Architectural Design students work on project for award winning architectural practice Hawkins\Brown

Students from across the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment have recently taken part in a four-week creative project set by internationally renowned architectural practice Hawkins\Brown.

Students from across the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University have recently taken part in a four-week creative project set by internationally renowned architectural practice Hawkins\Brown.

The extra-curricular project was briefed to both undergraduate and postgraduate students by Hawkins\Brown Architect and Partner Harbinder Birdi in February, with a delivery date of late March. Over 20 students from BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and DesignMA Interior Architecture and Design and MArch Architecture elected to participate and were placed into groups to undertake the project.

The brief set students the challenge of proposing a design for the refurbishment of the existing Hyson Green library building, to provide artist studios for Nottingham’s New Art Exchange. The building, an old Victorian school house, has a rich heritage and is an important feature in the local community.

The project provided students the opportunity to be creative in a live-project context, and work collaboratively, mirroring industry practice. Students presented their concepts to a panel including representatives from Hawkins\Brown and Director of Business and Development at New Art Exchange, Vivek Malhotra.

This included students studying BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design, MA Interior Architecture and Design, and MArch Architecture. Over 20 students elected to take part, and were placed into groups to undertake the project.

Each group worked collaboratively towards a proposal, which they then presented to a panel from Hawkins\Brown. Final year BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design group ‘Bridging the Gap’ was selected as the overall winner of the live brief, made up of final year BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design students Rebecca Finney, Abigail Mew and Anouska Tarleton. All three students will go on a week-long paid internship at Hawkins\Brown this summer.

Rebecca said: “The Hawkins\Brown live brief allowed me to work as part of a team and collaborate with other year groups. The creative process within the group was extremely enjoyable, as we could put our own style upon the brief and develop as a team before professionally presenting to Hawkins\Brown and a panel.”

She continued: “Presenting to a client was enjoyable and challenging, but created an opportunity to develop individually and represent NTU IAD, which was amazing. The feedback we received was positive and added to industry experience and I feel very lucky to have been a part of it.”

Harbinder Birdi, who was project architect for the RIBA award winning New Art Exchange in Hyson Green, returned to Nottingham to judge the live project. He said: "It was evident through the quality of all the presentations that the student designers had worked in collaboration to present creative and engaging proposals that responded well to the brief. They highlighted how the spaces created would respond to the needs of different artists."

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