Chris Henderson Drawing Prize 2021

Chris Henderson Drawing Prize: Sponsored by Hyphen

August 2021


We are delighted to announce Chloe Ellman-Baker as the winner of this year’s Chris Henderson Drawing Prize. The award was established in 2016 in memory of one of our founders, Chris Henderson and recognizes excellence in technique, skill and care in architectural draughtsmanship. A recent graduate in Interior Architecture and Design from the University of Portsmouth, Chloe has won a certificate and a cheque for £500.

Eddie Miles, Hyphen’s CEO, said:

‘We were very impressed with Chloe’s ability to communicate her ideas through a range of media including model making, photography, collage and hand drawing. The inventive graphic design that runs through her presentation is to an exceptionally high standard and includes witty illustrations and vignettes that give her project real spontaneity, character and warmth. When the Chris Henderson prize was established, it’s avowed aim was to encourage the communication of design through hand-drawn and hand-made work. Chloe’s project reminds us that these techniques remain valuable to the designer and in a year of very strong submissions we believe Chloe’s work to be the worthy winner.’

Runners-up included: Amy Blencoe, Esthel Pangilinan, Katherine Sophie Coles and Joshua John Rowland.

Chloe’s project ‘R Space’ has been created as a design solution to address the negative effects the pandemic has had on our society. Chloe focused her design on three main aspects:

  • in-person community support,
  • supporting the Performing Arts
  • Supporting families of school children unable to provide substantial meals, after school care and educational support.

With these three matters of care, Chloe designed an energetic community space infused with the rhythm of music, theatre and production, whilst providing hot meals, after school care and support for children within the local and wider community.

With the concept of sustainable spaces, the theatre, practice pods and collaborative spaces were designed to offer flexibility for a multi-functional purpose.

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

What influenced you to pursue a career in architecture?

I began researching interior architecture and design at college whilst studying psychology and fine art. I started to combine these two subjects together and then found my passion for the psychology of interiors, spaces and its users.

What do you enjoy most about studying architecture?

I enjoy watching a project flourish from beginning to end. From concept to the final details, it really makes me proud of my work. My favourite focus is on the psychology of home staging, property sales and property marketing.

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

I found Las Vegas very interesting. The quirky hotels and surreal buildings made me feel immersed in another world. I loved walking through all the hotels and entering completely different styles of buildings.

Who or what inspires you and your work?

I’ve spoken to two incredible home stagers, Pam Hopgood and Annie Doherty. They have both inspired me in the area of home staging and have furthered my studies into the depths of design and decoration. My ultimate goal would be to begin working for a home staging company. I have to say the most inspirational person throughout my time at University has to be my very close friend Emma Salaytah. I studied with Emma in my 2nd and 3rd year and her kindness and support really helped me to push my studies and the level of work that I produced.

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

I believe that drawing is one of the most important devices when designing. I saw my design flourish through the use of drawing – this helped convey the energetic atmosphere. The rough sketches to energetic atmospheric drawings have all bound my work together, creating an exciting design and story to tell. I love digital work and software but I do believe that you can sometimes hit a brick wall when your hand isn’t connected to actual paper. I hope the rawness and originality of hand drawing will never be overridden or overlooked entirely by digital work.

What do you plan to spend your prize money on?

I am in the process of designing a new apartment, therefore I have a feeling it will be going towards a beautiful piece of artwork or furniture for the space.