High school students’ triumph with design challenge win

Renowned architect and TV presenter George Clarke crowned the winners of a creative design challenge that will inform the design of a new £28 million complex-needs facility in Perth.

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Renowned architect and TV presenter George Clarke crowned the winners of a creative design challenge that will inform the design of a new £28 million complex-needs facility in Perth.

Capability Scotland, the charity behind ‘Our Inclusive Community Project’, partnered with MOBIE (Ministry of Building Innovation and Education) to encourage co-production and influence the creation of the nationally significant development. 

From a pool of 23 submissions, Isla Bethune of Bertha Park High School, and Tassi Forbes of Perth High School both wowed the judges with their innovative designs.  Both entrants won the category awards for Design and Sustainability and were named the joint overall winners by George Clarke in yesterday’s (June 29) awards ceremony. 

Commenting on the challenge, George said: “Inspiring young talent to help define the communities of the future is a real passion of mine. Creating communities that are innovative, beautiful, genuinely sustainable, and transform the quality of people’s lives is why we run these challenges.

“I was blown away by the quality of submissions. Each was incredibly well thought out and took into account the varied and complex needs of those who will use the spaces.

“I’ve really enjoyed being part of this process, bringing together the brilliant minds from a range of backgrounds, and I’m excited to follow the project as it develops.”

On Isla’s entry, judges noted: “Thorough and thoughtful design. Meets the majority of criteria, to a very high standard”, and added “Wow! Brilliant model, thinking about placemaking and how it could delight and be accessible” on Tassi’s design. 

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Challenge sponsors, Springfield Properties, Allia C&C and Sigma Capital Group, awarded £250 in technology vouchers to each of the category winners, which included customers from local care facilities, and Corseford College students. Isla and Tassi have both been awarded an additional £250 technology voucher for being the overall winner. 

Unique trophies created by customers who will benefit from the new facility were presented, and each of the category winners has been given the opportunity to participate in work experience with Anderson, Bell + Christie Architects. 

Challenge judges included Mark Southgate, MOBIE’s Chief Executive, Caroline Dearden, Director at A,B+C Architects, Niamh Waldron, ESG Director at Sigma Capital Group, Accessible Travel & Disability Blogger, Simply Emma, and wheelchair athlete and disability sport advocate, Gemma Lumsdaine. 

Brian Logan, Chief Executive of Capability Scotland, said: “Co-production is central to our vision of creating exemplar facilities for people with diverse and complex needs. Involving talented young people of Scotland in the design of our most strategic project to date is extremely exciting. 

“We’re overwhelmed with the quality of the submissions, and the creativity used to develop such incredible and thoughtful designs.” 

The new site at Bertha Park will consist of 60 self-contained studio flats for individuals with complex needs, with a new primary school and high quality, energy efficient housing to follow. These will be built on the site adjacent to the existing Bertha Park High School and the creative designs identified during this challenge will feed into the build.

Caroline Dearden, Director at Anderson, Bell + Christie architects, said: “As lead architect for Capability Scotland’s Our Inclusive Community Project, we were delighted to get involved with their design challenge and collaborate with MOBIE in helping to take forward such an exciting initiative.

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“The brief Capability Scotland set for this inspiring challenge, was intended to inspire creative minds, and embed the importance of inclusive communities and accessibility through the design process – part of Capability Scotland’s core mission. The entries we received show that it has done just that and has ignited a passion for design, creativity, and innovation in so many young designers from across the country. 

“Seeing the outstanding and forward-thinking concepts that have been created by these young people is incredible – especially from a design perspective and through many different guises, they have encapsulated what ‘Inclusive Living’ truly means. Capability Scotland places a strong emphasis on community and these young designers have encompassed connections and relationships beautifully within their designs and presented them very well.”

Capability Scotland is a charity delivering care, support, and education for disabled children and adults across Scotland. It has a range of facilities and services across the country which helps its customers achieve the best outcomes in their lives, no matter their needs.

MOBIE was founded in 2017 by architect and television presenter George Clarke to inspire young people to revolutionise the way we think about the places in which we live. He aims to give younger generations a way to define how they want to live now and in the future.

For more information on Capability Scotland’s MOBIE project, visit: https://youtu.be/NRiIr2ci6fc

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