Architecture students from East Midlands universities collaborate on Design Charrette set by RIBA and NTU, sponsored by Ibstock Brick

Architecture students from across the East Midlands came together for a one-day, intensive design brief, to design a new proposal for a Nottingham Castle development.

Students working on their designs in the Maudslay workshops
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Students working on their designs in the Maudslay workshops

On Wednesday 3 April, Architecture students from across the region came together for a one-day design competition (charrette) hosted by Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

The RIBA East Midlands Design Charrette is an annual event, supported by RIBA East Midlands with participation from five schools of architecture, which this year included: NTU, University of Nottingham, De Montfort University (DMU), University of Lincoln and Derby University, as part of the work of the RIBA East Midlands Education Group.

The charrette seeks to provide a platform for the architecture schools and their students to showcase their talent and creativity, as well as providing an opportunity to work creatively and collaboratively on a ‘live’ project in a team environment.

Students worked in mixed year and university groups on a design brief, which had been developed by NTU in collaboration with Nottingham Castle Trust (NCT), as the project site is located within the prestigious Nottingham Castle re-development. In the morning, students were welcomed to NTU and introduced to the brief by Gavin Richards (Head of Architecture) and Lois Woods (Course Leader for BArch (Hons) Architecture).

We chatted to second year BArch (Hons) Architecture student Isaac Moody, to hear about his views on the design day: “Today has been great, it was really interesting to realise a design concept in such a rapid and time-constrained environment. We were really pushed to be creative and think of something quite playful, which still kept to the original concepts of the site.”

As well as visiting the Castle site, the students spent the afternoon in the studio working on their designs, producing models and drawings before presentations were delivered that afternoon.

We also caught up with Elizabeth Macgregor, a final year BArch (Hons) Architecture student who told us more about the design process: “It’s really nice to get stuck in with students from different universities throughout this type of design process. It’s been a very intense day; four hours to design a whole scheme! But it’s also been a very rewarding outcome and I have learnt so much about collaborative design.”

The winning team with their project 'Kinematic Forest' (team 6)
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The winning team with their project 'Kinematic Forest' (team 6)

A judging panel including Education Group Chair, Richard Crowson of Watson Batty Architects, and Head of School at NTU, Gavin Richards, chose Team 6 as the winning team. This team consisted of Paulina Owczarek (DMU), Tim Hayward-Browne (NTU), Marta Goudino (University of Derby), Paulina Bolcun (University of Lincoln),  and Antoni Nedelchev (University of Nottingham).

After the event, we spoke to Lois Woods, Course Leader for BArch (Hons) Architecture to hear more about the Charrette: “As hosts of the second RIBA East Midlands Design Charrette, NTU wanted to provide students, from across the Midlands, the opportunity to work together collaboratively and envisage new architectural spaces through physical model making. It was great to have the NCT on board, who kindly offered us access to their site at the Castle.”

Lois told us more: “The day was a huge success in what was a very fast-paced competition. All teams worked very hard and did really well to come up with some very exciting designs, particularly the “brilliantly bonkers” (Heather Mayfield, NCT) winning project. We can’t wait to host the event in a future year once again!”

Architecture students from East Midlands universities collaborate on Design Charrette set by RIBA and NTU, sponsored by Ibstock Brick

Published on 8 April 2019
  • Subject area: Architecture and civil engineering
  • Category: Culture; Current students; Research; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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