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The President’s Medals Student Awards WINNERS [Part 2]

December 4, 2009

Yesterday we released the first of a serie of three post reviewing the President’s Medal Students Awards winners. Here are some more:


Digital Intimacy by Stephen Townsend from the University of Nottingham Nottingham UK. The ‘Kinesthetic Interaction Space’ is conceived as an interactive architectonic intervention aimed at children with autism, providing sensory stimulation to assist with intervention methods and aid interaction with other children through shared kinesthetic experience. The focus of the thesis is on the development of dynamic material systems that could enable new forms of interactive environment. Architecture is conceptualised as an embodied interface and physical space has been fused with digital media in order to stimulate the imagination of inhabitants. K.I.S. is intended to facilitate playful explorations and fluid dialogues between people. The user learns to interact with their environment through an intuitive process, engaging the physical presence of inhabitants and forming spatial narratives.
The system is flexible, transformable and fully demountable, meaning that the same kit of parts can be assembled to adapt to a range of spatial requirements. Rather than one design solution, an infrastructure has been designed for the creation of architectural space, centred upon environmental experience. The thesis was developed through a full-scale prototype that was constructed to enable the experience of the qualities of the surface, both visual and tactile, and the observation of its use, including people’s responses.

Serjeant Award

New Malacovia by Pascal Bronner from the University College London London UK. The design thesis, the portable city of New Malacovia, is the blueprint for a perpetually sustainable culture and an environmentally responsible city. Inspired by the narrative text of the lost Malacovian city from “The Dictionary of Imaginary Places”, the research followed the emigration of the city’s leader, a Nogai prince (and inventor) and his people during the Crimean War to a new settlement in the Danube River delta. The project extrapolates the inventions and urban ideas of the old city into programmatic, tectonic and environmental concerns for New Malacovia.
An intelligent recycling process selects appropriate urban and spatial ideas; environmental technologies and construction methodologies collectively evolve into the tectonic character of the city over time. Familiar everyday materials are used to perform unfamiliar architectural and urban tasks. The windows are the custodians of the city’s power, while the humble potatoes are used to harvest renewable energies. Pixel blankets of iron foil suspended on fine vertical sewing pins camouflage the New Malacovia. The city bed, a matrix of bottle corks, buoyantly synchronises with the Danube River, which in turn takes the weight of the entire city. The Malacovian community occupies the void created between the fake pixel-river and the real river.
High Commendation

(re)making _city by Paul Durcan from the University College Dublin Dublin Ireland.
Remaking a piece of found ground in Dublin City through subtraction. To excavate and take advantage of existing site conditions and pieces of the city’s history which have been left behind in the wake of new developments. The idea that a building is not a static object but that it has a life of its own and that this could be conveyed through its form, skin or use.

To retain the old theatre entrance on Longford Street and to stitch it back into the fabric of both the place and the city. To fold the existing boundary wall on Stephen Street back into the site, allowing the fold to act as both an entrance and more importantly to address the Georgian Townhouse opposite. This move provides new breathing space to both the house and the street, and also creates new public ground in the city, partly sheltered by the overhanging studios and the foliage of the red birch trees contained within the sunken garden.

All the info about the winners, here. More updates at Arkinet coming soon!

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