TV architect George Clarke joined the panel of judges for this year’s ‘MOBIE Campus Design Challenge’ to inspire the next generation of home designers, engineers and innovators.
The presenter of Channel 4 programmes Restoration Man, George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and Old House New Home, was at Teesside University, Middlesbrough to hear presentations from the winners of a nationwide challenge, created by leading Built Environment education consultancy Class Of Your Own, and supported by MOBIE (Ministry of Building Innovation and Education) and modular design engineering specialists, Carbon Dynamic.
Children in three age groups from across the country were challenged to design innovative and modular student accommodation using sustainable timber. Almost 60 entries were received for the competition and the three national winners were:
• Age 11 - 14 – Weston Favell Academy from Northampton
• Age 14 - 16 – Heathcote School from Chingford, Essex
• Age 16 - 18 – King Ecgbert School from Sheffield
The national winning teams visited Teesside University to meet George and present their designs and to work on their ideas further. Weston Favell Academy were judged overall winners.
George Clarke is the founder of MOBIE, an educational charity which is spearheading a fundamental change to the building industry. MOBIE is focused on raising the design standards, build quality and innovation around home building. Its mission is to inspire new generations into the building profession and to fundamentally transform the way we think, design and construct homes both in the UK and abroad. Essentially, it is about new ways of making homes for new ways of living.
George said: “MOBIE is all about the future of home design in Britain and across the world. There has been a lack of investment in the home construction industry over the last 30 to 40 years and we need to raise the design and build standards. Fundamentally, we are still building homes the way we did hundreds of years ago. Technology corporations, telecommunication companies, and the automotive and aerospace industries are advancing at incredible rates, but the house building industry is stagnant, and it is genuinely time for systematic change.
Clarke added: “We all need a shelter and our home is the most important piece of architecture in our lives. It needs to be more than just a shelter, it needs to be a place that enhances the quality and experience of our everyday lives and our health and well-being. By harnessing the talents, ideas and energy of the young people of today we can change the way we build homes. Today’s amazing student designs show we have a future generation with the talent and the imagination to make a difference. With amazing winners like these our future homes are in great hands”
The MOBIE Campus challenge is the fifth exciting annual competition run by COYO. From James Bond themed hotels to schools in Africa, inclusive homes to Jamie Oliver’s restaurants, COYO advocates giving children and young people access to ‘real life’ projects. COYO Chief Executive, Alison Watson has worked with schools for almost a decade, and these challenges are the tip of the iceberg.
Watson said “It’s been great to work alongside MOBIE and Carbon Dynamic to develop this challenge. I know that whatever we throw at young people, they come back time and again with the most unbelievable work. We have some amazing, diverse young talent in this country and this year’s winners are great role models for a digital industry. I hope they will inspire other young people, their teachers and their parents, to take a fresh look at the opportunities available to them in Architecture, Engineering and Construction.”
Mark Southgate, Chief Executive of MOBIE, said: “MOBIE is about changing housing and changing lives. It’s about changing the way we do things. We had so many very high-quality entries that I know the judges had a hard time deciding on the winners.”
George added: “The work has been outstanding, especially from those who are still so young. What’s great about MOBIE and this competition is that once we’ve set the brief and set a level of aspiration and inspiration to do something magical, the students just step up every time. That’s what this competition and MOBIE is all about - testing conventional thinking, pushing the boundaries of creative design, pushing it to the next level and getting students to think outside the box in a more creative way.”
Winning Schools quotes:
Peter Williams, Director of Creative Curriculum & Communications, Weston Favell Academy (Northampton) said “The Challenge was an amazing experience for our Year 7 students to envision architecture of the future. The project was so enjoyable, with our students passionately wanting to work at the end of the school day to learn beyond the classroom. It gave me enormous pride to observe our students bouncing ideas around with their idol, George Clarke. We are ecstatic to be crowned National MOBIE winners and to place the creative heart of our academy on the national stage”.
Participating students from Weston Favell, winners of the 11 – 14 age group said:
“A once in a life time opportunity to work with George Clarke” – Nika (11)
“I had so much fun designing and improving our winning design” – Kelsey (11)
“It was an amazing learning experience to learn new techniques from George Clarke” – Libby (11)
“It was great, George Clarke has inspired me” – Ashton (12)
Tom O'Dwyer (16), Heathcote School (Chingford, Essex) winner of the 14-16 age group said, “the competition was a great opportunity to bring together all the skills and knowledge I have learned in two years of studying DEC at GCSE. As a sixteen-year-old, it was such a confidence boost to see industry professionals taking an interest in my presentation and my design ideas. Although I was nervous on the day about doing a ten-minute presentation on my own, the judges and professional audience were very supportive and encouraging. It is a day that will stay with me.
The Modular workshop with Max and the Virtual Reality exercise gave a great insight into the world of construction and how construction is constantly evolving. Thanks to Class of Your Own, Teesside University, all the guys at MOBIE, Max from Carbon Dynamic, and of course the judges and George Clarke”.
Helen Vardy, DEC teacher at King Ecgbert School (Sheffield) winners of the 16+ age group said, “I’m so proud of my Year 12 students. Reuben, Ehsan and Kamil worked exceptionally hard to develop their concept to a full working design and showed great teamwork and attention to detail. Their winning design is unique and inspirational - and their use of maths excellent!
If they can do this in 6 weeks together, what will they achieve over the next 2 years?! Thanks to Class of Your Own, Carbon Dynamic, George Clarke and Teesside University for an inspiring day.”
Gerry Ruffles, MOBIE Head of Education said “Within our schools, design talent is plentiful, but opportunity is not. This competition provided the opportunity and all the participating schools grasped it and made the most of it. The standard of entries and design was simply superb.”