Joseph Deane receiving the RIBA Stephen Williams Scholarship at the offices of Aedas Architects in June 2011. From left to right: Carol Williams, widow of Stephen Williams in whose memory the scholarship is presented, Joseph Deane, and Peter Oborn, Deputy Chairman, Aedas Architects, Ltd, sponsors of the scholarship. Image courtesy of Camilla Bird, Aedas Architects.
Joseph Deane from the Royal College of Art was awarded the 2011 scholarship to complete his MA in Architecture (RIBA Part II).
Joseph describes the impact the scholarship had on him and his work:
'I was privileged enough to be awarded the RIBA Stephen Williams Scholarship in 2011; a year that witnessed one of the most significant changes to British higher education funding since 1962. Such changes have already begun to have implications on Architectural education and, furthermore, the future of the Architectural profession itself within the United Kingdom.
Now more than ever support from grant giving organisations will be needed to help maintain the dynamic social breadth in education and, by extension, the future professional community. Generous grant contributions such as that awarded to me can alleviate students from a significant amount of financial concern, allowing them to make the most of their unique learning experience and work to their full potential.
My final year thesis expanded on contemporary notions of sustainability by examining cybernetics and the city, systems biology, and the ways in which nature and nonhumans intimately effect the formation of human culture. The RIBA Aedas Stephen Williams Scholarship was critical in facilitating methods of working that simply would not have been possible otherwise, and as such became essential to my being able to fully and effectively explore my research interests. Having graduated from the RCA in 2012 I have carried out my intentions and am now happily self-employed: running a variety of freelance projects, teaching, writing published articles on a range of matters including the borders between Architecture and neuroscience, and am also in the process of establishing a multi-disciplinary collective and workshop.
I am quite sure that taking such an unorthodox route following graduation would not have been possible had I not won the scholarship. As well as relieving me of a significant financial burden, the professional peer support also encouraged me to be confident in my ability and aspirations. The staff at the RIBA and Aedas are unfailingly generous with their time and assistance, and as a winner of the scholarship you receive professional support that extends far beyond the academic year of the award. Needless to say I would recommend all students experiencing financial hardship to apply for such a student-funding scheme. Not only are the personal and academic benefits inestimable, but on a broader scale such initiatives are vital in ensuring the diversity of our future practice.'
Read Joseph's final report below: