Ashleigh wins LDA Design bursary for landscape-led housing project

Pomona Grove

MLA Landscape Architecture student Ashleigh Davis has been awarded a bursary worth £2000 from LDA Design for a housing project designed to combat the isolation of working from home.

Ashleigh was one of only five recipients of the national award, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the multidisciplinary landscape practice.

The LDA design bursary seemed like the perfect opportunity to voice the importance of landscape-led housing design within our cities and the potential for a project that has the ability to be climate aware, productive and resilient.

Ashleigh davis

In addition to the cash prize, the bursary comes with the opportunity of a paid work placement with LDA Design.

Ashleigh’s successful design, Pomona Grove, aimed to transform part of Sheffield’s Porter Valley into an energetic, thriving place through connecting independent makers and creative industries. Ashleigh’s aim was for a seamless transition between living and creating, which combats the isolation of working from home.

Ashleigh said: “after living in Manchester during my year out placement, I witnessed block after block of new housing shoot upwards with no regard for the ground floor activation and the potential life between the buildings.”

“The LDA design bursary seemed like the perfect opportunity to voice the importance of landscape-led housing design within our cities and the potential for a project that has the ability to be climate aware, productive and resilient.”

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“I designed Pomona Grove as a place that I would love to live, a place that people feel connected to and passionate about the successes and failures of.”

The LDA Design judging panel comprised Andrew Harland, Bernie Foulkes, Rob Aspland and Sarah Potter. The judges said: “Ashleigh has re-imagined an eco-friendly place, and imbued it with a poetic quality. This is a place where we would love to live.”

The bursaries, which were announced in December 2019, were exclusively for students of landscape architecture and urban design.

Ashleigh added: “upon picking up the phone to LDA I was speechless, I never dreamed that I was actually going to win!! I’m very grateful to have been awarded the bursary and I’d like to thank LDA for their generous award. It's very exciting to be given the opportunity to get experience at a company like LDA.”

Applicants were judged on the ability of their design proposals to play a critical role in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises and social inequality.

Andrew Harland, Director of LDA Design said: “we are delighted to see that the next generation of urban designers and landscape architects are inquisitive and fiercely imaginative – just as we hoped they would be. These qualities are vital if we are to meet the climate crisis head on. Well done to all of our awardees. And a big thank you to all those who took the time to enter.”

Sheffield Landscape Architecture undergraduates address issues of sustainability and social inequality throughout their degrees, concentrating specifically on the issues surrounding housing developments during the Sustainable Communities and Site Planning for Sustainable Housing modules.

LDA Design will be running a bursary scheme in 2020.

Read more about the LDA Design bursary