Group of graduates announced as a winning design team for London Festival of Architecture’s “Pews and Perches” design competition

Five graduates from the class of 2023 entered the competition with a proposal that explored creative ways to use and reuse materials and that took inspiration from the Royal Docks and the communities who live there.

Northern Collective

Five recent graduates, Dima Al-Bayati, Maria Christodoulou, Pak Yin Lee, Margo Sulek and Yara Taha, formed The North-Bound Collective. They came together to help create a design for the competition that met the goals of material reuse, taking inspiration from the waterside location and involving local communities. 

An image of the design of two benches

The team created a bench set from reclaimed bricks and, inspired by the waterfront, they’ve repurposed end-of-life paddle boards for the seating. They’ve also designed the benches to allow wheelchair users to sit comfortably alongside people using the benches. 

Northbound collective proposition, showing the two benches construction details next to an image of a wheelchair user.

We sought for a creative solution while playfully traversing the boundaries between our respective fields. In line with Circular Economy principles, we proposed the re-use of paddleboards found on-site. We aim to bring the community together through participatory design activities; ultimately increasing their sense of ownership of the waterfront

The North-Bound Collective

As part of the winning teams The North-Bound Collective will create and install the bench set at the Royal Docks in 2024.