 November 2019

Site Gallery

Join artists Peter Martin and Jon Cannon to bring Sheffield landmarks to life at this drop-in workshop for kids and young people. You'll turn buildings into animated characters through collage, green screen visual effects, and voiceover recording.

Concrete Crafts with Bright Box

Sat. 23 November 2019

Yorkshire Artspace

Bright Box Makerspace create playful spaces to explore tech, engineering and arts. Join Kisha Bradley at this drop-in workshop to get hands-on with concrete – an essential material in Bauhaus architecture. Suitable for ages 8+.

Bauhaus Bags with Craft Lab

Sat. 23 November 2019

Yorkshire Artspace

Based on Bauhaus principles of colour theory, you will be playing with colours, shapes and composition to block print tote bags at this drop-in workshop.

Standing at the Sky's Edge: Stories Behind the Park Hill Musical

Sat. 23 November 2019

Crucible Theatre

The Park Hill-set musical Standing at the Sky's Edge made its sell-out debut at the Crucible Theatre in March. Seven months on, join Chris Bush as she shares her experience of researching and writing a musical spanning three generations of Park Hill.

Gleadless Valley Estate Walk

Sun. 24 November 2019

Meet at Herdings Park tram stop, S14 1BF

A guided 2-mile walk explaining why Gleadless Valley deserves more appreciation as first-rate council housing in an exceptional setting amongst ancient woodland, and why municipal housing should be seen as an essential part of national housing stock.

Gleadless Valley Nature Walk

Sun. 24 November 2019

Meet at Herdings Park tram stop, S14 1BF

The setting of the Gleadless Valley estate within and around ancient woodlands and farmlands is probably unique in the UK. Join the local Wildlife Trust for a 2-mile walk, finding evidence of past industries and learning about its plant and wildlife.

Sonic Intrigues

Sat. 23 November 2019 — Sun. 24 November 2019

David Mellor Design Museum

A sound installation in David Mellor’s cutlery workshop in Hathersage, created by sound art collective SONA. Inspired by and experimenting with sounds from the factory floor and stages of the assembly cycle – stamping, filing, grinding, polishing.

Estate, A Reverie

Sun. 24 November 2019

The Void, Floor 1, Owen Building, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, S1 1WB

A film by Andrea Luka Zimmerman, celebrating her community’s resilience in the face of the impending demolition of their east London estate. Interweaving portraits, re-enactments, and architectural studies. With introductory talk from Owen Hatherley.

Peter Barber: 100 Mile City and Other Stories

Fri. 22 November 2019 — Fri. 20 December 2019

Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery

An exhibition by acclaimed British architect Peter Barber, who has dedicated much of his working life to designing social housing. Exploring issues presented by the housing crisis, and the role architecture might play in creating a more humane city.