My work bridges childhood studies, with a particular focus on childhood emotion, and architectural design. I aim to explore ways of supporting childhood emotional diversity through spatial agency with education practitioners and architects. I draw on sociological and geographical theories of emotion to examine how space and place enables or constrains children’s subjectivities. I have considered the role that a range of spaces play in children’s emotional lives including schools, green spaces, neighbourhoods and civic spaces.
My approach to research reflects my commitment to working in collaborative ways with children. Integral to this I use visual, material and digital research methods to engage with children’s experiences of emotion. I am particularly interested in the use of art and design practices, such as illustration and animation, in the co-production of research outputs with children. I work alongside community organisations in the production of meaningful research outputs, which benefit the lives of children and families.
My research interests build upon my background in architectural education. I joined the School of Architecture at The University of Sheffield in 2006 as a Research Associate on the Change project funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, to explore the principles and benefits of architecture and built environment-related activities with schools and youth groups. My research continued in this area through research exploring ways to involve the school community in the school design process. During this time I founded Sheffield-Now – a community interest company to creatively engage children with the built environment through research and design projects.
In my teaching, I use creative and collaborative approaches to encourage students to reflect upon, explore and discuss contemporary issues in early years and childhood studies by drawing upon their own backgrounds, perspectives and interests. My teaching approach aligns with my research interests and explores ways of incorporating place-based pedagogy within teaching practice. This is reflected in my interest in connecting teaching and learning opportunities with practice, engaging students in collaborative research projects with organisations.
PhD Education (2009-13) ‘Children, Schooling and Emotions: The Role of Emotion in Children’s Socio-Spatial Practices at School’ School of Education, The University of Sheffield
Masters of Architecture (2003-06) School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield
BA Architecture (1st Class Honours) (1999-2002) School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield
Lecturer in Early Childhood Education (2014-16), School of Education, The University of Sheffield
University Teacher (2012-14), School of Education, The University of Sheffield
Associate Lecturer (2011-12), Institute of Art and Design, Sheffield Hallam University
Founding Director (2008-10), Sheffield NOW! Community Interest Company, Sheffield
Research Associate (2008-09), School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield
Teaching and Learning Associate (2006-08), School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield
I teach across a range of areas relating to Early Years and Childhood Studies including: 1) constructions of childhood; 2) child wellbeing and development; 3) children’s identities and cultures; 4) children’s rights local and global; 5) children’s emotional geographies; 6) educational policy and practice; 7) gender and education; 8) disability and education; 9) national and international curriculum development; 10) critical psychology.
Childhood emotion; children’s emotional geographies; visual methodologies; children’s spatial agency
J. Seymour, A. Hackett, L. Procter (2016). Children's Spatialities Embodiment, Emotion and Agency. Springer.
AC. Hackett, L. Procter, R. Kummerfeld (2018). Exploring Abstract, Physical, Social and Embodied Space: developing an approach for analysing museum spaces for young children. Children's Geographies. pp.1-14.
LH. Procter, A. Hackett (2017). Playing with Place in Early Childhood: An analysis of dark emotion and materiality in children’s play. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. 18(2), pp.213-226.
J. Slater, C. Jones, LH. Procter (2017). Troubling School Toilets: Resisting discourses of 'development' through a critical disability studies and critical psychology lens. Discourse : Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. pp.1-12.
J. Slater, C. Jones, L. Procter (2016). School toilets: queer, disabled bodies and gendered lessons of embodiment. Gender and Education.
D. Yamada-Rice, E. Stirling, L. Procter, M. Almansour (2015). The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods. VISUAL COMMUNICATION. 14(2), pp.243-248.
L. Procter (2013). Emotions, power and schooling: the socialisation of ‘angry boys’. Journal of Political Power. 6(3), pp.495-510.
L. Procter (2013). Exploring the role of emotional reflexivity in research with children. Emotion, Space and Society. 9(1), pp.80-88.
