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MA Architectural Design student Fangyi Ke wins prestigious LDA Design Bursary with ‘House of Cards’

26 January 2023

Fangyi Ke
Fangyi Ke

MA Architectural Design (MA AD) student Fangyi Ke has achieved a prestigious LDA Design Bursary for her project 'House of Cards' which seeks to unite Cardiff’s diverse home and international student body through purposeful empathy in urban design.

Fending off competition in a year that received more entries by a third than in previous rounds, Fangyi met the LDA challenge to re-image a forgotten place, reclaiming it so that it becomes lively to improve interactivity within the local populace.

Fangyi’s ‘House of Cards’ improves existing urban spaces at Cardiff University through collaborative student-led design; exhibiting student-chosen artwork in changeable spaces that showcase multicultural identities and which support students’ desire for community. By designating flexible and interactive spaces within an ‘Emotional Pavilion’ at Cathays campus’ bell tower, diverse student groups can socialise, share notices, explore shared interests, or proudly host celebrations.  A central House of Cards exhibition invites participants to draw 3D ‘cards’ and assemble them into a changeable and striking visual installation, emphasising togetherness.

Innovation through inclusivity in these flexible spaces can have radical benefits for international students. As Fangyi outlines in her project “the post-pandemic world has seen a decline in campus interaction which can exacerbate international students’ loneliness and alienation.”  Cardiff University currently provides exceptional teaching to over 7,700 international students from over 130 countries. Fangyi added “in the design process, I hope that through art and flexible architectural spaces I can make Cardiff University's campus more vibrant and give students of all backgrounds a sense of belonging.”

Delighted by her win, Fangyi shared that “I was very surprised and thrilled when I got the news. As a postgraduate student, this work represents my connection to the campus and my academic achievements. I am grateful for the recognition and support of my supervisor Dr. Hiral Patel and my major MA AD, without the support of my student colleagues and supervisors I would not have been able to complete such a professional design project”.

LDA Design, the purveyors of the Design Bursary Award, is an independent, 100% employee-owned consultancy of urban designers, landscape architects, and planners with a common purpose to shape the world for the better through the creation of climate-focused and sustainable landscapes.

Alongside Fangyi Ke’s achievement in gaining the LDA Bursary of £1000 and a work placement with one of LDA’s eight studios in March, her work has also received an award at the HEDQF Conference 2022, for which we also extend our warmest congratulations.

To find out more about opportunities at The Welsh School of Architecture, please visit our website.

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