The RIBA President’s Awards for Research ceremony last night was an unexpected treat. The Jarvis Hall was packed with young talent (many of them undergraduates) and their teachers, mentors, friends and family.
This year's theme 'Ethics and Sustainable Development' felt particularly poignant. Together with the other categories (Cities and Community, Design and Technical, History and Theory, and Research Matters), it provided scope for a breathtaking range of ideas. 'Redesigning Prison – the Architecture and Ethics of Rehabilitation’, 'Social behaviour in Corridors: The case for better circulation space in schools’ (aimed at reducing bullying), ‘An architectural and social history of the mosque in Britain 1889-2017’ and ‘The layered absences of the Heygate Estate’ are just a few of the shortlisted projects; a salutary reminder that practicing architecture means much more than designing a building to a given brief.
Dr. David Roberts of The Bartlett was the popular winner of the first category with a project that looked at the ethical dimensions of built environment professions: urging professional bodies to take an active role in expanding ethical awareness, facilitating ethical reasoning and celebrating ethical action. The Cities and Communities category was won by Chris Hildrey: 'Proxy Address; Using Location Data to Reconnect Those Facing Homelessness with Support Services’ proposes using long-term vacant homes to give a proxy address to homeless people as a means to allow them to access vital support services. Some felt more esoteric but there's a place for that too. Find the book of abstracts here.