Thomas Riddell-Webster and Neda Soltani, postgraduate students studying on the Master of Architecture (March) (RIBA Pt II) DS22 course, have been announced as finalists in this year’s One Drawing Challenge presented by Architizer. 

Two images of Neda's architectural drawing
Credit: Neda Soltani

The second annual One Drawing Challenge requires participants to produce a drawing of a new architectural proposal or existing piece of architecture. The drawing must also show how residents will experience the construction and the location and scale can be anywhere and of any size. Accompanying the drawing should be a short description of the proposal. 

Architizer is home to the biggest online community of architects from all over the world. Their aim is to empower architects with the tools they need to build better buildings, better cities, and a better world. They connect architects with building-product manufacturers and inspire them through educational content, awards programmes, and global reach. 

Riddell-Webster submitted his architectural drawing, ‘The Melting Archive,’ which was also recently nominated for the Architects’ Journal Student Prize. The design challenges Hanoi’s development towards a westernised city and offers an alternative technology that provides the tools for an organic social reconstruction. The project proposes to use the city’s 1,000-year-old-tradition of kite flying. The natural resources of Hanoi are acknowledged, and its traditions are celebrated.

Soltani’s drawing, entitled the ‘Gateway to Casbah’, illustrates the World Cultural Heritage site which is the cultural heart of Algiers but has been neglected by the government and fallen into disrepair. The drawing is a critique of this and re-envisions the Algiers coast as a postcolonial oasis where the current structure becomes ruins that form a route back to the Casbah. The drawing makes use of orientalist iconography to retrieve the identity of Algeria. 

Riddell-Webster’s and Soltani’s tutors, Dr Yara Sharif and Dr Nasser Golzari, said: “We are very proud of the achievements of Thomas and Neda. They both deserve to be finalists in the One Drawing Award for their outstanding work. Looking beyond the virtuosity of Thomas’s drawings with their subtle spatial complexity, each narrative is a statement to introduce us to the realm of his Melting City of Hanoi. The work is a result of long research, drawing and making with outstanding quality, originality in style and poetic touch to celebrate and protect the ordinary and the street while challenging globalisation.

“Neda’s project, Gateway to Casbah, is equally outstanding. Driven by her personal interests in postcolonial theories and will to explore her identity and city, Algiers, Neda used drawings as an innovative tool to reclaim the coastal edge and explore new typologies while interrogating and critiquing oriental colonial iconographies used to capture the city.”

Winners and commended entries of the One Drawing Challenge will be announced on 29 September. They will be notified via email, and announcements will be published on the Architizer Journal. 

Learn about Architecture and Interiors courses offered at the University of Westminster. 

Thomas Riddell-Webster's architecture one drawing using natural materials in Hanoi
Credit: Thomas Riddell-Webster

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