United Nations recognises postgraduate’s talent for sustainable design

February 10, 2014
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An architectural designer from Lincoln will travel to the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York to present her pioneering proposals for a sustainable care home as the winner of a global design competition.

Manvi Mukesh Vyas, who is currently undertaking the MSc Sustainable Architectural Design programme at the University of Lincoln, created a blueprint for new accommodation that would enhance the quality of life for elderly people as part of the worldwide Integrated Communities: A Society for All Ages student design initiative.

The competition is part of the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC) global activity. It invites Architecture students around the world to apply their design talents in developing solutions that place elderly people at the heart of their communities. It is organised in conjunction with the UN Programme for Human Settlements (UNHABITAT) and the UN Programme on Ageing from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), to meet the needs of an ageing society while showcasing the world’s most innovative design talent.

Manvi was selected as one of nine winners from hundreds of entries, and she will now go on to present her project to ambassadors and officials at the 52nd Session of the Commission for Social Development at the UN headquarters in New York.

Her project, which also received an Honourable Mention in the competition, includes suggestions for a new design of care home community in India, based on sustainable principles. As well as ecological accommodation, her proposal makes the case for workshops, games, entertainment and handicraft activities, which could dramatically improve the lifestyle of elderly residents and encourage community cohesion.

Manvi said: “My design is centred around the four pillars of sustainability; environmental, economic, social and cultural; and is focused on empowering the senior community by enhancing physical, spiritual, mental, emotional and financial wellbeing. The project makes a proposal for a comfortable and safe home, which is important for developing confidence and independence among older members of society, and the fact that it is environmentally friendly and requires low maintenance ensures that the development would also be financially and socially sustainable.

“I was absolutely delighted to be selected as a winner in the competition. To have my designs recognised on an international scale makes the hard work very worthwhile, and I can’t wait to present my ideas in New York.”

Manvi will travel to New York for a two day conference on 17th – 18th February 2014, during which all nine competition winners will attend a working session and awards ceremony attended by national government ministers, UN ambassadors, officials and industry experts.

Professor Dianne Davis, Founding President of the ICCC, said: “These students are the builders, designers, planners, innovators – literally, the architects of the future. Although they have yet to begin their professional careers, each winner presented an outstanding example of what can be accomplished with truly creative thinking.”

Manvi was introduced to the competition by her tutor and programme leader at the Lincoln School of Architecture, Dr Amira Elnokaly. She said: “I am so proud of Manvi and would like to congratulate her on her great success. Her design was selected as a winner from over 300 applications sent into the United Nations from around the globe, which is a wonderful achievement.

“One of the main objectives on our Sustainable Architectural Design programme here at Lincoln is to encourage students to get involved in real-life projects and international competitions. They involve examining case studies, undertaking research and enquiry, studying real-world data and solving relevant problems, all of which are invaluable means of progressing professional development.”