Color Box Bar by Henrybuilt

Color Box Bar shelving unit by Henrybuilt

VDF products fair: kitchen and storage systems brand Henrybuilt has created a flexible shelving unit that allows users to display homeware and personal trinkets in a variety of arrangements. Henrybuilt founder Scott Hudson will discuss the product and the company’s other flexible interior design systems in a live talk from 4:00pm UK time.

The rear panel of Henrybuilt’s wall-mounted Color Box Bar shelf has been specially designed so that other elements, like a wine rack or steel rail for hanging utensils, can easily be installed and rearranged.

“This compact and elegant serving piece relies on our Opencase system of flexible fittings to allow you to present and serve the way you wish,” said the brand.

“It combines colour, toughness, craft, and proportion, and carefreely floats above the floor.”

The wine rack and steel rail are provided with the Color Box Bar upon purchase and users can additionally buy other Opencase elements from Henrybuilt.

This includes leather pouches, which can snugly hold items like magazines, or a utility bar, which is ideal for presenting drink bottles and cocktail glassware.

Alternatively, buyers can choose to not use any of the additional elements and simply use the Color Box Bar’s in-built shelves.

The frame, lower cupboard doors and rear panel of the Color Box Bar can be made from variations of oak or walnut wood.

Alternatively, for a splash of colour, the rear panel can be finished with hues such as “honey plantain”, a warm yellow, “sunken treasure”, which is a deep blue or “fresh cut grass”, a rich green.

A pale blue shade, orange and red are also available.

Product: Color Box Bar
Brand: Henrybuilt
Contact address:

About VDF products fair: the VDF products fair offers an affordable launchpad for new products during Virtual Design Festival. For more details email

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Peter Morris Architects covers Cloud House in pink arches

Cloud House by Peter Morris Architects in Gospel Oak, North London

Peter Morris Architects has revealed the design for a pair of houses in north London, which will have a facade made up of pink arches “absolutely everywhere”.

Cloud House, which is actually a pair of three-storey homes united behind a pink-arch-covered facade, is set to be built in Gospel Oak after winning planning permission earlier this month.

Peter Morris Architects designed the pair of houses, one of which will be its founder Peter Morris’ own home, to bring an element of fun to the street it will be located on.

“The goal was to create a building that would bring joy and delight to the neighbourhood,” Morris told Dezeen.

“Something that would feel like a surprising treat for anyone who came upon it, as well as to create a beautiful home for my family to live in, alongside one for someone else to buy.”

Cloud House by Peter Morris Architects in Gospel Oak, North London

The home will be built between a heritage-listed school and a modern, brick home on a street that has buildings in a variety of architecture styles.

It was the arches at St Martin’s Church, which stands opposite the site and was referred to by architectural writer Nicholas Pevsner as “the craziest of London’s Victorian churches”, that informed the houses’ many arches.

Cloud House by Peter Morris Architects in Gospel Oak, North London

“I know it’s not generally a very fashionable idea in architecture, but I love the idea that a building can be decorated on its outside as well as on its inside,” said Morris.

“The arches on The Cloud House mostly aren’t structural, but their decorative sculptural quality informs the whole look and feel of the building.”

“Once I’d had the idea of exploring the arch shape which appears both in the interiors and exteriors of St Martin’s Church opposite, it made sense to modernise and simplify that shape and then use it unapologetically, absolutely everywhere.”

Cloud House by Peter Morris Architects in Gospel Oak, North London

Morris arranged the pink arches, which will cover all four facades of the house, through a process of trial and error.

“More than three years ago, when I first began the drawings, I started to play around with the pattern of arches. I staggered them, cut them in half in places, doubled them in size in others,” explained Morris.

Cloud House by Peter Morris Architects in Gospel Oak, North London

“Some were solid, others became glazed. I added circular windows in various spots. The decision not to flatten the top of the arches was key, as that created the curves in the balustrades,” he continued.

“The design happened like a game of consequences. Each decision changed the design, but at every stage, the house grew curvier and prettier and managed to reinforce the original concept, which was to create a joyful building that would surprise and delight.”

Cloud House by Peter Morris Architects in Gospel Oak, North London

Both of the houses have been designed as upside-down homes, with bedrooms on the lower floors and living spaces on the upper floors. Each house will be topped with a roof terrace and the large one will include a plunge pool.

