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RSA & CIC Awards Inspiring Change

Posted: 6th September 2016

RSA Inclusive Living Award and CIC Inclusive Environment Award are inspiring change

The Royal Society of Arts last week announced the 12 project briefs for its 2016/17 RSA Student Design Awards which address a range of pressing societal and environmental issues ranging from designing ways to foster a more inclusive, tolerant society (‘Beyond Borders’) to using smart textiles to improve wellbeing and quality of life (‘Wearing Intelligence’).

The RSA has been inspiring built environment students to demonstrate some of the magic and ingenuity of their projects through the Inclusive Cities Award. This year the RSA’s ‘Inclusive Living’ Award requires students to design and develop a proposal for inclusive living that responds to changing social structures, challenges the current way we design our homes and fosters positive inter-generational connections.

The RSA Inclusive Living Award complements the newly created Construction Industry Council Inclusive Environment Award which seeks to help raise the standard of inclusivity achieved across the industry by inspiring professionals in practice to go beyond meeting minimum standards or legislative requirements for accessibility. Both awards are inspiring change to ensure the equal participation of disabled people in society and both are a great help in inspiring students, educators and professionals to put inclusive design at the heart of their projects. The inaugural CIC-IE Award will be presented at the Construction Industry Summit dinner on 20 September 2016.

The CIC-IE Award 2016, is an ’award of awards’ celebrating exemplar schemes and projects previously recognised by a CIC member professional body or a CIC member built environment stakeholder. It showcases buildings, places and spaces which demonstrate best practice in achieving an inclusive environment - an environment which is safe, flexible and accessible for all.

Now in its 93rd year, The RSA Student Design Awards is the longest-running global student competition and is open to all undergraduate, postgraduate or other higher education students around the world. The programme counts among its alumni some of today’s leading creative minds, including Sir Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple, fashion designer Betty Jackson CBE RDI, and designer and founder of PriestmanGoode, Paul Priestman.

The RSA Student Design Awards challenges students and new graduates to use design thinking and skills to develop inspiring solutions that tackle real-world social, environmental and economic problems.

Winning an RSA Student Design Award provides an invaluable network and platform for students to further develop their careers. This year’s Awards include over £45,000 in cash prizes and paid placements at GSK, Waitrose, NCR, Kinneir Dufort, CIM and the UK Government’s Policy Lab. Winners also receive fellowship to the Royal Society of Arts. . The Inclusive Living Award is sponsored by the Office for Disability Issues in support of the BEPE project (the Built Environment Professional Education Project) with an award of £1,000, and PRP Architects are offering a paid 8 week placement.

Sevra Davis, Director of the RSA Student Design Awards, says “For over ten years now, the awards programme has focused on inclusive design and setting briefs for social impact. During that time, it has been immensely rewarding to see students awaken to the possibilities of using design for social impact, to seeing the difference that they can make in solving every day problems by applying design thinking and skills to engender positive change. Year on year, the awards are growing both in the number of entries and in geographic spread – last year we received over 900 entries from 19 countries, which is testament to the global relevance of the programme.”