2015/16 Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund winner announced

Charlotte Eley

(UK) – University of Sheffield Year 6 Architecture student Charlotte Eley impresses judges with passion for using light and architecture to tackle social issues.

The Trustees of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund are excited to announce the winner of its 2015/16 award as Charlotte Eley, a Year 6 Architecture student completing her MArch at the University of Sheffield.

The judges were impressed by the maturity and sensitivity of Charlotte’s application, which conveyed her passion for the potential inherent in light and architecture to tackle large social issues such as inclusivity, crime prevention and community cohesion.

Charlotte explained: “I believe good lighting design should be accessible to all, being designed and provided for all members of society, from school children to the homeless. Each of my architecture projects at university has tackled different issues of lighting, including crime prevention and inclusion, the tyranny of commercial supermarket lighting and the role of lighting in creating spiritual environments at the end of life.”

Charlotte plans to use the £10,000 scholarship to fund participatory design methods and testing for her final Masters design project. This project looks at the role lighting and architecture can play in supporting social interaction, particularly for those with complex communication requirements such as the hearing impaired, or those who speak a foreign language. Following her studies, the scholarship will also help to support Charlotte while she furthers her learning within the lighting design community, and allow her to become more involved in nonprofit design work, focusing on lighting design for public interest.

John Roake, Chairman of the JSSF commented: “We are delighted to present the third JSSF scholarship to Charlotte Eley. Each year we are impressed by the diversity and quality of the submissions, however we all agreed that Charlotte’s work is really special in being representative of a growing movement in the fields of architecture and lighting design, where priority is given to considering ways in which designers can help dramatically improve the lives of those who often do not have immediate access to well thought-through, practical and sustainable solutions. It was her social responsibility which shone through which we thought made her deserving of support and encouragement.”

This award is made possible thanks to the incredible generosity of a number of companies and individuals. There is pledged to be a minimum of one award each year until 2023.