The arched forms on the houses’ facade will continue within the homes, which will include arched doorways and barrel-vaulted ceilings.

Both the exterior and interior colour scheme for the homes was drawn from the Art Deco architecture of Miami. On the facades, pale pink arches will be combined pale green metalwork.

Inside, the floors will be made from pale-blue poured resin, pink and white marquee stripes will run across the walls and ceilings and the kitchens will be emerald green with black and white terrazzo worktops.

Cloud House by Peter Morris Architects in Gospel Oak, North London

“The buildings in the street range from red brick to yellow brick, with various buff tones in between, not least in the ragstone facade of the school next door and the church over the road,” said Morris.

“It isn’t a street with just one colour, so the choice of pale pink render with a yellowy hue complements the other buildings, without trying to match them,” he continued.

“Once we’d chosen the pale pink tone, it felt right to pair it with pale green metalwork – they’re colours that I’ve always loved, and they remind me of our honeymoon in Miami.”

Cloud House by Peter Morris Architects in Gospel Oak, North London

Morris believes that the colourful, fun architecture will be appropriate for a family home.

“I like fabulous spaces that are a joy to look at and a pleasure to inhabit, buildings that make you feel good and prompt a smile,” he said.

“I think that spaces that make you feel a little bit like you have to be on your best behaviour can, of course, be wonderful, but this was about making a home for my family – a place for laughter and creativity and daftness. I crave more diversity in design.”

The bright home is one of many colourful buildings that are being built in London as part of a trend called New London Fabulous, which was identified by designer Adam Nathaniel Furman during Virtual Design Festival.

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Iceland’s DesignMarch: Highlights From 2020’s Remote Festival

Repurposed stadium seating, lighting inspired by volcanic landscapes and a museum dedicated to the natural scents of Iceland

Another remote event during the worldwide pandemic, DesignMarch (usually held annually in Reykjavík, Iceland) existed as a surprisingly engaging and beautiful website this year. Visitors were able to soak up all the dynamic sights, shapes and colors—albeit virtually—from the designers involved. Of course, we’d love to see (and touch) many pieces in the flesh, but it was difficult not to find joy online. Here we have selected some festival highlights that we can’t wait to gaze upon in the real world.

Carissa Baktay

Calgary-based Carissa Baktay showed a collection of lighting that was created at Iceland’s only glass-blowing studio and brought together the colors of the country’s seasonal changes for a delicious feast for the eyes. From her summer-themed Pill series to Basalt and Máni—which is inspired by rugged volcanic landscapes—Baktay’s lighting proves itself to be fully functional artwork. The seemingly simple shapes juxtapose the immense amount of energy used in their creation and the drama of their inspiration.


A collaborative effort between theater artist and designer Sigríður Sunna Reynisdóttir, fashion and textile designer Tanja Huld Levý Guðmundsdóttir and toy designer and illustrator Ninna Þórarinsdóttir, ÞYKJÓ (pronounced thick-yo) is a collection of costumes and masks for kids. The trio crafted this world of wearables in order to grow awareness around the environment,  and animals. Inspired by crustaceans that can make their home anywhere, The Shell is a safe place for hiding or nesting. The Love Bird—a colorful, extravagant costume—encourages kids to let go, perform and embrace the silly and outrageous.

Plastplan + Bjorn Steinar

Reykjavik’s Plastplan (a plastic recycling center and design studio) looks to close the loop in Iceland’s use of consumer plastics and offers real insight into the complexities of recycling the material. Working with designer Bjorn Steinar, Plastplan displayed relatively typical products created with recycled plastics. The aim of the “mundane innovation” was to show the regular reuse of regenerated plastics, an everyday material with sustainable potential if we do the work efficiently.

Tobia Zambotti

For his Fan Chair, designer Tobia Zambotti took discarded seats from the refurbishment of the KR Reykjavik football stadium and gave them new life as bar stools and chairs. Colorful, playful and bold, this collection is extra charming by way of the scars of countless emotional matches.

Nordic Angan

This year’s DesignMarch was also the platform for the grand opening of Nordic Angan (aka The Icelandic Herbal Fragrance Library). A labor of love, the library is the work of Elín Hrund Þórgeirsdóttir and Sonja Bent, who have spent years strategically wandering the island of Iceland to distill and capture the scents found in nature for others to experience. The library is open to all visitors and is located in Mosfellsbær—about seven miles from Reykjavík.

