Waste of Space Design Competition, Stephen Lawrence London, Architecture News

Waste of Space Design Competition

Architectural Contest in Memory of Stephen Lawrence, England, UK

2 Mar 2009

Waste of Space Design Competition London

Politicians and celebrities back national design competition, in memory of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence

Waste of Space Design Competition in London

Politicians and celebrities – including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Dame Kelly Holmes, David Lammy MP, broadcaster Jon Snow and Apprentice winner Tim Campbell – have expressed their support for a national design competition launched in honour of murdered black teenager, Stephen Lawrence. Six winners, from a socially excluded or Black and minority ethnic background, will win an all expenses paid trip to study architecture at Harvard University, USA.

Doreen Lawrence OBE, David Ubaka (Head of Urban Environment at Design for London), Peter Morrison (CEO of RMJM Architects) and Tim Campbell (first winner of TV show ‘The Apprentice’) launch the ‘Waste of Space’ design competition in Hackney today with students from the Stephen Lawrence Centre. An initiative of the ‘Architecture for Everyone’ campaign created by RMJM and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, the competition will send winning contestants from socially deprived or Black and minority ethnic backgrounds on an all expenses paid trip to study architecture at Harvard University, USA.
Waste of Space Design Competition Waste of Space Competition
images : Grant Smith

Personalities joined Doreen Lawrence OBE, whose son’s death prompted the landmark Macpherson report ten years ago, to launch the ‘Waste of Space’ design competition, which is backed by a £1m package of support from international architects RMJM, today (Monday 2 March).

‘Waste of Space’ is targeted at 18-25 year olds, particularly those from socially excluded or Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, who have the vision to radically transform a ‘waste of space’ in their local area for the benefit of the community. The most promising contestant will win an all expenses paid, six week trip to study an architecture course at Harvard University, USA, this summer.

The competition forms part of the ‘Architecture for Everyone’ campaign, a creative collaboration between UK-based RMJM and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. RMJM’s Chief Executive Peter Morrison has been publicly outspoken in claiming that the architectural profession is similar to an “old boy’s club”, since it is dominated by white middle class men. The campaign was inspired by the memory of Stephen Lawrence, murdered 15 years ago, who wanted to become an architect.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently pledged his support for ‘Architecture for Everyone’, saying, “A diverse workforce leads to a rich vibrant society, and I welcome the efforts of all those involved to effect change within the field of architecture and urban design.”

Channel 4 presenter, Jon Snow said, “I have been a Patron of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust for a long time and I wholeheartedly support the work that they do. The ‘Waste of Space’ competition is a great opportunity for young people to engage with their built environment and get creative.”

MP David Lammy expressed his support for the campaign saying, “I am happy to be lending my support to the ‘Architecture for Everyone’ campaign. It is important to engage with young people as they are the next generation and only by involving them can we ensure that future workplaces will reflect the diversity of the communities in which we live.”

The first winner of the television series ‘The Apprentice’ and founder of Bright Ideas Trust, Tim Campbell, who took part in a photo call to launch the initiative said, “The key is to offer young people the chance to engage with positive role models. I was inspired at a very young age by the likes of Sir Trevor McDonald OBE and this gave me the motivation to succeed. I am very pleased to be involved with the campaign.”

The winner of the Waste of Space competition will join five other aspiring architects at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, with the others being identified through a series of design workshops which will be held for young people in some of the most deprived inner cities areas, the first series of which will be held in London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Glasgow, kicking off in April.

Peter Morrison, CEO of RMJM said, “Youngsters from socially excluded groups and black and ethnic minority backgrounds typically consider architecture to be an unattainable profession, yet it is these people who are in the best position to help us transform inner cities from the inside out.

“The launch of the Waste of Space design competition and the wider ‘Architecture for Everyone’ workshop programme marks an exciting moment for us. We’re now looking forward to uncovering talented and aspiring architects across the country and providing them with a unique opportunity to engage with an industry they may otherwise have felt excluded from.”

Doreen Lawrence, mother of Stephen Lawrence said, “I truly welcome the collaboration with RMJM and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust on the Architecture for Everyone campaign. I take pleasure that Stephen’s name is able to help inspire young people to fulfill their dreams.”

Young people aged 18-25 who would like to take part in ‘Waste of Space’ or express interest in attending a workshop in London, Birmingham, Liverpool or Glasgow should visit: www.architectureforeveryone.org.uk for further information.

Waste of Space Design Competition image / information received 020309

About ‘Architecture for Everyone’

‘Architecture for Everyone’ was launched in 2008 in collaboration between UK-based international architecture practice RMJM and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. The three-year campaign was set up in honour of black British teenager, Stephen Lawrence, who was stabbed in a racial attack in 1993. Stephen Lawrence was an aspiring architect and Architecture for Everyone aims to offer young people the opportunity to succeed within architecture, encouraging more ethnic diversity in the built environment industry.

In 2009, a series of regional workshops and national design competition will be giving young people from socially excluded groups and black and minority ethnic backgrounds the chance to work together with RMJM architects and other design professionals. The 6 most promising participants will then be flown to Harvard University, USA to take part in an architectural foundation course.

About RMJM

RMJM is a UK-based international firm of architects with offices throughout the UK, Asia, the Middle East and the USA. Founded in 1956 by renowned British architects Robert Matthew and Stirrat Johnson-Marshall, today RMJM is one of the world’s largest architectural practices and employs approximately 1,200 people in 14 international offices in Cambridge, Dubai, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, Princeton, Shanghai, Singapore, St Petersburg and Washington D.C. RMJM’s expertise and design-led approach is successfully demonstrated in on-going projects in more than 20 countries spanning a wide range of key sectors, from corporate headquarters and waterfront residential developments to major public buildings, university campuses and large-scale regeneration programmes.

The company currently has over £10 billion worth of construction projects on its drawing boards, including some of the world’s most high-profile and ambitious projects.

About The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust

The Stephen Lawrence Trust is an innovative educational charity promoting diversity in the built environment and in helping people to pursue careers in urban design and regeneration related disciplines. The Trust awards bursaries to young people living in disadvantaged areas to fund architectural study. Working closely with CLG, CABE, RIBA and leading industry figures to promote diversity in the built environment, the Trust relies on charitable contributions.

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