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Revealed: Winner of RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship

Edinburgh student to study recycling practices in informal settlements in Africa

This week RIBA announced the sixth winner of the Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship 2012 as Thomas Aquilina from Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. The scholarship which began in 2007 has so far supported five students to develop their research projects which are related to the survival of cities and towns. 

Thomas Aquilina's winning proposal © Steven Otieno

Thomas Aquilina’s winning proposal © Steven Otieno

The high-powered jury, chaired by Lord Foster, included Angela Brady, President of the RIBA, Professor Ricky Burdett of the London School of Economics, Sarah Ichioka, Director of the Architecture Foundation and Mouzhan Majidi, Spencer de Grey and Stefan Behling of Foster + Partners.

Thomas Aquilina's winning proposal

Thomas Aquilina’s winning proposal

Thomas’ proposal entitled ‘Material Economies: recycling practices in informal settlements along African longitude 30ºE’, aims to address recycling in informal African settlements. Lord Foster praised the proposal for its ‘sympathetic awareness of the social issues within self-built communities’.

Thomas Aquilina's winning proposal

Thomas Aquilina’s winning proposal

Thomas told Footprint ‘I am honoured to be a recipient of the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship and very grateful to Lord Foster and the judging panel for their generosity and support. The award offers a real opportunity to broaden my perspective on the role of architecture in everyday life and draws on my interest in urban informality and the resiliences and possibilities of the modern African city.’

Thomas Aquilina's winning proposal © Doni Janarto Widiantono

Thomas Aquilina’s winning proposal © Doni Janarto Widiantono

Thomas will travel for 12 weeks from mid-July, and will visit six cities: Cairo, Khartoum, Kampala, Kigali, Lusaka and Johannesburg. Thomas will document his journey and work in co-ordination with the Mwelu Foundation; he will present his research at Foster + Partners later this year.

Thomas Aquilina's proposal

Thomas Aquilina’s proposal

Submissions by Green Vangogh and John Killock were highly commended. ‘America’s Survival from Suicide’ by Green Vangogh of Bath University – a proposal to study urban development in 12 cities across the USA.

John Killock's commended proposal

John Killock’s commended proposal

A study by John Killock of the University of Westminster, London, which explores the potential for co-housing to accommodate aging populations in India and China. Watch a video explaining John’s submission here.

John Killock's commended proposal

John Killock’s commended proposal

Lord Foster ‘Once again, I have been impressed by the quality of all the entries. The standard was high, but the winning proposal stood out for its systematic analysis of a relevant issue’.

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