Images courtesy of respective designers 

Winter Architecture contrasts black facade of Melbourne townhouse with minimal white interiors

South Yarra Townhouse in Melbourne refurbished by Winter Architecture

Beyond the black facade of this 1990s townhouse in Melbourne‘s South Yarra neighbourhood are a series of simple, white-painted living spaces designed by Winter Architecture.

The owners of the South Yarra Townhouse had come to dislike its visually busy interiors and instead wanted a minimalist home “where they wouldn’t see the operations of domestic family life”.

South Yarra Townhouse in Melbourne refurbished by Winter Architecture

Local studio Winter Architecture set about creating a more pared-back layout and material palette.

“Where functions stand-alone, materials are restrained, details are simple and the volumes afforded are celebrated,” the studio said.

South Yarra Townhouse in Melbourne refurbished by Winter Architecture

The studio first simplified the home’s facade, which had come to look like a “foreign object” amongst the other more polished-looking homes around the affluent South Yarra neighbourhood.

Black paint has been applied across the front and rear elevations, and all of the windows have been refitted with black window frames. A black-frame balustrade has also been set in front of the home’s first-floor balcony.

South Yarra Townhouse in Melbourne refurbished by Winter Architecture

The home’s dark exterior was designed to serve as an “obvious antithesis” to its new bright interiors.

Dull avocado-coloured cupboards that once dominated the kitchen have been swapped for plain white cabinetry, complemented by a white-tile splashback.

South Yarra Townhouse in Melbourne refurbished by Winter Architecture

A slab of pale marble tops the breakfast island. The studio included this so that the inhabitants would have a spot to sit and enjoy meals, dismissing the need for the obtrusive dining table that previously sat in the living room.

The living room now only hosts a pale grey sofa and a couple of black side tables. A white storage unit has been installed in a peripheral wall where knick-knacks can be neatly tucked away.

A long white sideboard runs directly underneath, should the inhabitants want to display any ornaments.

South Yarra Townhouse in Melbourne refurbished by Winter Architecture

Expansive panes of glass have been added to the front of the room to allow for uncompromised views of the pond and landscaped garden, which has been finished with black-painted brick walls and trellis panels.

“Windows are carefully framing the garden, sky and water so that, even on a wet, dark day, you still feel light inside,” explained the studio.

South Yarra Townhouse in Melbourne refurbished by Winter Architecture

Clean white surfaces continue upstairs to the first floor of the home. Textural interest has been created in the bathrooms, where exposed-aggregate grey tiles line the shower cubicles and bathtubs.

Hardware like the towels rails and taps are made from gold-hued brass.

South Yarra Townhouse in Melbourne refurbished by Winter Architecture

The studio partially extended the master bedroom into the hallway to allow room for a walk-in-wardrobe. Remaining space in the hallway has been made to accommodate a small study, which features a timber desk extending from the wall.

As inhabitants work they can overlook the home’s lightwell, which has been planted with a single silver birch tree.

South Yarra Townhouse in Melbourne refurbished by Winter Architecture

Winter Architecture is led by Jean Graham and has offices in Melbourne’s Fitzroy and Torquay neighbourhoods. In 2019, the practice teamed up with Zunica Interior Architecture to transform a heritage-listed cricket pavilion into a community hub.

Last year also saw Winter Architecture longlisted for the emerging architect of the year category in the Dezeen Awards.

Photography is by Tatjana Plitt.

Project credits:

Design: Winter Architecture
Design team: Jean Graham, Cara Rodrigues, Jack Mounsey, Phillip Culpan, Isabella Hayward, James Embry
Builder: Smart Building Concepts

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V&A East "will speak to the local population" says Gus Casely-Hayford

V&A East museum by O'Donnell + Tuomey

V&A East director Gus Casely-Hayford explains how he plans for the new museum in east London to reach a more diverse audience in the final talk as part of our collaboration with Friedman Benda for VDF. Tune in from 11:00am UK time.

Due to open in 2023, V&A East will be a new outpost for the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as a new collection and research centre.

Both will be located at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which hosted the London 2012 Olympics and is situated on the boundary of several east London boroughs with large ethnic minority populations.

