Squire & Partners’ long-running partnership with Socially Active Workshop Architecture (SAWA), a collective of design professionals aiming to build architecture for all, was viewed as an exceptional example of architectural practices doing charitable work in the developing world by the AJ100 judges
SAWA was set up by Edward Dale-Harris, an architecture student from the Cass who did several work experience stints at Squire & Partners from the age of just 16 before collaborating with the practice on various projects abroad, including a school project in Rwanda. Squires contributes research and design skills while Dale-Harris and SAWA modify these to suit local conditions and co-ordinate the necessary construction resources.
The Cambodia Agriculture Technology Centre was a result of an approach by the Green Shoots Foundation charity, which asked the practice to design an agricultural campus masterplan on a pro bono basis. The scheme, which was launched last December, aims to boost education, social capital, entrepreneurship and sustainable farming techniques in rural areas of low economic status.
SAWA and Squires worked together not only on design development but on fundraising and promotion. This included holding a number of supper clubs at the practice’s office in Brixton and showing illustrations and concept models at the 2018 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. They also developed a travel package for design and engineering professionals willing to volunteer their expertise during the four-month construction period.
The judges praised a presentation by Squires and the Green Shoots Foundation and remarked on the way this collaboration had developed over the years and its achievements on the Cambodia project.
‘Every department of Squire & Partners was involved, from the model-makers to the graphic designers to the PR department,’ said one judge. ‘This is a highly commendable example of collaboration at all levels, with a very humble motivation.’
13 agri tech cambodia s&p sawa
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