The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded the 2012 Boyd Auger Scholarship to architecture graduate Jo Ashbridge, enabling her to start a 12 month research project on housing and disaster relief in flood-prone Bangladesh. The RIBA scholarship, worth £5,000, supports architecture students and graduates in imaginative, original research and travel.
Jo who studied at the Universities of Bath and Cambridge has been awarded this year's scholarship for her project 'The Role of Earth Architecture and Construction within a Disaster Risk Reduction Framework for Areas at Risk of Flooding Across Bangladesh'. The project will involve travel to areas at high risk of flooding, including Rangpur, Khulna and Barisal. It will include the identification of current earth architecture techniques used for low-income housing in these areas, on-site development of improved earth construction techniques and the building of a series of demonstration houses.
Speaking about her success, Jo Ashbridge said:
'I am delighted to have been awarded the 2012 RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship, and am extremely excited to get started on my 12 month research project in Bangladesh. My passion and future career direction is to focus on development and disaster relief architecture. My drive is to create innovative architectural and associated infrastructure solutions that are sensitive to the environment, culture and traditions whilst responding to the needs of affected populations following natural disasters and conflicts.'
RIBA Head of Education Projects, John-Paul Nunes said:
'Jo's experience and passion in Bangladesh to date and her in-field connections will inform the research project supported by the RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship 2012. We are delighted to award her the scholarship and look forward to see how this unique project progresses. We are also very grateful to Mrs Margot Auger for donating the funds towards setting up the RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship which has enabled us to support talented students over the past four years.'
Notes to editors
The RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship was established in 2008 in memory of Boyd Auger, following a generous donation from his widow, Mrs Margot Auger. The Scholarship, worth £5,000 supports architecture students and graduates by providing an opportunity to undergo a period of imaginative and original research and travel.
Jo Ashbridge Biography:
Jo Ashbridge undertook her BSc in Architecture (RIBA Part 1) at the University of Bath from 2004 to 2008. The degree offered the opportunity to dip into the wealth of knowledge available, particularly with regard to rammed earth construction. During this time she was offered a professional placement at Ryder Architecture in Newcastle and completed an Erasmus exchange at Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH) in Stockholm. In the summer of 2007, Jo volunteered in the construction of One Room Shelters in the Tan Phuoc District of Vietnam, for low-income families whose houses were at risk from monsoon rains. This experience cemented her passion and future career direction in development and disaster relief architecture. Following graduation in 2008 she worked in Uganda, as an architectural consultant for a NGO concerned with the issue of obstetric fistula and continued her healthcare infrastructure research, travelling through Tanzania, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
From 2009 to 2011, Jo undertook her MPhil in Environmental Design in Architecture (RIBA Part 2) at the University of Cambridge. Her thesis, ‘Sustainable Planning and Design for a Hospital in an Equatorial Climate’ stemmed from collaboration with Kagando Hospital in the Rwenzori mountains of Uganda. The aim was to use low cost earth construction whilst providing spaces with an increased technical base. This degree also offered the opportunity to work for Stantec Architecture in Toronto, a practice that specialises in healthcare design.
To gain further experience in the humanitarian sector, in 2011 Jo interned at Shelter Centre, a NGO that acts to connect and support the shelter community respond to settlement and reconstruction needs after conflicts and disasters. This has recently led to collaboration with Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK), which is currently supporting her work with local NGO, Simple Action For the Environment (SAFE) in northwest Bangladesh. The work involves research and development of alternative construction materials. Projects in which she is currently involved include the design and construction of bamboo houses in Jorgen Babur Mart slum, research into natural additives that offer increased resilience to water and iterative testing of Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks (CSEBs).
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