Gus Casely-Hayford was appointed V&A East director in 2019

“This is one of the most diverse parts of London, but also an area that has given us some of the most talented artists in Britain,” Casely-Hayford told curator Glenn Adamson in the last of New York gallery Friedman Benda’s Design in Dialogue interviews that Dezeen is publishing as part of Virtual Design Festival.

“We want those people to feel like this isn’t something that has landed from outer space. It’s an institution that doesn’t just welcome them, but it feels like it belongs to them. It reflects their loves and their interests and speaks to them in ways that aren’t patronising.”

V&A East will not be a “conventional” museum

The new five-storey museum, which is being designed by O’Donnell + Tuomey, will feature traditional exhibition spaces as well as studio spaces for workshops and residencies.

V&A East museum by O'Donnell + Tuomey
The V&A East museum is being designed by O’Donnell + Tuomey

“We want to have exhibitions but we want it to be a kind of exhibition interface that will speak to the local population,” Casely-Hayford said.

“The sorts of things that we’re going to be doing within are not going to be the sorts of conventional propositions that you see in most museums.”

“We want to be kind of like an engine of new kinds of possibility, where we’ll engage in partnerships with a variety of different kinds of creatives, but also companies and institutions,” he continued. “So they might come and do a period of residence and actually be creating their practice on site.”

East London development is “in the right place at the right time”

The museum will form part of a new development called East Bank in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which will also host a range of cultural and educational facilities, including a campus for the London College of Fashion, a new outpost for the Sadler’s Wells theatre and performance and rehearsal studios for the BBC.

East Bank development
The V&A East museum will form part of the East Bank development in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

“This is a campus that is surrounded by some of the most diverse but also some of the most disadvantaged communities in Europe,” Casely-Hayford said. “I’m determined that they engage with this space and feel that it is something that they could be proud of.”

“It’s always been that this place has had an inordinate number of deeply gifted and creative people,” he continued. “And yet, we’ve never invested in the infrastructure to give them the platform to actually realise their dreams.”

“This is about facilitating the young in realising their dreams. And it will be, as I see it, a crucible of possibilities. So I think it’s the right proposition at the right time in absolutely the right place.”

V&A East will have “a collection centre unlike any other”

In addition to the museum at East Bank, V&A East will also comprise a new research and collection centre at Here East, a creative campus that has been built around the London 2012 Olympics media centre.

V&A East collection centre by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The V&A East collection centre is being converted by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro is converting the former broadcasting centre into a purpose-built home for 250,000 objects in the V&As collection.

Unlike most collection centres, many of the objects in the collection will be stored in transparent cases so that they are also on display.

“It’s going to be a collection centre unlike any other in that it’s going to be open access so that you can come in and you can look vast amounts of it,” Casely-Hayford said.

“You’ll be able to look through and gain a perception of the vast diversity and complexity, but also accessibility, of this collection so that you can engage with it in a variety of different ways.”

V&A East collection centre by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Much of the V&A East collection will be on display in transparent cases

Casely-Hayford, who was appointed V&A East director in November 2019, was previously director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, USA.

“We will build the African collection within the V&A”

In the talk, he told Adamson that he intends to increase the V&A’s focus on African art and design in his new role by acquiring new works, but also by drawing more attention to existing pieces in the V&A’s collection. Casely-Hayford sees the V&A East collection centre as playing a key role in that mission.

“I am really determined that over the course of my tenure that we will build the African collection within the V&A,” he said. “I want us to begin to build a real strategy to define the V&A as being one of the key centres for the collection and for the display and research of Africa.”

“The collection centre holds a quarter of a million objects, and they tell the story of humankind,” he continued. “And they tell the story of Africa as well.”

“With the new proposition down in east London, we have a kind of facility which allows us to do that in ways that very few museums around the world have ever been able to do before.”

Design in Dialogue

Casely-Hayford’s conversation with Adamson is the ninth and final conversation in a series of Friedman Benda’s Design in Dialogue talks we have broadcast throughout Virtual Design Festival.

Previous interviews in the series we have published include conversations with pioneering architect James Wines, who lamented the predominance of digitally created forms in architecture, and designer Faye Toogood, who revealed she suffers from imposter syndrome.

Ron Arad told Adamson that “business is always a necessary evil”, Stephen Burks discussed the lack of diversity in the design industry and Joris Laarman discussed the “magic” of digital technology in previous talks in the series that we have published.

