Winning a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) design competition is not easy – you have to be creative, innovative and address the brief whilst showing that you can thinking outside the box and be original.

Our principal architect Jonny Thorns is the vice president of the Lincoln Society of Architects (LSA) and takes over the blog this week to talk about his ongoing work with students at University of Lincoln (UoL).

I work with UoL’s architecture students quite a lot – leading CV and portfolio workshops, providing interview technique teaching sessions which help prepare students for the next stage in their careers as well as providing mentoring, support and work experience opportunities.

This year, I was incredibly honoured to be asked to judge their final pieces of work for consideration for the prestigious RIBA East Midlands Region Student Awards.

This award was introduced by the RIBA to reward talent, promote innovation and encourage excellence in architectural education – and it certainly does just that.

The students’ final design show was a chance for me and the other judges to assess all the work produced, we we’re looking for evidence of the following criteria:

  • Architectural tectonics
  • Artistry of joining materials together

Two students have now been chosen – Part 1: Luke Parkhurst and Part 2: Sian Grant – to represent the UoL in the RIBA East Midlands Region Student Awards.

The two projects chosen were truly outstanding – what impressed us about both winners was the sheer volume of exceptional pieces of work along with their attention to detail.

It’s a fantastic conclusion for the students – seeing all their hard work being showcased alongside their peers. Knowing that their work will also be judged for such a prestigious prize is also obviously something aspirational for them to aim for throughout the year.

At BE Design we’re keen to support, encourage and mentor the next generation of architects and I’m proud to be involved in shaping the future of the industry.

I’d like to congratulate Luke and Sian on their award wins and wish them the best of luck at the next stage of the competition.