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RIBA President’s Medals Student Awards 2011

Tuesday 17 Jan 2012

A glimpse of the future

Kibwe Tavares: Robots of Brixton 
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Architecture students rewarded for innovative design with medals from RIBA 

As reported on WAN yesterday, today’s young architects are forced to push the limits of their creativity in order to set themselves apart from their peers and the same is true for architecture students. The RIBA President’s Medals Student Awards honours those pupils who have risen above the masses, ‘grappling with pressing social issues and, through architecture, coming up with original solutions’.

On 9th February, three students will attend the Royal Gold Medal Crit at Portland Place - the home of the RIBA in London - where they will present their submissions and take questions on their designs. Taking this year’s Silver Medal is Kibwe Tavares from the Bartlett, University College London, whose film analysis of a number of buildings in the London district of Brixton was ‘eerily prescient of this summer’s riots’.

Of this winning project the judges said: “We were stunned by the research work that went into making this film: not only had an urban environment been designed but the film itself was a complex design project. An amazing piece of work that is truly exciting and inspirational.”

Close on Tavares’ heels with a Bronze Medal was Basmah Kaki, a student at the Architectural Association. Kaki’s ‘An acoustical lyrical mechanism’ prevents workers from suffering the effects of noise pollution in an Indian granite quarry by exploiting the natural environment. It was recognised as ‘beautifully presented, but equally impressive [in its] journey of architectural exploration’.

Hannah Robertson of the University of Melbourne presented a project that ‘warmed the hearts’ of the judges with its social concern by developing a culturally sensitive housing settlement for the indigenous community in northern Queensland. Partially built, the residential project won Robertson the Dissertation Medal as it ‘rethinks the world of the architect and shows people not as clients but as genuine participants in the creative architectural process’.

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