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MArch Students ‘UnEarth’ Success in International Design Competition

Anita Brindley and Lauren Francis, students on Birmingham School of Architecture and Design’s MArch Architecture programme, were recent winners at the Confluence Ideathon 2021. The international design competition received over 850 entries from 25 international institutions, and Anita and Lauren, were delighted to be awarded First Place in the Art x Environment and Sustainability category.

Headshots of Anita Brindley (left) and Lauren Francis (right)

The Confluence Ideathon 2021 is an arts hackathon that brings together the most innovative minds in the world to develop creative solutions for a world class arts facility in New Delhi, India. The focus is on finding answers to questions that impact different kinds of visitor experiences, including accessibility, inclusion, sustainability, and enjoyment in experiencing the arts.

Their proposal, entitled ‘UnEarth’, was to build a new arts centre from materials grown entirely from within 5 miles of its site in India that would showcase traditional Indian construction techniques used in innovative ways to minimise the impact on the biodiversity of the site and maximise the use of renewable technologies.

Design work by the UnEarth team

Aiming to push the boundaries of zero carbon design, the structure would take full advantage of earth’s natural resources utilising the sun for power, the air for ventilation and the physical earth for cooling.

The team proposed a design that would challenge people’s opinion of typical architecture and ask them to rethink the ways structures can be created and the ways they can interact with their environment.

Anita and Lauren commented: “We were excited to get involved with such an interesting design opportunity and to work alongside the Serendipity Arts Community. We really valued the process of designing through the phases and meeting the mentors along the way. We feel as if we have learnt a lot which we will be able to take forward in our future design work.”

You can watch a recording of the Grand Finale event which was held virtually, and see the Anita accepting their award (43.00).

Congratulations to Anita and Lauren from all at Birmingham School of Architecture and Design!


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