Congratulations to Bryce Clayton and James Banks

Monday, November 5, 2018

Bryce Clayton and James Banks have won the only two student work awards at the RAIC/IRAC National Urban Design Competition. Bryce won a Medal, and James, a Certificate of Honour.

Bryce's thesis, 53 North: Tactical Infrastructure in Edmonton, proposes a new design tool whereby the intrinsic values of snow can be utilized to create winter public spaces to occupy the urban void temporarily.

The proposal is for the City of Edmonton to use existing snow removal equipment, personnel, and organizational structures to coordinate with pioneering groups of citizens to reclaim the urban voids within Edmonton’s downtown core. Interested citizen groups, individuals, businesses, schools, etc. would submit design proposals to the city for temporary outdoor winter spaces, detailing rough volumes and forms desired for the program. City snow removal equipment and personnel would collect and deposit snow on the site and quickly sculpt the mounds into basic shapes, which the public designers would then populate with uses.

Jury Comments: 
“University of Waterloo student Bryce Clayton’s entry (his master’s thesis) impressed the jury with imaginative design thinking, a systematic approach, beautiful renderings, and clear verbal and graphic communication. Clayton’s design premise – using snow to sculpt temporary forms and generate winter activity in winter city Edmonton – was systematically tested and highly convincing.”

Bryce Clayton's Thesis Supervisor: Rick Andrighetti
Bryce Clayton's Thesis Committee: Adrian Blackwell, Jane Hutton

James' thesis, Domestic Insurgency | Toward Affordable Housing in Vancouver, develops a housing framework for the private sector to build dwellings for a range of incomes and promotes ideas of respectfully transitioning low-density neighbourhoods to affordable housing. It proposes a three-pronged approach of neighbourhood improvement, flexible design for occupant control, and a focus on sharing. Ultimately, the framework aims to provoke disruption in the housing market in response to crisis conditions by making living more communal, shifting the emphasis from investment to human capital, and by reinstating affordability as a key factor in housing design.

Jury Comments: 
“A well-researched and timely thesis, Domestic Insurgency offers a thorough reading of the issues that could lead to a more equitable and mixed-income housing ecosystem for Vancouver. From zoning through to efficient and shared space planning, the author provides a blueprint that acknowledges the bottom line, while justifiably (and pointedly) questioning a system that allows the big to get bigger.”

James Banks' Thesis Supervisor: Adrian Blackwell
James Banks' Thesis Committee: Val Rynnimeri, Andrew Levitt

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