A budding architect’s profound and personal university thesis about the journey of the Windrush generation, that uses innovative creative software to bring stories to life, has been named as one of the best in the UK in a coveted national awards competition.
Sarah Bradshaw, who is from Bradford, is a part 1 architectural assistant at Leeds based architecture practice, Brewster Bye. She entered her final design thesis that she completed whilst at The University of Huddersfield into the Adobe Digital Edge Awards earlier this year, hosted by the software giant, which is the global leader in digital media and digital marketing solutions. The thesis, which is named ‘The Expedition – what could have been’ was shortlisted into the top 20 out of hundreds of entries. The top 20 entries were then split into two categories, and from each category three runners up and one winner was chosen. Sarah was invited to discuss her work further with a member of the Adobe team and found out afterwards that she had been named as one of the runners up for this year’s prestigious Adobe Digital Edge Award.
The Adobe Digital Edge Awards celebrate game-changing student projects that use creative cloud apps, like Photoshop, Illustrator or Premiere Pro, to take university work to the next level.
Sarah was also asked to record a short video that explains more about her work and the reasons for entering the competition and has been invited to join a virtual panel as part of Adobe Max 2022 – the world’s biggest creativity conference – which takes place on 19th October. She will also be in a chat room later in the day to answer any questions people may have about her work.
Sarah said: “I jumped at the chance to do both and travelled down to London to record the video about my thesis last month. I am now in the process of preparing my presentation for the conference panel, which is both nerve wracking and exciting!
“My thesis was all about living, but not living as a verb, but living as a noun. The way I chose to show living in this way was through the journey of the Windrush generation. The expedition is the building that could have been, it is an example of what people needed in 1948 when they arrived in the UK but unfortunately didn’t get. The materiality shows how people’s lives were controlled and shaped at the time and how, even today, it still impacts the lives of so many and also how other people see the Caribbean British generation.
“The building I designed aimed to be a direct reflection of the generation’s journey. It was a space that could allow people to understand the journey, but not just when they travelled from the Caribbean to England on the ship, but also the life they faced when they arrived in the UK. I used poetry and videography to portray the message of the people, as I wanted it to be a project that could reach and educate a wider audience through visual digital literacy, rather than just an architecture project. I created multiple visuals that when analysed, could tell the story of the people in one image. It was important to me to portray the message in the best way possible, as I didn’t want to discredit or reduce the story down, as it is not only a piece of British history, but also a part of my family’s history.
“It was a difficult task to complete as I really put my heart on the line and did a lot of research about inequality and racial disparity, as well as studying the actual motion of the boat’s movements. I also included the potential psychological impacts and emotions of the people into my work. It was truly an honour to create such a powerful piece of work and I am glad it is now being seen by a much wider audience. I feel proud that something I worked so hard on, and was extremely passionate about, has been recognised in this way.”
Sarah graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a BA (Hons) Architecture RIBA part 1 degree and was president of the University’s Architecture Society, as well as winning several awards in recent years. These include being named as one of ‘Yorkshire’s Women In Property’ and an academic award from the West Yorkshire Society of Architects. She joined Brewster Bye Architects this month.
Mark Henderson, director at Brewster Bye, said: “Sarah is a talented and committed budding architect. We knew when we first interviewed her that she has something special to bring to our industry and we are so pleased that she is getting an opportunity like this through the Adobe Digital Edge Awards platform.”
Brewster Bye currently employs a team of 21 based in Headingley and plans to recruit further this year.