R. Parnell, L. Procter (2011). Flexibility and placemaking for autonomy in learning. Educational and Child Psychology. 28(1), pp.77-88.
LH. Procter (2016). Children, Nature and Emotion: Exploring How Children’s Emotional Experiences of ‘Green’ Spaces Shape Their Understandings of the Natural World. In: Children's Emotions in Policy and Practice Mapping and Making Spaces of Childhood. Springer,
LH. Procter, A. Hackett, J. Seymour (2016). Introduction: Spatial Perspectives and Childhood Studies. In: Children's Spatialities Embodiment, Emotion and Agency. Springer,
LH. Procter (2016). ‘No, You’ve Done It Once!’: Children’s Expression of Emotion and Their School-Based Place-Making Practices. In: Children's Spatialities Embodiment, Emotion and Agency. Springer,
L. Procter (2016). Exploring emotions at school with children: Reflections on the role of the visual and performative in engaging with children’s constructed and embodied meanings of emotion. In: Methodological Advances in Research on Emotion and Education. pp.259-271.
LH. Procter, A. Hatton (2015). Co-Produced Visual and Material Research: Exploring Power and Meaning Making. In: Visual Methods with Children and Young People Academics and Visual Industries in Dialogue. Springer,
Procter, L. (2016) Ethnographic Studies of Childhood, Culture, Emancipation, Media & Society Research Centre, Department of Media and Communication Studies at the Free University Brussels (Belgium)
Procter, L. (2015) “It’s like something you don’t mean to do, but a bit like your feelings controlling you”: Moving beyond “Emotional Literacy” in Early Childhood Education. A global epidemic of mental ill-health? Interdisciplinary perspectives on the educational implications of reconfiguring social, economic and human crises, University of Helsinki
Procter, L. and D. Yamada-Rice (2014) Memorialisation in a Networked Society: How is the digital shaping young children’s engagement with cities? The Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) Annual Conference, New Orleans
Procter, L. (2011) Interpreting Place: Drawing upon emotional reflexivity. Symposia on ‘Reflexivity and Fieldwork’, 2nd Nordic Urban Workshop, Stockholm University
Recent Conference Presentations
Procter, L and Hackett, A. Playing with Place, Childhood and the Anthropocene: An analysis of dark emotion and materiality in children’s play, Childhood Studies in the Anthropocene, Birmingham University, June 2017
Procter, L. , Hackett, A., and Macrae, C. “Being on the Edge of Things”: Exploring the Emotionality of Intra-Action and Young Children’s Museum Visiting, 7th Emotional Geographies Conference, California State University, June 2017
Slater, J., Jones, C., and Procter, L. School toilets: queer, disabled bodies and gendered lessons of embodiment, Gender and Education Association Conference, Middlesex University, June 2017
Procter, L. Slater, J, and Jones, C, How can a Queer/Crip New Materialism Energise Thinking about Spaces, Places and Design for Wellbeing? Healthy Spaces: space, place and design for well-being, Yorkshire Medical Society Conference, York University, May 2017
Procter, L. Slater, J, and Jones, C, How can a Queer/Crip New Materialism Energise Thinking about “Cities”?, Co-Creating Cities and Communities Summer Event, AHRC Connected Communities, Bristol, August 2017
Children and Society
Educational Philosophy and Theory
Arts, Architecture, Activism and Access: Taking Around the Toilet to New Spaces, Slater, J., Procter, L., Liddiard, K., Smith, J., Rennie, S., Nash, G., 2017, AHRC. £100,000
How do families experience museums? Hackett, A., Procter, L., and Macrae, C. 2016/17, Humber Museums Partnership, £12,000
Servicing Utopia: Critical considerations for social change through accessible design, AHRC Connected Communities Festival. Feb 2016 - July 2016, Procter, L., Slater, J., & Cuming, E. £10,000
Travelling Toilet Tales, AHRC Connected Communities Festival. Feb 2016 - July 2016, Slater, J., Procter, L., & Cuming, E. £20,000
Around the Toilet: Co-creating intersectional understandings of gender, disability and access, AHRC Connected Communities. April 2015 - January 2016, Slater, J., Procter, L. and Cuming, E. £40,000
Sounds of Childhood: Exploring young children’s sound perceptions to inform architecture and urban design. IIKE, University of Sheffield. March 2015 - May 2016. Procter, L., Kang, J. and Hackett, A. £10,000
Digital Texts and Mapmaking: Intergenerational perspectives on the changing role of the digital in the built environment. Research Stimulation Fund, University of Sheffield. April 2013 – November 2013. Yamada-Rice, D and Procter, L. £2,000
Storying School Toilets, ESRC Festival of Social Science (FoSS), 2015. Slater, J and Procter, L. £800
Imagining Sheffield: Family Walks in the City, ESRC FoSS, 2015. Procter, L. and Hackett, A. £1,200
Hide and Seek: Children as Social Scientists, ESRC FoSS, 2014. Procter, L., Wood, E. & Yamada-Rice, D. £2,000
Shaping Our World: Children, Young People and Social Science Research, ESRC FoSS, 2013, Procter, L.
