Multi-disciplinary design company rg+p recently offered first-year architecture students at Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment the chance to win a day of work experience as part of the university’s ‘Welcome Week’.
It was a two-day challenge to the new students to come up with as many creative designs as they could. Only announced on the opening morning, the theme of the charette was changing the user experience of one of Nottingham’s most prominent public spaces, from a choice of Lace Market Square, Trinity Square or the university’s Arkwright Quad. The 95 students split into groups to produce physical models, videos and posters for their ideas.
Judging were NTU’s head of architecture, Gavin Richards, alongside three from rg+p: James Badley, director; Jack Whitehead, architectural assistant; and Natasha Rimmington, personnel assistant.
Lois Woods, architecture course leader at NTU, said: “The design charette gave the students a taster of the course and helped them explore the communication skills necessary to sell a design idea. The ideas produced in two days were excellent, and all our judges were really impressed with the outputs. It was fantastic to have rg+p’s support for the event and for them to offer such a great prize.”
rg+p has offices in Leicester and London, and has a wealth of experience in disciplines such as planning, architecture and design, surveying and project coordination across the residential sector, including work for the likes of Westleigh Homes, Bellway, Blueprint and Taylor Wimpey.
A graduate of NTU, judge Whitehead commented: “We were extremely impressed with the ideas the groups developed, each one was imaginative and well thought out. The winning design, ‘Quad Pods’, involved the installation of a range of static and hanging pod spaces for students to study independently or socialise in small groups in NTU’s Arkwright Quad. We admired how this group had integrated the pods into the existing environment and specified sustainable materials for their construction.”
Badley added: “Partnering with leading higher educational establishments like NTU is really important. It gives the next generation of architectural trainees opportunities to learn more about the industry as well as experiencing a working practice. We’re excited to have forged such a positive relationship with NTU and are already discussing future collaborative projects such as mentoring, guest lecturing and graduate placements.”
The winning students were Deenesh Gungaphul, Joshua Trainor, Samuel Underwood, Sousata Vanna, Monica White and Natalia Wojtasik. They will each spend a day in rg+p’s Leicester office, where they will work alongside the practice’s architectural teams on a live project, including a site visit to Short Hill, Nottingham, one of the practice’s latest PRS schemes.