The Media Unit is a dedicated light, environment and photography facility as well as a Technology focused learning service for the Students and Staff at the Sheffield School of Architecture. We have a dedicated space in the school which hosts cutting edge technology, equipment for students to use and a professional photo studio. We believe in offering a student led service which compliments and enhances the SSoA’s studio ethos. Our flexible spaces and willingness to work directly with students to develop a huge variety of digital content reinforces this concept.

My role as Media Unit Manager & School Learning Technologist is to first enhance the student experience with this service, and second to enhance the SSoA’s already established use of digital media and related technology in its teaching, research and wider operation, including our pioneering Digital Review and Assessment offer.

I’m proud to offer this competitive and constantly developing service to students and staff, as well as the wider university community.

Please scroll down for a snapshot of what the Media Unit has to offer.



Ralph Mackinder
Media Unit Manager & Learning Technologist

A Flexible Space

The main flexible space in the Media Unit is an informal meeting area given priority to students wanting to work on digital media focused projects. This space can also be configured for a number of other purposes; from professional sound recording, to interview backdrops and group meetings and project work.

We also use this space to host small group tutorials focusing on the extra skills Architecture students often need to complete the unique course content offered at the SSoA.  This has recently included a camera skills workshop and sessions on Premiere Pro CC basics for video editing.

The Space is regularly cleaned and tidied, with particular attention paid to keeping this space free of hazards such as trailing cables, allowing the space to be used flexibly at short notice. Please click here for a virtual tour of this space!

media unit wide
media unit pcs1

Virtual Reality Review Space

New in 2016, The Media Unit now hosts a cutting edge Virtual reality review and experience space. Based around the HTC Vive and Leap Motion platforms, students can preview their 3D software models in virtual reality. This facility is also available for virtual site visits,  allowing students to review high quality 360 video and photogrammetry environments from their study site- at their convenience.

Please visit our dedicated page on 360 and VR here to keep updated with our latest work in this developing field.

Media Production Facilities

The Media Unit supports the creation and production of a wide range of digital media projects. We have both Mac and PC professional workstations as well as  a flexible hot desk space with high resolution monitor and fast, wired internet access.  After a significant investment in 2016,  we support very complex rendering and visualisation work, and can advise on cloud-based rendering options.

 There is ample space for personal laptops and other devices, with power strips on desks for easy access to plug sockets, group work is also supported via a meeting table with access to a 58inch 4k screen.

photo studio1

Sound Recording Zone

New for the Media Unit in 2016, and in response to student feedback;  a dedicated area for sound recording, voice-overs, narration and a whole host of other sound related work. Built and maintained by the Media Unit team, this area includes a portable 4 track recorder, condenser microphone and high quality headphones. Recordings can then be reviewed and edited using the Media Unit’s in house IT, utilising Adobe Audition CC software, for which full support is offered by staff.

A perfect facility for students working on multi-media projects or exhibits where professional audio is required.

Photographic Studio

The Media Unit’s photo studio has been recently refreshed with significant investment for the new academic year.

The studio now hosts industry standard, high efficiency lighting from Dedolight, which allow users to control focus, colour temperature, and intensity from a single unit.

The studio has all the facilities needed for high quality architectural photography, including a selection of photographic paper backdrops, plan view rig, lightboxes and a Studio Camera/Tripod that can be borrowed for use in the studio.

Media Unit staff are on hand to give advice on technique, post processing and lighting, ensuring students achieve stunning results when using this facility.

audio booth