Designing Schools: Participation in Practice, ESRC FoSS, 2010. James, A. & Procter, L. £1,500
The School Environment: Embracing Student’s Views, Widening Participation Development Fund, 2009. Procter, L. £2,000
A Virtual Architecture Centre for Sheffield, Knowledge Transfer Opportunities Fund, 2007 - 2008. Parnell, R. & Procter, L. £9,000
Sheffield Civic Trust (Servicing Utopia: The Toilet Toolkit)
Working alongside Sheffield Civic Trust I have developed a digital toolkit to support planners, architects and designers to critically and creatively rethink notions of access in relation to the toilet design process. The toolkit allows you to ‘walk through’ various toilet spaces in four different contexts (park; cafe; retail; city centre) and consider issues of access through the perspectives of different people. The walk-throughs are based on existing toilet spaces. The toolkit highlights both the positive and negative design features in relation to the stories of different toilet users. A ‘What If?’ section of the toolkit includes a series of toilet concepts developed by architects we have worked with or based on exemplar toilet projects from across the world.
Humber Museum Partnership (The APSE Framework)
This consultancy involved the production of a framework for Humberside Museums Trust to analyse museum spaces designed for young children and families. Museum practitioners from the Trust now use the APSE framework to review what works and what doesn’t in terms of enhancing young children and family engagement in museum spaces. The framework takes the form of a printable document, which practitioners can use to make notes onto during their museum visits based on the Abstract, Physical, Social, and Embodied dimensions of space. The framework was produced in collaboration with Humber Museums Partnership, bringing together the knowledge and expertise of academic theory and practitioner experience.
Doncaster Civic Trust (Doncaster Toolkit)
I developed this collaborative project through instigating partnerships between trust members, the local authority, community partners, local schools and arts organisations and MA students from the School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield, leading to the development of a physical, online and app-based toolkit to engage children and young people with Doncaster’s built environment. This toolkit has now been distributed to all primary and secondary schools across Doncaster.
Founder and Convenor, Children’s Spaces and Places Research Network
As convenor of this research network alongside Dr Abigail Hackett, I organise seminars that bring together academics and industry experts to consider crossovers between research and practice. In addition, network members meet to devise and develop collaborative research bids and publications. For example, we have developed interactive exhibitions foregrounding children’s experiences of space and place, arrange international events and seminars, supported research visits by leading international academics (i.e. Professor Margaret Somerville, University of Western Sydney; Jaye Johnson Thiel, University of Tennessee Knoxville), and devised panel sessions at leading conferences (i.e. International Conference of Emotional Geographies, Qualitative and Ethnographic Research Network Conference, International Conference of the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth).
Founding member, Focus Sheffield: Advanced Visual Research Training
Partnership board member, Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, University of Sheffield
Fellow of Higher Education Academy