Eco-Conscious Design and Flexibility

Miles Mitchell, Commercial Lead for Total Synergy, spoke to the Davidson Prize about how to best communicate architectural innovation.

Originally published on The Davidson Prize website, 19 February 2024

What will you be looking for as a judge of the 2024 Davidson Prize?

As a judge of the 2024 Davidson Prize, my primary focus will be on the confluence of eco-conscious design that advocates for upcycling, adaptive reuse, and sustainable materials, as well as creating spaces that are flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of its inhabitants.

If you were Housing Minister for a day what single measure would you put in place to start tackling the housing crisis?

Establish targets for subsidized housing to comprise 23% of the housing stock throughout the UK, ensuring equitable distribution across regions. The final decision should be informed by input from local residents and authorities, fostering a collaborative partnership.

Is there an example of residential adaptive reuse that really stands out to you, and why?

One example of residential adaptive reuse that stands out to me is the Chelsea Waterfront development. For years I’ve been interested in the power station and when they began the redevelopment, I was excited because they made use of the existing façade and kept the bones of the structure, which helps to maintain the look and feel of the place as well as its history, while also making a space that’s exciting and new.

The Davidson Prize is all about the communication of brilliant design ideas. What scope do you see for better communication of architectural ideas and intentions to wider audiences as the digital era evolves?

The most effective type of communication depends on the scale of the project. For larger projects, VR plans could certainly help to turn concepts into a more immersive experience for wider audiences. That being said, I also believe there is an opportunity to use digital communication tools to educate the public about architectural innovation and to reduce opposition to new housing developments across the country.

What alternative sustainable building material is most exciting/stands out the most to you?

Timber. Timber presents an economically viable and energy-efficient building option. It can be watertight in a matter of weeks, which translates to significant time savings in the overall construction schedule.

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