About Home: pop-up exhibition by PhD students Marney Walker and Jackie Leaver

About Home exhibition banner

Lab4Living postgraduate students Marney Walker and Jackie Leaver present work in progress from their ongoing PhD design projects at a pop-up exhibition in Sheffield City Centre next week.

Marney and Jackie will be sharing some of their research findings, and there will be a chance for visitors to interact with objects found in the house and reflect on their own likes and dislikes. The exhibition is hosted by Access Space at Event Central on Fargate, a vibrant cultural community hub in Sheffield’s city centre. Access Space provides a hub with a digital fabrication lab, and flexible performance and exhibition hub where research can be tested out, presented, used, and co-developed by members of the public.

Do you know what you like? – Marney Walker

Lovely Mug, Ugly Mug – Marney Walker

How much does the way things look matter to you? Marney’s research is exploring how design can support the expression of everyday aesthetic preferences in dementia. She is using visual ways to talk to people with and without dementia about what they like and why:

  • Lovely mug ugly mug uses a familiar everyday object to start the conversation
  • Colour choices provokes us to think about our personal preferences
  • Favourite spaces in the home are re-presented as models

Marney will be sharing some of her findings. There will also be a chance for you to reflect on your own likes and dislikes. Choose from a selection of mugs and colours. Is there a meaning or an association for your choices?

Marney has a combination of experience in design and occupational therapy. She specialises in advising on the design of inclusive and accessible housing. Central to her practice is investigating how the design of the environment impacts on our health and wellbeing.

>> Read more about Marney’s research: Exploring how design can support expression of everyday aesthetic preferences in dementia


From the inside out – Jackie Leaver 

Jackie Leaver Dining TableDining Table – Jackie Leaver 

Jackie’s research focusses on the small, mundane and overlooked practices and materiality of the everyday, to explore possibilities for the future home and the inevitable entanglement with broader, complex global issues. 

Extending a precedent of the artist’s house as a site for research, Jackie’s own house is the focus of the inquiry. Methods including close looking through drawing and photography are used to investigate the past and present of the domestic space, with a range of the images produced forming a key part of the exhibition.

There will be an opportunity to interact with objects found in the house during renovations to explore potential unrealised future possibilities that the past might suggest.

Jackie is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art & Design at Sheffield Hallam University, where she teaches across the MA Design programme.

>> Read more about Jackie’s research: From the inside out: Considering the future home through feminist spatial practice

About the Artists

Jackie and Marney are currently undertaking practice-based PhDs at Lab4Living as part of the 100-Year Life project funded by Research England. More information about theirs and all the PhD studies currently being undertaken in Lab4Living are on the Postgraduate page.

Exhibition details

Dates: Fri  3 to Sun 5 March 2023

Opening times:

Fri 3 March 11am to 4:30pm
Sat 4 March 11am to 4:30pm
Sun 5 March 11am to 2pm

Location :  Access Space, Event Central (next to Lush), 22-26 Fargate, Sheffield S1 2HE

Link: Access Space