LDA Design has awarded five bursaries to students of landscape architecture and urban design, to celebrate our 40th anniversary and encourage the next generation of professionals.
The winners are from University College London, the University of Sheffield and Leeds Beckett University. The bursaries are worth £2,000 each, and come with the opportunity of a paid work placement with LDA Design.
Landscape architects and urban designers have a critical role to play in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises and social inequality. They need to be inquisitive and imaginative. Applicants were judged on design proposals to give a new future to the place of their choice.
The LDA Design judging panel comprised Andrew Harland, Bernie Foulkes, Rob Aspland and Sarah Potter.
London’s working landscape
A novel way to produce sustainable food on an industrial scale was proposed by Alec Tostevin. Duckweed, or water lentils, is a protein-rich aquatic plant. Alec advances the idea of growing it in a London canal, with seasonal wetlands created from adjacent redundant land to provide new amenity space. Commenting on this submission, the judges said: “Alec proposes a big bold move which engages people with agriculture. There are some significant challenges – not all duckweed genera are edible; and they capture toxins. But it is an interesting idea very evocatively expressed.”
A seamless transition between living and creating
Ashleigh Davis aimed to transform part of a Sheffield valley into an energetic, thriving place through connecting independent makers and creative industries. Ashleigh’s aim with Pomona Grove is an inclusive community with a seamless transition between living and creating, which combats the isolation of working from home. There is close connection to nature. The judges said: “Ashleigh has re-imagined an eco-friendly place, and imbued it with a poetic quality. This is a place where we would love to live.”
Connecting people and place through landscape
With her ambitious written proposal for urban gardens, Emily Rusby seeks to help owners understand the collective role all this land plays in flood protection, air quality and biodiversity. Owners are invited to ‘lease’ their private garden and monitor its contribution. An app helps them relate its carbon storage capacity to their household’s carbon generation. It also builds community. The judges said: “Emily makes a powerful statement about connecting people and place through landscape. Gardens account for a quarter of urban land, and maximising their environmental value is a trick we are missing.”
Making simple work well
A neighbourhood in King’s Cross, London, was re-imagined by Reka Tundokova to become a flexible, sociable and playful place using very simple elements that are easily inserted and yet add something significant. Customisable blocks can become chairs, tables, and adapted for leisure or play. Wooden curved column streetlamps and green walls also contribute to making the place feel useable and sustainable. The judges remarked on “the lovely lightness of touch to Reka’s proposal for liveability and intensification.”
Working with the grain
A once prosperous but now abandoned village in Zhejiang Province, China, is brought back to life in a proposal from Zhouhui Lu. Restoration of the ancient buildings in Huangpen Village is aligned with more open space, providing better connectivity, new views and green infrastructure. A garbage-strewn embankment that separates village from river is transformed. A visitor centre provides for businesses to attract tourists, such as teaching traditional handicrafts. The judges said: “Zhouhui describes Huangpen Village as a lost artwork. She responds with similar sensitivity to the site, making fine-grained interventions. It is a successful concept, well communicated.”
LDA Design will be running a bursary scheme in 2020.