Gaetano Pesce called on young designers to consider how to address social issues through their work, Droog co-founder Renny Ramakers reflected on how the influential platform shook up the design industry in the 1990s, while in the most recent previous talk, Rhode Island School of Design president Rosanne Somerson discussed how the school is responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Available in black or white, Humanhome’s LYNEA lamp uses a standard North American outlet as its anchor and its flat powder coat aluminum neck runs upward against the wall from there. The innovative design renders any sort of internal wiring—like the type done to install a wall sconce—unnecessary. A brass hook provides added support. Though there are other heights available, this 40-inch iteration proves most practical, especially when positioned next to a bed or a desk.

This Dyson-inspired e-scooter can turn you into an electric vehicle ‘fan’

Dyson is hands down one of the most innovative companies out there. Before Dyson, did you ever follow any company that made vacuums on Instagram? It single-handedly turned vacuums into a status symbol and then ventured into playing the tech fairy godmother while transforming all the other pumpkin household appliances. Dyson has inspired many designers to adapt their style and create some amazing concepts, our recent favorite is the Dyson Moovo – an electric scooter modeled after their signature product designs featuring clean lines.

Electric scooters are soon going to become a preferred mode of transport for city commuters as they are environmentally friendly and easier on the pocket than a Tesla. Moovo’s design incorporates Dyson’s sleek and simplified aesthetics with their powerful engineering into an efficient electric scooter that you would be proud to own. The handlebar integrates the workings of a CPU that lets you control certain features of the scooter through its display like folding the handlebar or visualizing your trip’s data. The screen is anti-reflective so that you can look at the data under any light condition when outside. It features a 300W brushless motor in the front hub with a drum brake in the rear wheel and translucent mudguards to reduce visual weight on both ends. There is an easy control for the throttle along with a brake lever that is also included in the handlebar. Soft plugs guard the ends of the handlebar and absorb impact.

You can also adjust the height according to the rider and the anti-slip surface ensures their comfort + safety. Lock and unlock your scooter with your fingerprint and we won’t be surprised if this moves towards facial recognition in the future. The base features a sliding lock mechanism to detach the battery when needed and a sliding stand to make it stay upright effortlessly. The Dyson Moovo has the power to convert many people into electric scooter fans just as they turned many adults into Monica Gellers who love to clean!

Designer: Iago Valiño

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

This VDF school show of work from the University of Brighton‘s School of Architecture and Design includes a VR basketball court, anarchistic house extensions and bioreceptive building blocks made with food waste.

The projects were created by graduate and undergraduate students across a range of disciplines from architecture and design to interiors.

All have received awards either internally from the school or from architecture studios including Feix & Merlin, Will+Partners and Studio B.a.d. Two of the projects below were presented with the RIBA South East Student Prize while another two have been nominated for the Architects’ Journal Student Prize.

University of Brighton, School of Architecture and Design

University: University of Brighton
Courses: BA Architecture, BA Interior Architecture, BA Product Design, MA Interior Design, MA ArchitectureMA Sustainable Design and Master of Architecture (RIBA Part II)

School statement:

“The School of Architecture and Design at Brighton offers courses in architecture, interior architecture and product design at the undergraduate level, together with a suite of courses at MA and PhD level. Post-graduate courses include architecture (MA and RIBA Part II), architecture and urban design, sustainable design, interior design, town planning and management, practice and law in architecture.

“At the end of the academic year, a number of prizes are presented to students across the school. These are awards that have either been generated within the school or are provided by external sponsors. The winners are featured in the following showcase.”

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

A Change of State by Alexis Southey, BA Interior Architecture

“A Change of State offers a creative solution to the exponential increase of coastal erosion around the UK. Situated on the remains of Brighton‘s West Pier, a workshop would offer a place to make protective shelters out of wasted chalk that would otherwise be lost to cliff erosion.

“Although the workshop is only temporary, its legacy would be carried on by placing these protective shelters along Brighton’s coastline for visitors to enjoy. The aim of this workshop is to highlight and celebrate the beauty of natural materials and to encourage harnessing them rather than allowing them to dissipate.”

Award: Chalk Architecture Award
Tutors: Rob Vinall and Stephen Mackie

Solid Sound by Angel Harvey-Ideozu, BA Architecture 

“Combining physical and sonic readings of my site, Solid Sound is an attempt at understanding and presenting the glory of Ship Street and the impressions it left on me. A presence in the midst of noise, a haunting, a mass – Ship Street forges impressions of height through tension and release, angst, pleasure and pursuit.

