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The silk road

Imogen Holden


Imogen joined the practice having graduated from Newcastle University in 2016 with a distinction in her Architecture master's degree. That same year she was awarded the RIBA Hadrian Medal for her research into piers and coastal architectures for the 21st century. In 2009 she graduated from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London before joining Foster + Partners.

Fairy Tales Competition Entry 2017 Image 2 Im

Over this past few weeks, Assia Stefanova and I have been collaborating with Professor Rachel Armstrong from Newcastle University on the Fairy Tales 2017 competition.

This competition, now in its fourth year, is the largest annual architecture competition in the world, attracting over 1,500 applications last year. The competition is open to all – designers, architects, writers, engineers, illustrators, students and creatives. The brief is simple – write a short fairy tale and produce five key graphics to accompany the story. The winners and honourable mentions are published in ‘Fairy Tales: When Architecture Tells A Story’, which is sold at museums and bookshops across the world.

Fairy Tales Competition Entry 2017 Images 1 And 3

Our entry is a reaction to what we believe to be important, irreversible changes taking place in the world today. These range from mass migration and questions relating to the value of collaboration, integration and engagement, to rising sea levels and places lost to conflict. With the shift in focus from West to East, we began to ask how people might begin to craft and rebuild their homes in a world that has become increasingly nomadic.

Could this act of rebuilding be an opportunity for reconnecting with our natural environment and kick-starting a positive conversation between cultures? We are conscious of the complexity of these issues, which led us to focus on the magic associated with enchanted spaces, epic journeys and the hope they inspire.

Fairy Tales Competition Entry 2017 Images 5 And 4

Imogen Holden