Top talent from UK universities win Urban Buzz 2018


A talented multidisciplinary team from some of UK’s best-known universities have won TRADA’s prestigious undergraduate Urban Buzz competition

Edward Shaw and Wing Lam Lo from the University of Sheffield, Katy Horner from Edinburgh Napier University, Will Evans from Coventry University and Jure Zibret from Leicester School of Architecture, ‘Team 6’, were victorious against eleven impressive rivals to win the £2000 top prize with their ground-breaking entry of a multi-storey timber car park.

Speaking on behalf of the winning team, Edward Shaw said: “We are so excited to win Urban Buzz 2018. Representing our respective universities, presenting our designs to a panel of eminent judges, learning to work under pressure in a multidisciplinary team and innovating with timber has all been a fantastic experience.”

Teams 11 & 12 also scooped ‘highly commended’ and secured £1000 to be divided between each team member.

60 students from 28 universities took part in an intense ‘charrette-style’ challenge at the Diamond, University of Sheffield, last weekend, to conceive ways that timber can be used in the creation of a timber multi-storey car park.

Entrants wowed a distinguished panel of judges with their unique designs, including: architects Carol Costello and Alex Abbey of Cullinan Studio, and Waugh Thistleton’s Kieran Walker; engineers Matt Caldwell of Buro Happold, Keerthi Ranasinghe from the TRADA Advisory Committee, and Arup’s Susie Gregory; and landscape architects Stephanie Crewe of HLM Architects and Kate Shearer of Ares.

Tabitha Binding, Manager of the University Engagement Programme at TRADA, said: “I would like to thank Sheffield University, the judges and sponsors for this competition. Such a brilliant event could not happen without the time, dedication and support of everyone involved.  Congratulations to the winners and runners-up for their inspired designs. It was great to see the architectural, engineering and landscape students turn from individuals into design teams, embrace the challenge and deliver well thought through timber concepts. I am thrilled at the enthusiasm with which our multidisciplinary competition has been met.  I hope others will be inspired to enter TRADA’s undergraduate challenge in 2019.”

Competition judge Carol Costello, Practice Leader at Cullinan Studio commented: “Congratulations to TRADA for getting architecture and engineering students from all over the country to collaborate and create outstanding timber designs. Technology is blurring the lines between architecture and engineering. Young people entering this industry today need to be nimble, think on their feet and work together to understand the bigger picture.

“TRADA’s Urban Buzz competition prepares students for working life, by getting them to work in multidisciplinary teams to share knowledge, present ideas and come up with exciting new innovations.”

Susie Gregory, Structural Engineer at Arup, said: “Urban Buzz provides the perfect opportunity for students in architecture, engineering and landscape to come together for discussion and debate, and push boundaries in outstanding timber design. The students today have shown a real passion for timber, from the enthusiastic way they got stuck into the competition and their presentation skills, to the outstanding quality of their designs.”

Andrew Wharrier, Head of Marketing and Communications at Arnold Laver & Co, added: “Arnold Laver is a proud sponsor of Urban Buzz because we want future engineers, architects and landscape architects to know what is possible with timber.  As a business we are very mindful of how education can play a part in promoting timber and creating a more sustainable, built environment. If we can encourage students in schools, colleges and universities to consider timber as an alternative material for construction, that engagement will follow through for the rest of their lives.”

For background on TRADA’s University Challenge and details on how to enter next year’s competition, please visit:


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