Lawray has delivered its first ‘The Future’s Green Scheme’ workshop series at Cardiff Metropolitan University as part of a taught design programme aimed at second year undergraduate architecture and architectural technology students.

Over the last five weeks students have been given the opportunity to undertake exercises in critical and creative thinking that is required to support the development of a design whilst learning the importance of sustainable design, industry standard software and BIM delivery.

This has helped prepare them for a year in practice by providing a taster of how a typical project is run within an architectural office.

Six students took part in the workshop series, which they chose as an elective. They were given a brief to design 16-bed hotel within a site situated in Mumbles, Swansea (based on a real brief and site undertaken by Lawray’s Cardiff studio). The hotel had to be timber frame with a focus on incorporating low carbon building materials and methods of construction.

Each workshop taught students about the key stages required to arrive at a building design from conducting an initial site analysis, to understanding the importance of sustainable materials and building regulations and standards. In the final workshop students were given the opportunity to present their final ideas. This has given students an insight into the background work involved in coming up with a design solution, and the evidence and reasoning skills required to justify the decisions through the many stages of development.

Chris Evans, Lawray Director said: “We are passionate about contributing to architectural education, to give students insight into professional practice while creating sustainable employment opportunities within our industry. We have a longstanding relationship with Cardiff Metropolitan University, and many of our team including myself, are graduates. It was therefore fitting that we delivered our first workshop with second year architectural technology students and look forward to our ongoing commitment to the University’s BSc (Hons) degree programme.

The Future is Green workshop series was developed as part of our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and complements the internships, work placements and RIBA mentoring we provide to inspire the next generation of architects and technologists. We are looking forward to supporting other undergraduate courses in architecture schools across the country.”

Nick Evans, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff Metropolitan University said: “Our collaboration with Lawray Architects in the ‘The Future’s Green’ project has been a success in many ways. A group of Architectural Design and Technology students signed up for the project as part of their second-year studies. They worked collaboratively and as individuals to produce a detailed site analysis, initial concept designs, mood boards, environmental analysis, and sample detailing. Every week for five weeks staff from Lawray delivered workshops which were relevant, detailed and beautifully presented. Feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive – they enjoyed the insights from those involved first hand in the industry and one student said how the experience had cemented his resolve and ambition to become a Chartered Architectural Technologist.

I am so grateful for the generosity and foresight of Lawray Architects in instigating, developing, and delivering this project. For students to engage with professionals in this way provides a tangible link to the industry which elevates a course above mere textbooks and lectures. We are all becoming more aware of the environmental impacts of construction and young people entering the construction industry today will find themselves in the front line, with the privilege of being a force for good through the adoption of environmentally aware design and construction processes. We will certainly be looking to repeat The Future’s Green project in forthcoming years as university and industry work together to educate, inspire, and excite the designers of the future.”

A big thank you to Craig Baines, Jennifer Wagstaff, Rupert Elliot, Olga Tarasova and Martin Fox who developed the workshop series and delivered it to students. 

Cardiff Metropolitan University is a globally focused institution with a strong reputation for work with industry and professions. The assignment has given the students an opportunity to build on their vocational skills whilst learning more about real-life practice with industry professionals.

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