First year architectural students from Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment have been participating in a design charette to win a work experience day with multi-disciplinary practice, rg+p.
Held as part of the university’s ‘Welcome Week’ (24th – 28th September), the design charette challenged the students to devise as many creative designs as possible in two days, with the theme of changing the user experience of one of Nottingham’s most prominent public spaces. In keeping with the tradition of a charrette, the challenge was not announced until the day of the competition.
Split into groups, the students were tasked with producing a video, physical model and poster to showcase their ideas for improving either Lace Market Square, Trinity Square or the university’s Arkwright Quad. 95 students participated, with rg+p’s director, James Badley; architectural assistant, Jack Whitehead and personnel assistant, Natasha Rimmington acting as judges alongside NTU’s head of architecture, Gavin Richards.
Jack, a graduate of NTU, commented:
“We were extremely impressed with the ideas the groups developed, each one was imaginative and well thought out. The winning design, ‘Quad Pods’, involved the installation of a range of static and hanging pod spaces for students to study independently or socialise in small groups in NTU’s Arkwright Quad. We admired how this group had integrated the pods into the existing environment and specified sustainable materials for their construction.”
The winning students: Deenesh Gungaphul; Joshua Trainor; Samuel Underwood; Sousata Vanna; Monica White and Natalia Wojtasik will spend a day in rg+p’s Leicester office, where they will work alongside the practice’s architectural teams on a live project, including a site visit to Short Hill, Nottingham, one of the practice’s latest PRS schemes.
Lois Woods, architecture course leader, NTU said:
“The design charrette gave the students a taster of the course and helped them explore the communication skills necessary to sell a design idea. The ideas produced in two days were excellent, and all our judges were really impressed with the outputs. It was fantastic to have rg+p’s support for the event and for them to offer such a great prize.”
James Badley, rg+p’s director added:
“Partnering with leading higher educational establishments like NTU is really important. It gives the next generation of architectural trainees opportunities to learn more about the industry as well as experiencing a working practice. We’re excited to have forged such a positive relationship with NTU and are already discussing future collaborative projects such as mentoring, guest lecturing and graduate placements.”