Winners announced of Scott Brownrigg Award for Sustainable Development

Winners announced of Scott Brownrigg Award for Sustainable Development

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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the four winners of the 2022 RIBA Scott Brownrigg Award for Sustainable Development. The winning project – ‘Co-Designing the Rwanda Model Village’ – was submitted by a group of four researchers:  

  • Kit Lee-Smith (lead): MArch graduate, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
  • Dr Josephine Mwongeli Malonza: Founding Dean - Faculty of Architecture and Environmental Design FAED, College of Science and Technology, University of Rwanda
  • Ben Hayes: Co-founder and Director, Unknown Works; Lecturer at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL 
  • Julia Backhaus: Founding Director Flux Architects; Associate Professor at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL; Co- founder and Board member of the Rwanda Heart Care and Research 

In response to Rwanda’s City of Kigali 2050 Masterplan and the expansion of rural development, this project will focus on the growth of the model village programme, examining the limitations and possibilities of this new housing prototype in relation to the local construction material cycles. The project aims to develop a toolbox encompassing different strategies for a socially and environmentally sustainable village model for Rwanda, providing a backbone for both local communities and future research to build on.   

Working collaboratively with the School of Architecture and the Built Environment (SABE) at the University of Rwanda, this project will tackle the global climate emergency by developing a platform for mutually beneficial North/South research conversations that can lead to real impact.  

Following completion of the project in 12 months’ time, the researchers will be invited to present their work at the RIBA and Scott Brownrigg’s London studio in Autumn 2023. 


The RIBA Scott Brownrigg Award for Sustainable Development was launched earlier this year. It offers £5,000 to individuals or teams interested in developing research projects or practical work in architecture-related topics associated with one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Global Compact.   

 The 2022 judging panel comprised:  

  • Mhairi McVicar, Professor of Architecture at Cardiff University (Chair)  
  • Simon Allford, RIBA President  
  • Mario Vieira, Head of Sustainability at Scott Brownrigg 
  • Gregory Baker, CEO and Founder at Ese Capital 
  • Laura Evans, Senior Lecturer of Architecture at Kingston University 
  • Rajat Gupta, Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change at Oxford Brookes University 
  • Mina Hasman, Sustainable Practice Director at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 

“Sponsoring the inaugural RIBA Scott Brownrigg Award for Sustainable Development reflects the importance we place on sustainable research and design as a business. It was encouraging to see so many high-quality applications which demonstrate the vital role that architecture plays in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Chair of the judging panel, Mhairi McVicar, said: 

“The submissions for the inaugural Scott Brownrigg Award for Sustainable Development were of extremely high quality and addressed a wide range of global challenges at varying scales. The jury held a lively and critical discussion and commended the overall depth and focus of the anonymised submissions. The winning proposal is ambitious and innovative whilst pursuing practical, implementable, and transferable outcomes at varied scales, from regional development to detailed material proposals. We were delighted to review an excellent set of proposals and look forward to the outcomes of the winning submission.”  

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