MOBIE founder George Clarke was one of the judges for this year’s ‘MOBIE Campus Design Challenge’ to inspire the next generation of home designers, engineers and innovators. 

George was at Teesside University, Middlesbrough to hear presentations from the winners of a nationwide challenge, created by leading Built Environment education consultancy Class Of Your Own, and supported by MOBIE and modular design engineering specialists, Carbon Dynamic.

Children in three age groups from across the country were challenged to design innovative and modular student accommodation using sustainable timber. Almost 60 entries were received for the competition and the three national winners were:

·     Age 11 - 14 – Weston Favell Academy from Northampton

·     Age 14 - 16 – Heathcote School from Chingford, Essex 

·     Age 16 - 18 – King Ecgbert School from Sheffield

The national winning teams visited Teesside University to meet George and present their designs and to work on their ideas further.  Weston Favell Academy were judged overall winners.

George Clarke is the founder of MOBIE, an educational charity which is spearheading a fundamental change to the building industry. MOBIE is focused on raising the design standards, build quality and innovation around home building.  Its mission is to inspire new generations into the building profession and to fundamentally transform the way we think, design and construct homes both in the UK and abroad. Essentially, it is about new ways of making homes for new ways of living.

George said: “MOBIE is all about the future of home design in Britain and across the world. There has been a lack of investment in the home construction industry over the last 30 to 40 years and we need to raise the design and build standards. Fundamentally, we are still building homes the way we did hundreds of years ago.Technology corporations, telecommunication companies, and the automotive and aerospace industries are advancing at incredible rates, but the house building industry is stagnant, and it is genuinely time for systematic change”

Clarke added: “We all need a shelter and our home is the most important piece of architecture in our lives.  It needs to be more than just a shelter, it needs to be a place that enhances the quality and experience of our everyday lives and our health and well-being.By harnessing the talents, ideas and energy of the young people of today we can change the way we build homes. Today’s amazing student designs show we have a future generation with the talent and the imagination to make a difference. With amazing winners like these our future homes are in great hands”

The MOBIE Campus challenge is the fifth exciting annual competition run by COYO. From James Bond themed hotels to schools in Africa, inclusive homes to Jamie Oliver’s restaurants, COYO advocates giving children and young people access to ‘real life’ projects.  COYO Chief Executive, Alison Watson has worked with schools for almost a decade, and these challenges are the tip of the iceberg. 

George added: “The work has been outstanding, especially from those who are still so young. What’s great about MOBIE and this competition is that once we’ve set the brief and set a level of aspiration and inspiration to do something magical, the students just step up every time. That’s what this competition and MOBIE is all about - testing conventional thinking, pushing the boundaries of creative design, pushing it to the next level and getting students to think outside the box in a more creative way.”

Participating students from Weston Favell,winners of the 11 – 14 age groupsaid:  

“A once in a life time opportunity to work with George Clarke”– Nika (11)

“I had so much fun designing and improving our winning design”– Kelsey (11)

“It was an amazing learning experience to learn new techniques from George Clarke”– Libby (11)

“It was great, George Clarke has inspired me”– Ashton (12)

Tom O'Dwyer (16),Heathcote School (Chingford, Essex) winner of the 14-16 age group said, “the competition was a great opportunity to bring together all the skills and knowledge I have learned in two years of studying DEC at GCSE. As a sixteen-year-old, it was such a confidence boost to see industry professionals taking an interest in my presentation and my design ideas. Although I was nervous on the day about doing a ten-minute presentation on my own, the judges and professional audience were very supportive and encouraging.  It is a day that will stay with me”