“The base layer maps the site as solids and voids – investigating its presence and thresholds. Overlaid are four different sound expressions of the site, translated into ink. Solid Sound is processing a space standing in perfect mass, perfect provocation, perfectly still, existing in a multitude of realms.”

Award: Joint winner of The John Andrews Drawing Prize
Tutors: Sam Lynch and Keir Black.

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

Modernising the Tate Modern by Beth Starling, MA Interior Design 

“This project is based on the understanding that a person’s comfort is dependent on their spatial environment. In response, this adaptable installation at London’s Tate Modern gallery invites activist groups and those experiencing social inequality to inhabit the space, letting it give voice to their cause. Here, art is generated through exploring complex discussions.

“People are individual, so the space becomes a hub of inclusive and dynamic activity, which can be adapted and manipulated by its user depending on personal preference and desired spatial use. As a result, the space has numerous configurations.

“The installation travels across the site, animating space and evolving purpose as it enters the different phases of listening, activity and display. It embodies themes of collaboration, inclusion, rebellion and honesty.”

Award: The Will+Partners Award
Tutor: Frank O’Sullivan

Open Workshop by Ewan Brammall, BA Product Design 

“Open Workshop is a new way to create machinery at home using 3D-printed parts and readily available materials. It allows expensive machinery to be created at a low cost, meaning that a wider range of people can access it.

“The machines are powered by a drill and two mechanisms, one that allows for the speed to be adjusted and set and another that allows for on-the-fly adjustments. The parts are accompanied by a website with a catalogue of mechanisms, connectors and machines alongside a platform for sharing new designs. The pottery wheel is just the beginning and hopefully will spark the creation of many more machines.”

Award: Ambitious Project Award
: Other Today Studio (Gareth Owen Lloyd, Nat Hunter and Milo Mcloughlin-Greening)
Project website:

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

The Hippodrome Cultural Hub: Making of the Circular City by John Torres, BA Interior Architecture 

“The title of UK City of Culture 2029 goes to Brighton and the celebration will be set within The Hippodrome. Part of the reason why Brighton was chosen is its continued dedication to making the circular economy the new normal, so this same approach will be used within the interior of the venue.

“The design is centred around booth structures and waste that is discarded throughout the 12-month celebration will be converted into waste building blocks, which can be used for a variety of purposes as a response to the global waste crisis.”

Award: Studio B.a.d. + Chora Award
Tutors: Lucy-Ann Gilbert and Sophie Ungerer

The Cascade Experiment by Jordan Whitewood-Neal, MA Architecture

“The Cascade Experiment explores the growth, augmentation and inhabitation of an auto-ethnographic woodland in the Ashdown forest, using embedded ecological conditions to form a new accessible infrastructure. The project narrative is set in 2040, where the custodian of this infrastructure, a semi-autobiographical character, has been left abandoned and isolated in the woodland.

“The ongoing desire to keep expanding the woodland via a unique timber structure, which facilitates various silvicultural processes, is supported by the creation of a cyborgian extension of the self. Called Totemi, this curates and reflects the custodian’s own ontological boundaries within this vast landscape.”

Award: AJ Student Prize nomination
Simon Beams and Omid Kamvari

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

21st Century Industrial Communes: Pavilion Farms by Josh Wiseman, BA Architecture 

“The aim of this project is to reintroduce industry into the city in a manner that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. It proposes the creation of pockets of self-sustaining industry established by and for local communities.

“These micro-communities are sustained by four ideals: the production of produce for the community, the development of new metropolitan industry, the creation of community spaces and the production of community resources that in turn will create new industrial communes.

“The overarching vision of this project is a future in which architectural proposals take a multi-faceted and holistic approach to design – one in which programmes influence and reinforce one another, acknowledge the fundamental relationship with the local community and place sustainability and environmentalism at the forefront.”

Award: RIBA South East Student Prize Part I and The Head of School’s List for Excellence in Architectural Design at RIBA Part I
Tutors: Graham Perring, Cristian Olmos and Andrew Paine

Living Blocks by Lawrence Parent, BA Product Design

“Living Blocks explores the ways that we can build with nature to increase biodiversity in our cities while developing our connection to nature. Interviewing experts in ecology, conservation and art led me to conclude that increased biodiversity requires drastic changes to the way we build.

