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Aspiring architects win trip to Shanghai

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The winners of this year’s Architecture for Everyone programme, organised by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and RMJM, have been revealed

Syed Karim and Andre Reid, both 19, will now take part in a week-long placement at RMJM’s Shanghai studio, before joining the Architectural Association’s Summer School at the University of Hong Kong.

The two aspiring architects were selected from more than 30 students who took part in the programme’s six regional workshops, and saw off competition from runners-up Marwa Deruiche and Kayleigh Tse.

Reid, who starts his Part 1 at Birmingham City University in September, said: ‘When people visualise the profession they usually see the middle-class. Architecture for Everyone brings it to everyone’s level, giving everyone that opportunity.’

Doreen Lawrence founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in 1998 in memory of her son, who wanted to be an architect but was murdered in 1993 at the age of 18.

Now in its second year, Architecture for Everyone, supported by the AJ, encourages young people from socially deprived or black and minority-ethnic backgrounds to pursue a career in architecture.

The judges for this year’s programme were Will Alsop, Doreen Lawrence, Alice Asafu-Adjaye of Adjaye Associates, and AJ deputy editor Rory Olcayto.

Doreen Lawrence said: ‘I’m so thrilled that the Architecture for Everyone programme has once again proved so successful. The opportunity to experience a thriving architectural studio is amazing and life-changing for these young people – some of whom have never been abroad.’

Competition judge Will Alsop said: ‘If you’re interested in architecture, and things visual and beautiful, and you have some social responsibility, don’t be put off by people who say architects are upper-class.’


  • Syed Karim 

Just finished: Foundation degree in architecture at Liverpool Community College

Next move: Undergraduate degree in architecture at the University of Liverpool

‘I didn’t expect to win but it’s a good feeling. I’m excited about seeing the built environment in Shanghai and how it is developed. Architecture for Everyone opened my eyes and prepared me for what to expect at university in September.’


  • Andre Reid

Just finished: Studying Japanese at Brasshouse Language Centre, Birmingham

Next move: Undergraduate degree in architecture at Birmingham City University

‘I was ecstatic when I realised I had won. The competition changed my perspective and helped me realise architecture is more of an art form than a practical science. The experience has given me a confidence boost before university.’



  • Marwa Deruiche

Just finished: A-levels at Parrs Wood Sixth Form Centre, Manchester

Next move: Undergraduate degree in architecture at Nottingham Trent University

‘In the Architecture for Everyone programme they tell you about urban design, and show that you don’t have to be stuck in an office all the time. I met lots of architects, which will hopefully help me in the future with placements.’


  • Kayleigh Tse

Just finished: Foundation degree in architecture at Ravensbourne College, London

Next move: Undergraduate degree in architecture at Ravensbourne College

‘The competition was tense and challenging but really enjoyable. It’s definitely boosted my confidence. It wasn’t going to Shanghai that was most important; it was being there on the day in front of the judges and making contacts.’

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