Hayley Grace, a Westminster MA Architecture student, recently attended an event organised by the London Real Estate Forum (LREF) where she had the chance to take part in debates and discussions regarding future housing and infrastructure development in London.

Hayley Grace (on the right on the above picture), who will graduate from a MA in Architecture at the University of Westminster this summer, had the opportunity to attend the LREF event, entitled ‘Listening to Londoners’ where speeches from keynotes speakers and debates were taking place in order to exchange ideas regarding London’s future in the field of infrastructure and environment.

Keynote speakers and renowned architecture professionals, including Executive Director of Housing and Land at the Greater London Authority David Lunts and Chairman of New London Architecture Peter Murray, delivered inspiring speeches regarding London’s future.

The event was attended by over 100 community and residents’ groups, charities, schools and universities. It offered the opportunity for students to present their vision for the capital and debate the challenges and opportunities for London’s future. Discussions focused on housing, infrastructure, meanwhile uses (the temporary use of vacant buildings), young people, and jobs.

Hayley also took part, presenting her project at the event. Speaking about the experience she said: “The event was the New London Architecture's first time integrating the public with LREF. It was a great day and lots of productive discussions happened about how developers and the community could work together to produce developments that could work for the future.

“I had the chance to speak about my MA Architecture project, Reconnecting Rotherhithe, which I developed in the module Design Studio 12, part of the MArch course at the University of Westminster. The brief was to design an island on the Thames somewhere between Tower Bridge and the Estuary, in a bid to help find solutions to London's Housing Crisis. Reconnecting Rotherhithe explores alternative methods of funding for social housing and looks at the idea of inter-generational living.”

Talking about her experience on Westminster’s MA Architecture course, she said: “In the two years of studying in Design Studio 12, I was encouraged to open my eyes to different approaches to housing. Especially during our trips to North India and Mumbai, where I was able to gain an understanding of different housing types which in turn inspired me to help develop new strategies for London.”

Find out more about the MA Architecture course at the University of Westminster.

Picture credits: Pipers Projects, New London Architecture

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