“Currently, cities are built with clean, smooth surfaces and spaces with little focus on natural life. Using waste fruit, vegetables and locally-sourced aggregates, Living Blocks provides an open-source process, which people can use and adapt to build blocks or other shapes that provide complex, textured, bio-receptive surfaces that can sustain rich ecosystems in urban spaces.”

Award: Outstanding Design Award
Other Today Studio (Gareth Owen Lloyd, Nat Hunter and Milo Mcloughlin-Greening)

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

The Red Hand Reaches Out: an Architecture for Nick Cave’s Conversations With tour by Lillie Coxon, BA Hons Architecture

“My final year project is a series of sensitive spaces inspired by Nick Cave’s Conversations With tour, which featured a combination of music performances interspersed with frank and unscreened audience questions. The aim is to provide a location for these events to become more intimate and personal, scaling down their size and audience capacity to create an immersive experience.

“The project focuses on the way that these events can provide an opportunity to heal from trauma, for both the audience and Cave himself. The design is embedded within the city context and at points woven into the surroundings, leading users up from the streetscape through a series of frames to an ultimate sky view.”

Award: The Head of School’s List for Excellence in Architectural Design at RIBA Part I
Tutors: Graham Perring, Cristian Olmos and Andrew Paine

Fun Town Not Old Town by Manal Omar, BA Architecture

“The aim of this project was to look at how elderly people can be integrated into society without feeling lonely and create a space where they can go to socialise rather than feeling shunned from society.

“The proposal features areas where the elderly can help create a Fun Town for example through the production of produce. Within this space, heavy goods will be transported by gantry cranes and other mechanical structures.”

Award: AJ Student Prize nomination
Tutors: Anuschka Kutz, Ian Bailey and Alex Arestis

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

The Nest by Ming Hung Davis Mak, MA Architecture

“Architecture has long been conceptualised as structures for humans, that separate us from nature. In other words, architecture tends to force nature to adapt to man-made infrastructure. This kind of thinking within the traditional building industry has contributed to the ecological crisis we are facing today.

“A possible alternative approach to architecture is to co-design with nature. Projects in this area are often prototyped at the scale of the branch and tree. But in this research study, I explored the integration of an entire forest eco-system with a tower typology, designed as a provocation to question how co-design strategies might be applied on a more architectural scale.”

Award: Waste House Award for Circular Design
Tutor: Simon Beams, Omid Kamvari and Ben Sweeting

Cloud Cover by Nuria García Vázquez, MArch 

“My work this year was inspired by a hypothetical, anarchistic approach to building design, exploring an architectural language developed as a satire of current, restrictive planning laws. A series of rooftop extensions take over the town of Rye in East Sussex, mimicking the shape of natural objects such as clouds, trees and distant hills.

“This cultivates a picturesque language which softens the extensions and replaces lost views with artificial and exaggerated versions. The construction of these elements is proposed as a speculative, collective action by local residents, undertaken without government intervention or official sanction. The developments begin with small-scale residential additions but following consequent increases in the population will move on to provide public and civic spaces including a community centre, an office block and a park.”

Award: The Head of School’s List for Excellence in Architectural Design at RIBA Part II
Tutors: Charles Holland and Holly Lang

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

I’m Standing Here, Today by Raeun Baek, BA Architecture

“As an Asian living in the UK, I wanted to describe and express my personal feelings and tell my story of how I first came to England and settled in Brighton. The map in the background shows the area between the Brighton pier and Brighton station, while the scattered lines running in multiple directions represent my various memories and emotions.

“My story contains sketches of objects from the Brighton Museum, which represent my identity and future path. As everyone has memories that are different and disjointed, I decided to leave a trace on the map. Most importantly, representations of fragrances I experienced create nostalgic moments.”

Award: Joint winner of The John Andrews Drawing Prize
Tutors: Sarah Stevens & Patrick Bonfield

2030: Virtual Reality Basketball Centre by Sandip Gurung, BA Interior Architecture

“This project is centred around nature and situated in Queen’s Park in Brighton. While modern sports halls have a similar geometry to enclosed spaces, this project features an open layout that embraces the environment in which it is built.

