Cass tutor awarded Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship

Rosie Hervey, architecture alumna and tutor is awarded prestigious fellowship for project to investigate different models of ‘living together’.

Date: 2 May 2018

Rosie Hervey, an Undergraduate tutor in Architecture at The Cass, has been awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in collaboration with the National Housing Federation to explore Inter-generational community-led housing. Her study will be investigating how different models of co-development and living together can help to deliver affordable housing and facilitate the development of informal social networks of care.

Rosie, who graduated from The Cass in 2012 with a Professional Diploma in Architecture - RIBA 2 (Architecture RIBA 2 MArch), focused her diploma thesis 'the 21st century Almshouse', on the issues and opportunities surrounding growing old in the city, investigating the role of intergenerational communities within city centres. This research alongside her experience of working on intergenerational arts projects for charities such as Magic Me and Age Exchange, has founded a lengthy preoccupation with the importance of participatory urbanism and intergenerational interaction.

From June, Rosie will be travelling to Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany to document emerging examples of innovative community-led housing schemes through drawing and film, to understand how their participatory design/development process and ongoing governance structures affect their spatial performance and the potential social benefits associated with this process.

Both loneliness, and access to housing choice, are global city problems which are growing as land value rises and the population continues to live longer. An open, citizen-led dialogue around how people want to live, and what they value, is challenging the traditional definitions of lived domesticity and desirability within the housing market. Innovation around shared amenity and space is emerging within community-led schemes, which in turn is leading to a generosity of the built environment towards its neighbourhood. This has huge potential for the built fabric of the city and the health of its residents, as people are engaging with the design and development of their neighbourhood as a whole and subsequently develop informal support networks that can facilitate them to live independently for longer.

This research grant provides an amazing opportunity to explore how architecture as a profession can play a role in the support and development of the community led sector, providing increased choice within the housing sector and co-designing resilient, inclusive neighbourhoods. I'm looking forward to developing a better understanding of the spatial challenges that arise as a result of 'living together' and the skills needed to support communities through a participative and democratic process of housing development.

The Churchill fellowships are designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practice, and build greater understanding between peoples and different cultures, in order that professions and communities can benefit from international collaboration.

Julia Weston, Chief Executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, said: “Churchill Fellows travel globally and return with innovative ideas and a commitment to sharing their findings to help others in the UK. These designers will contribute to the booming UK design industry through identifying outstanding international design and incorporating it into their own work.”

Rosie's success follows that of fellow tutor Alpa Depani who won a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in 2017 and recently displayed the outcomes of her project at an exhibition called RECORDINGS in The Cass Atrium.

Graphic by Rosie Hervey