The President’s Awards for Research celebrate the best research in the fields of architecture and the built environment.
The 2018 RIBA President’s Medal for Research was presented to the winner of the Cities and Community category, Chris Hildrey of Hildrey Studio, for ProxyAddress: Using Location Data to Reconnect Those Facing Homelessness with Support Services.
The leading cause of the UK’s growing homelessness problem is the end of an ‘assured shorthold tenancy’. All too often this milestone represents a watershed moment, introducing barriers that prevent early recovery. This can lead to a downward spiral into entrenchment and the development or exacerbation of serious health issues.
The architectural profession stands uniquely placed to use its understanding of the built environment to help ensure those who live in it are not marginalised by it.
The ProxyAddress project tackles this issue through collaborative research and real-world application. It creates a database of long-term empty properties, which serve as ‘proxy’ addresses to be used throughout periods of instability, this consistent address being essential for retaining access to vital support services, which are otherwise lost.
The Research Medal is awarded to the best work from the winners of the four categories: Cities and Community, Design and Technical, History and Theory, and the Annual Theme which this year was ‘Ethics and Sustainable Development’. This theme was chosen to parallel and support the RIBA’s Commission of the same title launched earlier this year.