Chris Henderson Drawing Prize: Sponsored by Hyphen
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 two students who demonstrated equal excellence in their technique, skill and care in architectural draughtsmanship.
Co-winners Rebecca Beer and Jack Francis are both BA3 students at the University of Portsmouth and their work was selected from this year’s design portfolios and exhibition. The judging panel included head of school, Pamela Cole; principal lecturer, Dan Blott; and Charlotte Goodman-Simpson, an architect at Hyphen. Rebecca and Jack were each presented with a certificate and a cheque for £250.
Rebecca’s final year project focused on urban farming in the city of Sendai, Japan. Her designs aim to encourage self-sufficiency within communities, with multi-generational living as a base to develop younger generations’ agricultural skills. Rebecca worked mainly by hand, using pencil for her technical drawings and a combination of ink and watercolours to create a warm, atmospheric impression of community.
Jack designed a co-living/working complex to serve as a gateway and cultural hub for Newport town centre, in the Isle of Wight. His vision evolved around a Newport ‘that could have been’ and the everyday working crafts and trade that were destroyed by the blitz of World War 2. Jack’s work ranged from hand drawings and paintings to hybrid and digital drawings and he explored form and space by using ink.
We asked Rebecca and Jack a series of questions to find out a bit more about them and the influences behind their work:
Who or what influenced you to pursue a career in architecture?
Rebecca: As a young child, I had a fascination with housing plans in books and magazines, imagining them throughout construction and their final form, and exploring the endless combinations that can be created. This encouraged me to see what influence I could possibly have on the design world in the future.
What do you enjoy most about studying architecture?
Jack: I have most enjoyed the freedom to explore and express my own ideas on the built environment, and seeking its connections to context, both physically and culturally. I am also grateful for the chance to draw and work creatively in an academic setting.
What’s the most interesting place / building you’ve visited and why?
Rebecca: The city of Florence is one of the most interesting places I have visited, as I had never explored a city that is so submerged in history. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring its narrow streets and beautiful architecture that hosted so many inspirational people throughout time.
What inspires you and your work?
Jack: Everything. I love learning new things and seeing where they can take me, both personally and within my work.
Why do you think drawing is important in today’s increasingly digital world?
Rebecca: I strongly believe that drawing is important as it gives designers 100% control over their creations, allowing them to fully understand and focus on fine details without any influences or limitations from digital aid. I believe that drawing is an ageless form of communication that acts as the most natural method of creativity.
What do you plan to spend your prize money on?
Jack: I plan on putting the money towards my passion for making art and travelling. I believe that more exploration in drawing and painting will let me learn more about architecture and places whilst building on the skills that I most value.
Eddie Miles, Hyphen’s CEO, said: “We are delighted that this year’s drawing prize has found two worthy winners in Rebecca and Jack. 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 Rebecca and Jack for their excellent response to our brief.”