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RIBA Presidents Medal

Reclaiming Playtime

Congratulations to Robert Thackeray and Nicholas Honey on receiving the RIBA Award for Sustainable Design at the RIBA President's Medals 2021.

Robert and Nicholas describe their project:

"Reclaiming Playtime introduces concepts of play and games into a mixed-use cultural space at the intersection between Edinburgh and Leith, the product of an evolving network of interconnected programmes, facilitated by a method of incremental expansion, consolidation, and shared resources.

Using play as a mode of mapping generates a new dialogue surrounding the complex interrelationships in urban space, uncovering hidden narratives within the Pilrig area. Similarly, introducing play into the production and use of space gives agency to those within the community who have thus far been underrepresented: widening the discourse surrounding future development to provide a counterpoint to that observed historically and at present.

Working together from the start as a joint thesis project, we aimed to produce a system of play that could allow us to both interact with the research and information within Edinburgh. As a result the role of play in our work has developed into a methodology that helps us learn from each other, and from the discussions we have together."

The project is exquisitely represented and communicated, and it offers a combination of playfulness and worthiness, alternating different scales of enquiry with rigour.

Ivan Marquez-Munoz

Tutors' comments

This is an extraordinary MArch project developed in the final year of the programme. It was awarded a Distinction and it received the School’s internal award for the best design work committed to social agendas in all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. What is more, through their sincere dedication to this year long iterative and collaborative process, Rob and Nick first articulated and then grew into the socially conscious and informed citizen-architects they wanted to become.

Studio tutors: Professor Zeynep Kezer, Dr Christos Kakalis and Ivan Marquez-Munoz

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