An aspiring architect from Birmingham has won an all-expenses paid trip to Shanghai thanks to a initiative set up in memory of Stephen Lawrence.
Andre Reid was one of the two winners of this year’s Architecture for Everyone competition, along with Syed Karim from Liverpool.
Now in its second year, the campaign was set up by UK-based international architecture firm RMJM in partnership with Doreen Lawrence OBE in memory of her son Stephen who had ambitions of becoming an architect before he was murdered in a racially motivated attack 17 years ago.
During their time in Shanghai, the two budding architects will take part in a week’s work placement at RMJM’s Shanghai studio before joining the Architectural Association’s Summer School at The University of Hong Kong in Shanghai.
Over the past 12 months, the campaign has held a series of design workshops in six cities – London, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow and Manchester – in partnership with regional architecture centres where the shortlisted finalists are from, including Places Matter!, the North West regional architecture centre, MADE, (Midlands Architecture and the Designed Environment) in Birmingham and the Architecture Foundation in London, targeting youngsters from urban inner city areas to tackle the lack of diversity in the profession.
This year’s programme has focussed on the design for sport and leisure.
With less than three years to go until the 2012 London Olympics, and with Glasgow set to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, sports and cultural events are seen as increasingly important drivers for urban renewal.
Participants in each of the cities were asked to develop ideas on how designing for sport and leisure can change their local area.
They were then invited to submit a design idea and shortlisted candidates were interviewed by an illustrious judging panel to win their place on the two week study trip to Shanghai.
Mr Reid said: “The workshops and brief for the competition are extremely of the moment. London and Glasgow are proving just how far sporting events like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games can transform areas of urban degeneration.”
Doreen Lawrence said: “I’m so thrilled that the Architecture for Everyone programme has once again proved so successful.
“The opportunity to experience a thriving architectural studio as well as to join such a prestigious course as the AA Summer School is such an amazing and life-changing opportunity for these young people – some of whom have never even been abroad before.”
Peter Morrison, chief executive of RMJM, said: “The pair of young people we are sending to Shanghai this year are an inspiration to others who have a talent for design and we hope to help many more like them take the first step into a career in architecture.”