Chris Henderson Drawing Prize 2019

Chris Henderson Drawing Prize: Sponsored by Hyphen

July 2019


The Chris Henderson Drawing Prize was established in 2016 in memory of one of our founders, Chris Henderson. This year, we’re delighted to present this award to Master of Architecture student, Zoe Rees, who demonstrated excellence in her technique, skill and care in architectural draughtsmanship.

Eddie Miles, Hyphen’s CEO, said:

“Our aim, when we established the prize, was to recognise the importance of traditional drawing, painting and rendering techniques as a compelling way to communicate design. We thank all those who submitted their work and congratulate Zoe for her excellent response to our brief.”

Zoe is a MArch2 student at the University of Portsmouth and her work was selected from this year’s design portfolios and exhibition. The judging panel for the shortlist included head of school, Professor Oren Lieberman; principal lecturer, Dan Blott; and Charlotte Goodman-Simpson, an architect at Hyphen. This then went to a vote and the final decision was made by Hyphen’s London and Winchester teams. Zoe was presented with a certificate and a cheque for £500.

Runners-up included: Nathaniel Morse, Audu Akange, Adele Miller, Kazia MacSherry and Vasilina Bocheva.

Zoe’s final year project was based around a series of Medieval ruins in the UK city of Southampton with a concept of ‘Re-Stitching’ these fragmented historical elements together once more.

So that the sensitivity of the site would not be lost in the representation, Zoe used a range of drawing techniques. These ranged from experimenting with stitching/embroidery at the concept stage and combining digital and hand drawing (using ink and watercolour) to provide a greater detail.

We interviewed Zoe to find out a bit more about her and the influence behind her designs:

Who or what influenced you to pursue a career in architecture?

From a very young age I have always had a passion for drawing and art and knew I wanted a career in creating and making. Alongside this I was always fascinated with buildings and how we interact within and around them. Combining these two elements, I felt architecture would be a great career path for me.

What do you enjoy most about studying architecture?

I enjoy having the complete freedom to design and develop my own project and being able to use different techniques which may not be the norm in architectural practice.

What’s the most interesting place you’ve visited and why?

The most interesting place I have visited is Lisbon, Portugal which is full of character. I was able to visit many different architectural designs such as the Tower of Belem, MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology), the Expo ’98 and Jardim do Castel.

What inspires you and your work?

Sketching. In my free time I love taking my small sketchbook with me and when I find something that fascinates me, I like to document it. Historical buildings also inspire me, particularly in my MArch project, I feel they provide a catalyst to spark new ideas.

Why do you think drawing is important in today’s increasingly digital world?

In my drawings I like to show a sense of sensitivity to the scheme which I feel can be lost in digital. Drawing provides a sense of layering and texture which is difficult to achieve digitally. I believe that drawing is a unique form of communication that cannot be created exactly through digital.

What do you plan to spend your prize money on?

I would like to use the money in a creative, positive way that enables me to extend my knowledge and personal experience by visiting places I have never travelled to.  Also, by discovering celebrated architectural buildings and experiencing cultural differences, I hope to use my growing skills and knowledge to improve our environment.