LDA’s new bursary award winners

Winning ideas this year ranged from turning a former market razed by fire in the heart of Chengdu into a fantastic community space to the animation of an overlooked green edge on an estate in Sheffield.

It’s our fourth time of doing this but the joy of announcing our bursary award winners doesn’t dull. This year, the number of submissions we received rose by more than a third and we have made awards to students at undergraduate and postgraduate level and from UCL, University of Edinburgh, University of Sheffield, Glasgow School of Art, and Cardiff University/Prifysgol Caerdydd.

The challenge was to reimagine an in-between or forgotten place in a large town or city and reclaim it so that it becomes a lively, well-connected place, which meets local needs, and supports nature recovery and climate resilience. We wanted students to think about what was missing from an area and what role a reimagined, more inclusive space could play in improving the lives of, for example, the elderly, teenage girls, or those with limited access to outside green space.

Again, the winning submissions show a passion for people and for place. Ideas ranged from turning a former market in the heart of Chengdu in China, left vacant for 14 years following a major fire, into a fantastic community space with a new, sustainable water system to an overlooked green edge on a council estate in Sheffield made safer through design with a community garden, SuDS, immersive walkways, and football pitches with bleachers.

Another winning submission wanted to make international students at Cardiff feel more at home with a new social space. The design features modular interlocking wooden panels which could be used to create an external ‘emotional pavilion’, as well as for exhibition spaces, group activities or even meditation.

The vast undercroft of the M8 motorway in Glasgow, Scotland’s busiest motorway, becomes a new performance space – a concrete cathedral – through temporary architectural intervention and a community along the Union Canal in Edinburgh benefits from a new common ground, which includes a therapy/advice centre, raised gardens and a sunken courtyard for gatherings.

Our congratulations go to Fangyi Ke for House of Cards, Cardiff; Yihua Jessica Zhan for The Secret Garden, Edinburgh; Jinming Wei for Lotus Pond Market, Chengdu; Philip Elverson for Re-place the M8 and Ran Tao for Arbourthorne Fields, Sheffield. Each receives an award of £1,000 and the opportunity of a paid work placement in one of LDA’s eight studios.

Thank you to our judging panel of Bernie Foulkes, Mark Williams, Catherine Ham, Ruth Knight, and Greg Meikle.

LDA Design’s bursary is designed to provide support to students who might have faced financial or other challenges to pursuing higher education qualifications. 

Lead image by Philip Elverson.

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