“With the aid of VR technology, people can now partake in activities such as gaming and sports and this proposal emerges as an innovative type of sports amenity that is designed to promote the sport of basketball in the UK.”

Award: Feix & Merlin Award
Tutors: Gem Barton and Amelia Jane Hankin

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

The Port Tower(s) of the Forest by Sasan Sahafi, MA Architecture

“The Port Tower is a model for a new city with movement at its core. It is a vessel that brings together different people in one space so they can share experiences, which in turn enriches and heals the cultural fabric of society much like a high street.

“The main aim of the tower is to provide the mechanisms and infrastructure for the gathering of people, technology and environmental resources. The gathering acts as a way to share ideas, resources, materials, spaces and experiences. The more diverse the ‘movers’, the richer the gathering and with each contribution, the tower itself will evolve.”

Award: The Will+Partners Award
Tutors: Simon Beames and Omid Kamvari

Continuum by Solange Leon, MA Sustainable Design

“Today the density of distance becomes palpable, with equidistant lines taped roughly on pavements. Slowing down, reading the other’s movement – circle or give way. Masked thank yous in the falling darkness. Intrigued by movement notations, I contemplated how to draw this Covid dance. Seeing without looking, feeling and anticipating movement as one body, like our beautiful Brighton starlings.

“Continuum describes objects in continual movement, at the same pace, following a joint trajectory, equidistant to avoid contact. Mimicking nature, we might rediscover collective motion long forgotten, one requiring discipline, a shared rhythm, tolerance to improvise. We are only as strong as our weakest link.”

Award: The John Andrews Drawing Prize
Tutor: Tom Ainsworth

17 award-winning projects from University of Brighton students

The Vertical Stone Henge by Thomas Roberts, MArch

“I am interested in investigating the conflict of shadow and light within the space of a city-scape set inside the Ashdown forest. The vertical henge focuses on shadow and light within the tower to avoid affecting the forests habitat and to rejuvenate the dying Lowland Heath habitat.

“The project displays the individual apartments, which are lit throughout the year by the Stonehenge Sun-dial. My initial heritage research created my totem, which drove the form of the proposal.”

Award: RIBA South East Student Prize for Part II
Tutors: Simon Beams and Omid Kamvari

Virtual Design Festival’s student and schools initiative offers a simple and affordable platform for student and graduate groups to present their work during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more details.

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Exposure: Georgie Wileman

In the latest instalment of Exposure, CR’s column examining exciting new photographers, art director Gem Fletcher looks at the work of Georgie Wileman, which shines a light on the human struggles that often go unseen

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A new London billboard campaign is spotlighting Black art

Art curator Tanaka Saburi has orchestrated a street exhibition of work by 12 creatives primarily from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds. The campaign was designed by Nina Kunzendorf, and is currently on show across billboards in 11 locations around London, which were donated by outdoor ad specialists Build.

Titled Undivided Divinity, the project falls under the banner of The Molasses Gallery, a newly formed open-air art initiative based in London. While molasses has historic links to sugar plantations and the slave trade, Saburi says he chose the name as a positive metaphor for the work in the exhibition: a by-product of Black creativity in the face of adversity.

Undivided Divinity campaign
Left-right: Chinaza Agbor, Sharmaarke Ali Adan

Featured in the inaugural campaign are works by photographers Ronan McKenzie and Sharmaarke Ali Adan, illustrators Joy Yamusangie and Olivia Twist, Leah Abraham and King Owusu (who are both models and artists), designer Ashton Attzs, and artists TJ Agbo, Alfie Kungu, Chinaza Agbor, Hamed Maiye, and Hilda Kortei.

While the work is all vastly different, Saburi chose the artists based on “their use of vibrant use of colour that uniquely conveys their own experiences within the sprawl,” he tells CR.

Olivia Twist

The project was devised as a way of “educating the public with knowledge of often pigeonholed artists within our own city of London”, and coincides with renewed discussion around the role and recognition of Black artists in the creative industries. At the heart of this initiative is “promoting Black solidarity and unity” and ensuring that Black artists are seen, Saburi says.

The initial campaign will run until September, and he is organising further projects set to launch later in the year, including an outdoor public gallery and an open-air film festival focusing on local Black directors and filmmakers.

Ronan Mckenzie
King Owusu
Joy Yamusangie
Molasses Gallery
Leah Abraham
Molasses Gallery
Sharmaarke Ali Adan


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