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TRADA University Challenge 2020 – Call for entries

12 Sep 2019
The TRADA University Challenge will ask students to design sustainable community housing from timber in multi-disciplinary groups of six.

60 students from 30 universities will descend on Cardiff University’s School of Engineering Queen's Buildings for an intense ‘charrette style’ challenge in early 2020. The students will form 10 multi-disciplinary teams to compete for generous cash prizes and the prestige of winning the TRADA University Challenge.

The competition, which brings together final year undergraduate students of architecture, architectural technology, engineering, quantity surveying and landscape architecture related courses, is about creating opportunities for students to interact with timber industry forerunners and design professionals while gaining valuable practical experience.

Timber is increasingly the material of choice for innovative designers and often lends itself to ground-breaking design when utilised alongside technological developments. This year students will be challenged to look at timber in a brief which challenges their preconceptions – both about timber and its potential, and conventional social housing.

The University Challenge is one major part of TRADA’s larger University Engagement Programme, which aims to inspire the architects and engineers of the future to design iconic buildings and engineering solutions in wood.

Tabitha Binding, TRADA’s University Engagement Manager, adds: ‘TRADA’s focus has always been the support and empowerment of individuals and companies within the timber industry. The University Challenge is a fundamental part of our strategy to that end. Every year we introduce students across the UK to timber, our industry sponsors and our judges – and of those students, we are delighted to see some proceed onto timber-specific research or careers’.

The Challenge

This year students will be asked to design timber community housing which is low-carbon, energy and water efficient, climate resilient, healthy and desirable! A live site has been chosen to give the challenge authenticity – with the real life constraints delivering a beneficial and meaningful experience. On- and off-site construction will be considered.

For further information or if you are interested in sponsoring the TRADA University Challenge 2020, please contact Tabitha Binding on or 07815 948749.

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