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Westminster Architecture student wins international student competition, Designing for Adaptable Futures

11 July 2012

Master of Architecture student Johnny Killock has been awarded first prize in an international student competition, Designing for Adaptable Futures (DAF), which received over 150 submissions from 26 countries around the world.

The competition, run by the Adaptable Futures (AF) group at Loughborough University,  asked students to illustrate how the life of their proposal - whether product, building or urban intervention - would unfold through time: over an hour, day, year, decade, or perhaps a century. 

Johnny Killock’s winning submission, Factory Home, focuses on reshaping the live/work spatial relationship as part of a ‘third industrial revolution’. The proposal organises the building as three distinct zones – living, working and transition which are blurred through the use of flexible modules sliding in and out of the transition zone as needed throughout the day. 

The image at the top of this article shows stills from the Factory Home film: work mode (left); event (right). View Johnny’s film below: 

Johnny Killock is a student on the Master of Architecture at Westminster and was a member of Design Studio 17 (DS17) taught by Gabby Shawcross and William Firebrace. He comments:

“The University of Westminster, Design Studio 17, investigates 'time-based architecture'.  Many of the studio projects explore an architectural change over time which identifies a social need.  Exploring time-based architecture raises questions about sustainability on both social and environmental levels. The DAF competition recognises such challenges.



The Factory Home project aims to address the increasing demand for home-based working and the private nature of UK housing. Combining live/work features with the principles of cohousing and overlapping, adaptable spatial thresholds, the FactoryHome attempts to create an urban factory of the future. The design places importance on the social interaction of residents, learning from residential and workplace typologies - creating an innovative, social environment in which to work, live and play. This responds to the demand for healthier neighbourhood communities and supportive social networks between small businesses.



I am delighted that this research has been recognised by the judging panel, especially with the high standard of entries, and this is an area of research I am keen to investigate further.”

The international jury of architects was inspired by the quality of the visual and narrative ideas presented. David Rowley of Nightingale Associates commented: 

“I was impressed by the time and effort many of the students put into the submissions, and how effectively they showcased their ideas using both presentation boards and film.  The best submissions fully embraced adaptability with sustainability in its broadest sense, taking into account social and political factors as well as accounting for the visual environment and longevity.”

The integration of time in their design proposal was framed around three criteria presented in the brief: strategies for change (AF frame cycle), building layers and design guidelines (spatial, material and mind set). Students were allowed to submit two A0 boards and/or a three minute film. The three competition winners will share a £3,500 cash prize and have been invited to participate and present at this autumn’s AF event in London.  

To see all the shortlisted entries, visit www.adaptablefutures.com/competition-results/ 


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


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