2013 RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship winner announced
The 2013 RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship has been awarded to Laura Minca of Manchester School of Architecture for her proposal, 'On the Move: An Architectural Model Exploring Transportable and Improved Living Networks for Nomadic Communities'. She will be granted £5,000 to develop her project, which aims to examine the relationship that nomadic people develop towards their natural and built environments and how this bond, expressed through mobile, domestic architecture, outlines a different understanding and appropriation of space than that developed by contemporary stagnant groups.
The study will focus on Europe's fastest - growing minority: the Roma. Despite being present in Europe for centuries,
Roma and Traveller groups continue to remain on the fringe of both Eastern and Western European societies, surrounded by boundaries that seek to physically force them apart from their neighboring communities.
Aiming to address this sensitive and highly debated social and spatial phenomenon, the study proposes the revival of the nomad caravan under the concept of a modular, structural network of pavilions that caters to the basic needs of the travelling community in terms of utilities and collective interaction. The focus will lie on the design of a self-sustaining architectural organism on wheels, a nomad village that can adapt and reconfigure itself according to the available environmental resources, while providing a robust structural framework, drafted in accordance with the Roma aesthetic outlines.
Additionally, the research envisages the rethinking of key concepts at the core of architectural theory and design. The focus on temporary, adaptable, shared spaces challenges the sedentary predisposition specific to Western architecture and its affinity towards grand, enduring structures. Laura's approach is driven by the idea that that architecture functions as an ideology in built form, that homes are more than just fixed dwellings, more than just sheltering devices: they are tools that enable the communities that use architecture to carve their identities and redefine visions of themselves and their collective subconscious.
The main objectives are:
to better understand the architectural/spatial needs of Roma within their current living situations;
to identify and analyze temporary forms of habitation which exist in several Roma camps across Romania;
to encourage the implementation of sustainable and inclusive nomadic housing solutions tailored to Roma people needs, preserving their cultural diversity and creativity;
to encourage intercultural dialogue and active inclusion of Roma within the European Social and Urban space;
to enable non-Roma to become familiarized with the European character of Roma culture
Laura Minca studied at the Manchester School of Architecture, graduating the BA (Hons) and MA in Architecture and Urbanism programmes between 2007 and 2012. Her MA research merged cinematic and deconstructivist theories while exploring the spatial scars imprinted upon Bucharest’s urban fabric following the communist regime’s impact. The Distinction-awarded thesis managed to successfully identify and combine features of film and architecture, generating a significant interest from both visiting lecturers and local professionals.
In 2010, she received a First Class Honor award for her BA academic performance, along with the ‘Steacy Greenaway’ Prize for ‘Outstanding Third Year Studio Project’. In 2012, Laura has been selected to attend the ‘Third Caribbean Winter School’ in Havana, Cuba, a programme jointly organized by the Munster School of Architecture and CUJAE. While in Havana, Laura has been involved in developing a project that envisaged the redesign of a local community centre, with a focus on reintegrating existing crafts such as pottery and metal works in the every-day life of the locals.
During the Part I Year Out scheme, Laura undertook a practical year as part of the ESA Architecture team in London where she has been involved in a variety of residential, office, retail and master-planning schemes.
Laura will be continuing her studies at Manchester School of Architecture where she will be undertaking the Masters in Architecture course as part of the ‘Intimate Cities’ atelier.
For further information, please visit: http://lauraminca.com/about.html
RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship
In 2007, Mrs Margot Auger donated a sum of money to the RIBA in memory of her late husband, the architect and civil engineer Boyd Auger, for the creation and administration of a funding scheme to reward a student or group of students of architecture. The scholarship was first awarded in 2008 and has funded eight talented students since.
Boyd Auger achieved international fame in 1968 when he used computer programming to address a difficult housing problem in Italy. Even though the project was never built, Auger’s proposal was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London and his radically innovative methods (which maximised light, view and privacy in housing design) were featured in the BBC television programme ‘Cities of the Future’. In 1969 he won the Reynold Memorial Award by the American Institute of Architects for best use of aluminium in his Gyrotron project, a 200-foot space-frame structure built in 1967 for the Montreal Expo. His was the second ever British project to receive the Reynold Memorial award, following James Stirling and James Gowan in 1965 for their engineering block at Leicester University.
The RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarships honours Boyd Auger’s belief that architects always learn while they travel and, as such, it supports young people who wish to undertake imaginative and original research during periods of travel abroad. The scholarship aims to support architecture students, graduates, academics and recently-qualified architects to produce a piece of research in the field of Architecture or to support a student undergoing a period of professional practice internationally after successful completion of Part 1 and prior to enrolling in the Part 2.
The Scholarship, worth £5,000, will support either:
one student or graduate or a group of students or graduates for a period of closely defined architectural research between 6 and 12 months.
one student or graduate for a period of international travel on a topic and at locations of the applicant's choosing. This can tie-in with a period of international work experience, but the emphasis of the scholarship should be on the opportunity to travel in the chosen location.
Applications for funding architecture-related work in non-governmental organisations are also welcome.
All applicants must:
be enrolled in a RIBA validated Part 1, 2 or 3 course or with candidate course status, in the UK or overseas or have been granted a place of study in a validated or candidate Architecture course by the beginning of the period covered by the Bursary (Part 2 only),
Employees or family members of the RIBA, the Auger family, trustees or members of the ETFC will not be eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Preference will be given to applicants who are RIBA members. (Student membership to the RIBA is free).
Details regarding the 2014 scholarship will be published in early 2014.
Past recipients of the scholarship
2012 - Jo Ashbridge
2011 - John Killock
2009 - Roderick Bow
2009 - James Patterson-Waterston
2009 - Isona Shibata
2008 - Stefanie Rhodes, Shamoon Patwari and Bo Tang