NewsUCA Canterbury

Graduate wins AJ Sustainability Award

Morgan Hone, a recent graduate from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Canterbury School of Architecture, has won the Sustainability Award at the Architect’s Journal (AJ) Student Prize 2019.

The Sustainability Award was newly launched this year, and Morgan was presented it for his Growtown project. Both ‘pragmatic and elegant’, the proposition suggests implementing intense farming to help reinvigorate, environmentally and economically, the declining city of Detroit in Michigan, which was once home to a thriving auto industry.

'Growtown' by Morgan Hone

Growtown by Morgan Hone

Morgan said: “I was very excited to even be shortlisted and to go on to win the award was truly unbelievable. It’s really great to be recognised for all the long hours and hard work that I put in during my Master of Architecture.”

Morgan’s initial idea for Growtown came during his fifth year at UCA, while researching Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) – the phenomenon which occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen.

“Sustainability has been a large driving force, together with the idea of how our food source is dependent on honey bee pollination,” Morgan added.

'Growtown' by Morgan Hone

Growtown by Morgan Hone

Just as worker bees leave a hive, similarly skilled workers left behind an automobile infrastructure in Detroit. Morgan’s project aims to repurpose the local workforce’s technical knowledge into agriculture rather than automotive production, taking advantage of the pre-existing infrastructural grid.

The submissions were judged by a jury which included Pippa Nissen of Nissen Richards, Edmund Fowles of Feilden Fowles, Ken Okonkwo of Haworth Tompkins and Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects.

The judges said it demonstrated: “excellent judgement and an architectural solution that is appropriate to the problem needing to be solved.

“Within the submissions, there are many schemes that perhaps do too much, showing that architects always have the desire to make monumental projects. This scheme, on the other hand, is notable for its reticence.”

'Growtown' by Morgan Hone

Growtown by Morgan Hone

They added: “The project is commendable for its judgement of social sustainability and creating a viable proposition for getting people [of Detroit] back to work.”

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