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Edmund Fowles, Ken Okonkwo, Meredith Bowles and Pippa Nissen join AJ Student Prize jury 2019

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The AJ has revealed the jury for the AJ Student Prize, for which the shortlist will be announced later this week 

It will be judged by Pippa Nissen of Nissen Richards, Edmund Fowles of Feilden Fowles, Ken Okonkwo of Haworth Tompkins and Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects. The jury will be chaired by AJ architecture editor Rob Wilson and AJ technical editor Frances Williams

The free-to-enter contest is aimed specifically at UK architecture schools and is open to all students on RIBA-accredited architecture courses. This year is the second year of the prize, run in association with our founding partner Marley, and also sees the launch of a Sustainability Award to reflect the climate emergency.

We invited every RIBA-accredited school in the UK to select its top two student projects – one at undergraduate level and one at postgraduate level – to compete for the AJ Student Prize. In addition, we invited them to put forward a third student project for the Sustainability Award. All student projects plus the eight shortlisted for the Sustainability Award will be printed in our Student Issue which comes out on Thursday (25 July). 

The judges will then choose three winners, one from each level, who will be announced at a prize-giving event in London this September. The winners’ work will also be covered in a September issue of the AJ.

This prize is a great platform for universities to celebrate the work of their students and their architecture departments in teaching the next generation of skilled architects.

About the judges

Edmund Fowles is co-founder of Feilden Fowles. He studied at the University of Cambridge and then the Architectural Association, where he was awarded a Diploma with Honours for his thesis on food urbanism. He gained professional experience at Hopkins Architects, working on the School of Forestry for Yale University, later awarded AJ Building of the Year. He has delivered a range of award-winning projects, from Feilden Fowles’ own studio in Waterloo to Charlie Bigham’s Food Production Campus in Somerset. He is currently leading on a number of prestigious education projects including the new dining hall for Homerton College, Cambridge and new graduate accommodation facilities for Green Templeton College, Oxford. He has taught and lectured widely, including at the RIBA, the University of Cambridge, the Architectural Association and The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, where he led a design studio for three years, exploring new forms of education design. Feilden Fowles is shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize for The Weston, a visitor centre at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Ken Okonkwo joined Haworth Tompkins in 2006, becoming associate in 2015 and then an associate director in 2018. He has been actively involved in a number of the studio’s cultural and residential projects and is leading on Fish Island Village Phases 1 and 2, near Hackney Wick. He manages the recruitment process at Haworth Tompkins and sits on the Stephen Lawrence Architecture Advisory Board. He is often a guest critic at the Bartlett School of Architecture and is a Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (SLCT) Ambassador.

Meredith Bowles is director of Mole Architects. He trained as an architect at the University of Sheffield, Royal College of Art and the Architectural Association. After working as an architect in New York, Taiwan and London, he established Mole Architects in 1997. He was a member of the RIBA Awards Group between 2012-16, serving as chair on the RIBA House of the Year Award. He is a vice-chair on the Cambridge Quality Panel, and co-chair of the Suffolk Design Review Panel. He has taught architecture at the University of Sheffield and University of Cambridge, and served as an external examiner to Sheffield Hallam University in 2014-17. Meredith regularly writes in the national press, has appeared on BBC and Channel 4 programmes and is a trustee of the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry. He regularly contributes to conferences to talk about architecture and urban design.

Pippa Nissen is a theatre designer, trained architect and co-founder of Nissen Richards. She studied architecture at the University of Cambridge and completed an MA in theatre design with distinction at the Slade School of Fine Art. Her recent work focuses on exhibition design, where her theatre and architecture backgrounds come together in the design of narrative spaces. She particularly enjoys collaborating with other artists as part of the design process. Her clients have included the British Museum, Natural History Museum, British Council, Southbank Centre, Design Museum London, V&A and V&A Museum of Childhood, Aldeburgh Festival and Imperial War Museum. Current project clients include the Courtauld Gallery, Wordsworth Museum and the National Trust at Sutton Hoo. She taught architecture for over 20 years, at the University of Cambridge where she was a design fellow, and previously at Kingston University as a senior lLecturer. She is an external examiner for Westminster University’s BA Interior Architecture. She lectures regularly and takes part in wider debates about design both in the UK and internationally. She has received many awards for her work, including the AJ/ Corus 40 Under 40, and she was part of the UK team at the international Scenography Quadrennial exhibition in Prague in 2007 and 2011.


The AJ Student Prize is sponsored by

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