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St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has launched a national schools photography competition to mark the Company’s 30th anniversary. The competition is supported by a number of organisations and experts in urban design, architecture, education and photography, including Farrells and The Princes Foundation for Building Communities.

Entitled ‘Making Places’, the competition is open to 30 secondary schools across England and Wales and asks GCSE art students to capture the theme of placemaking through the medium of photography. In doing so, students will explore what community, architecture or urban design means to them.

Between now and June 2016, students from each participating school will attend workshops hosted by Stephen Burke, photographer for the Telegraph and the Financial Times, and a member of award-winning, contemporary art organisation ‘WERK’*. He will provide them with insightful guidance on how to encapsulate the theme of placemaking and a sense of community through photography, in addition to offering careers advice in this field.

Each of the 30 participating schools will put forward their best entry, from which a shortlist of seven will be selected by a panel of judges. The national final will take place in September where the winner will be announced and awarded with a state of the art camera and £3,000 towards the school’s art department.

Bill Oliver, chief executive, St. Modwen says:

“For the last 30 years, St. Modwen has been relentless in its mission to bring new life to areas in need of regeneration and create places for people to live, work, learn, shop and enjoy. In our 30th year, we wanted to capture what we do as a business and to share this with local communities. The photography competition enables us to document what regeneration looks like in 2016, but more importantly, has been designed to inspire the next generation to explore what it is that gives a true sense of place to any community as well educating them on urban design and providing valuable photography skills from industry experts.”

Ben Bolgar, Senior Director, The Princes Foundation for Building Communities and competition judge says:

“Placemaking, in creating better places to live, is fundamental to the work of The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. We welcome this competition from St Modwen to encourage future generations to think about what it means and how architecture and urban design can improve quality of life.  I am very much looking forward to judging the entries and wish all the entrants the best of luck.”

Max Farrell, Partner, Farrells

“In the Farrell Review, we advocate for the teaching of architecture and the built environment to be interwoven into many different subjects to give the younger generation the placemaking skills required to build a better tomorrow.  It is fantastic to see photography being employed to this end in this competition from St. Modwen and I’m looking forward to seeing the creative results.”

The 30 schools are located in one of the seven regions in which St. Modwen is actively developing across the UK. The workshops will be held at selected St. Modwen regeneration and development sites across the UK.

Competition timeline:

  • April 2016: Competition launch
  • April – June: Workshops with national photographer Stephen Burke
  • July – August: work from participating schools to be displayed at St. Modwen development sites across the UK
  • Mid – July: Schools put forward their best entry
  • August: Shortlisting of30 entries to seven finalists
  • 27th September (morning): Seven finalists to attend a workshop given by Max Farrell of Sir Terry Farrell’s architecture practice and author of “The Farrell Review”.
  • 27th September (afternoon): Prize-giving

Judging panel:

  • Ben Bolgar, director, Princes Foundation for Building Communities
  • Emma Bowkett, director of photography, Financial Times
  • Stephen Burke, photographer for the Financial Times and the Telegraph
  • Professor Iwan Davies, Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor, Swansea University
  • Lord Lingfield, Conservative peer and committed educationalist
  • Bill Oliver, Chief Executive, St. Modwen