19 May 2015

Ilona Hay and student collaboration with local charity to create woodland seating area is shortlisted for the Camden Design Awards

A group of year 2 architecture students and tutor Ilona Hay from Oxford Brookes, have taken part in a community led scheme to transform a small nature reserve in London. As part of a collaboration between Oxford Brookes Architecture technology, local residents, and Texere Studio Erasmus interns, students were tasked with building a bench from recycled timber to provide seating in the nature reserve.

The project, which has now been shortlisted for a prestigious local award (the Camden Design Awards), involved students working to a brief to design, construct, test and deliver a bespoke bench. The bench, which was made with up-cycled wood donated by TRADA, (the Timber Research and Development Association) and Headington School in Oxford, was designed so that it was suitable for easy transportation to its final location. J. Pendrill, Site Manager, London Wildlife Trust, said of the project ‘The project has enhanced the seating area with a much needed asset.’

In addition to the benefits for the local community, the project was a valuable learning experience for the students involved. It enabled students to gain valuable experience of working to a very specific project brief, and interacting with real clients. Lecturer Ilona Hay, from Oxford Brookes, explained that for students, it was a chance to put their skills to practical use, and that ‘interacting with real clients makes it more meaningful’ when students work on a project.

Participating Oxford Brookes students designers/ constructors were Aylin Bayhan, George Brandon, Michael Buckley, Graham Davis, Alice Howland, Paige James, Ayumi Konishi, Kara Thompson, and Sam Tottenham.