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Sketch competition winner revealed

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Landscape architect Felicity Steers has won the AJ/Saint-Gobain sketch competition

Steers’ depictions of the streets of Glasgow won praise from the judges for her ‘bold and impressive use of colour’ and wins her an iPad Mini and a trip to Saint-Gobain’s research and development centre in Paris. 

The theme of the competition was ‘habitation’, and Steers beat almost 200 entrants who had submitted more than 400 sketches between them.

Contest judge Chris Dyson, managing director of Chris Dyson Architecture, said Steers’ work was ‘a successful entry [which] reminds me of the work of Jock McFadyen, messy and wonderful at the same time.’

Other judges of the competition were: Rory Olcayto, acting editor of the AJ; Mark Allen, technical development manager at Saint-Gobain UK; Paul Middleton, architect and the winner of last year’s Sketch a Façade competition; and George Saumarez-Smith, director at Adam Architecture.

The judges highly commended Mohna Jolly’s sketches, while the student winner was revealed as Theo Games Petrohilos who will receive a free subscription to the AJ and The Architectural Review.

The eight shortlisted sketches will be exhibited at Saint-Gobain’s stand at Ecobuild from 4-6 March, while Felicity Steers’ winning sketch will remain on display at the Saint-Gobain Innovation Centre.

Judges’ comments on winner (Felicity Steers):

Chris Dyson: Wilderness and human habitation sketched in a painterly fashion, wonderful and vibrant…I am taken there, I might have been there…a successful entry, reminds me of the work of Jock McFadyen, messy and wonderful at the same time. Colour like this is brave and bold, I admire these qualities. A great pair of sketches.

George Saumarez-Smith: Two beautifully observed and painterly sketches which complement each other and convey an extraordinary sense of place.

Mark Allen: In the end the Winner, was very deserving and had all these unique qualities we discussed. Including texture, portray of material qualities and environments, plus many more features we discussed. This was through the power of colour, a medium that is risky to achieve correctly.  

Paul Middleton: Beautiful painterly sketches with Joan Eardley touches! The immediateness and roughness of execution gives a dimension we want to explore further. Contrasts of the hard and soft of the urban scene. A clear winner.

Judges’ comments on highly commended (Mohna Jolly):

Chris Dyson: Great touch and sensibility, I like the economy of architectural detail, the main subject is lovingly portrayed, her position in the house, privately playing, whilst perhaps listening to others in the house….

George Saumarez-Smith: A deceptively simple and evocative domestic scene reminding us all of the innocence of childhood.

Mark Allen: For me the highlight was the drawing of little girl has this provided a quality of intimacy, security and comfort which is what we expect and aspire to for our daily lives. It was innovative, in that it just provides enough contexts for you to know where the little girl was, and instead portrayed the changes in daily activity through the doll’s house in the background. It was the girl that created the activity, like we do on a day to day basis. We are in charge of our own destiny and therefore life is like a game.

Paul Middleton: You are right there with the onlooker capturing the young girl. A quick draw with enough detail to get you and keep you interested. A deft touch in a moment in time which is well observed.

Judges’ comments on student winner (Theo Games Petrohilos):

Chris Dyson: A surreal commentary on contemporary habitation in London, some labour in the illustration, demonstrating thoughtfulness and good illustrative ability

George Saumarez-Smith: A tour de force of draughtsmanship, packed with provocative ideas and humour.

Mark Allen: Encompasses Saint-Gobain in the classic question – what is a habitat? It also gives good issues of what is not sustainable when looking at the economic implication on social behaviours / settings.

Paul Middleton: Made us all think outside the limits of the brief. This graphic art in the style of Steadman/Scarf which is well drawn and with a serious political story. A commentary on issues of habitation living in the west. A cartoon approach and comprehensive in its coverage.

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