Week 8, June 2nd 2020

On Friday, Ali and Maggie from TeenTech were joined by Navid Quraishi from Rolls Royce who gave the pupils brilliant feedback on the buildings they’d created during the week as part of our TeenTech City of Tomorrow at Home programme.

It was another week of creative and thoughtful buildings, and we were presented with new ideas from imaginative pupils from all over the UK. Navid was so impressed by how thoughtfully the pupils considered the use of space, natural resources and how we can connect with each other through technology.

Our first building came from Annabel, aged 9 from Thames Ditton, Surrey. Her environmentally friendly primary school was called S6 Eco-Love School and everyone agreed that they wish their school could have been like this!! It included drones and boats for travel, solar panels and a water recycling funnel to create natural energy and water sources. Technology was also incorporated to help make access safer through fingerprint screening.

 “The school is special because it doesn’t take up much room in the city because it is floating on water in the sea, with an extendable playground. From the playground, if the children have permission, they can wear wet suits and jump into the sea – there are aqua-robots to help them if they need it in the water. The school building has tubes that the children can travel down to see the sealife in the ocean” Annabel

Maggie thought this brilliantly detailed model brought things to life in a powerful way. She felt that Annabel had demonstrated very interesting thinking and had addressed the needs of people who learn in different ways – something that can sometimes be forgotten!

Navid thought that this was a fantastic and well thought through project, where elements of developing self-sufficient and off-grid premises had been pulled together, demonstrating  a great example of leadership and values in sustainability and inclusiveness. Both Navid and Maggie were impressed by Annabel’s fresh approach to the problems we face in suburban areas.

Navid applauded Annabel’s resourcefulness in her use of materials in the  construction of her building and her understanding and appreciation of use of technology where drones and robots are used to assist our quality of life and that of mother earth, security and access through the use of fingerprints. The idea of  aqua robots to clean the pollution caused by humans is truly inspiring, and thinking about ‘space’ flexibility where buildings can be re-moulded based on need of space demonstrates efficiency in Annabel’s  thought process. Navid compared this building to another which makes use of space under the ocean – the Burj Al Arab in Dubai built on an artificial island where people can see marine life whilst dining a few levels under the sea!

Our next building was the Floating Football Stadium (The FFS) by Jim, aged 13 from Flint.
It is an eco friendly football station that is floating above ground to a safe space. It helps to solve local issues of lack of ground space –therefore the stadium is floating above ground” Jim

Maggie loved the excitement that this big concept idea would bring to a city – what could be more fun than looking out your window to see this iconic building floating above you outside! Jim has shown a bold approach and very creative use of space through his well-engineered building.

Navid said that Jim’s football stadium is a great example of how we can think about re-use much more, pointing out that humanity uses in excess of 350 million tonnes of plastic per year, and that moving away from the use of this and the re-use of what plastic we use is essential to our existence in the decades to come. He was impressed at how well Jim clearly demonstrated forward thinking to the challenges we face within his project. With regards to the organisation and mobility of people between locations within the Floating Football Stadium, Navid thought it was fantastic to see that Jim thought of their safety as well as part of acquiring their tickets and with discipline and mindfulness making their way to their seats.

Maggie and Ali agreed that this inspiring building would really stand out, and they would love to get into a flying taxi and be dropped off at the stadium!

Our next building, Eco Offices by Iwan, aged 13 from Flintshire, was designed as a multi-purpose public office.

It is eco friendly and helps the community support itself. It helps solve the challenge of climate change as everything is natural, and it can be used to help the homeless and vulnerable people as  it is self-contained’   Iwan

Maggie referred to our current situation with Covid and how we have been able to reflect on how we make use of our spaces. She loved that Iwan had focused on connecting people within his building – something that will be increasingly important as a community which needs to feel safe, secure and self sufficient.

Navid remarked on Iwan’s natural ability to think about all things connected and loved that his project demonstrated that his environment was green from entering the building right up to the top floor. Navid explained that urban design of the future does focus on how can we not just produce individual ‘power’ but to also look at bio-diversity and enabling regeneration at much accelerated levels – so Iwan’s concept was totally on point! Navid also praised Iwan for the inclusiveness of his building, shown through his thinking, not only for people needing multiple-access purpose built spaces but also for those who are vulnerable and not fortunate to access these facilities.

Kai, Aged 13 from Flintshire, created the next building, called ‘Commercial Building’ – an office complex.

It is designed to soak up moisture and rain on the roof, and when it’s hot and dry, it releases the moisture as if it’s sweating to naturally cool the building down. It helps to save electricity as you don’t need to use air conditioning.” Kai

Maggie was thrilled to see that Kai had included a ‘sweating roof’ with his building as it is a concept which caught her imagination when she first heard about it! She praised the models for their beauty, saying that Kai has a good eye for design, and that the quality of the visuals is an excellent way to make the idea so clear!

Navid thought this an amazing project in its understanding about how we can use what we already have! He  especially loved how Kai has looked at how can we reduce our cost of running an office, how can we step-up to the challenges of global warming, and how can we think differently about use of material to conserve water and energy. He pointed out that considering renewable energy sources is increasingly important and designs such as Kai’s include important concepts to experiment and build upon, for us to understand the different options to re-use what we already have alongside building new offices and houses.

Our next building was The Grapes Building, a multi- purpose space, created by Joe (aged 10 from London).

“The Grapes building is revolutionary because it takes old school tech (water wheel)  and brings it into the 21st Century by helping to power the building, as well as being a stunning rotating sculpture made of glass and using collected rain water. Each pod (grape) is made from mirrored glass and curved steel, and they are stacked on top of each other – each having a different use and connected by lifts and walkways. Apps help connect the people who live in and use the building, They also help the efficiency of the building by predicting the needs of people such as heat, lighting etc

The grapes can be added to over time so can adapt to the future – and beyond!”    Joe

Maggie loved this unique and imaginative idea and the concept of it. She also loved the way Joe’s building reacts with the environment, making use of older concepts and bringing them up to date – such as the use of the windmill. Ali agreed and said he loved the biomimicry involved in the design and that he would rather live in a grape than a gherkin!

Navid described this as a fantastic design concept on the multi-dimension use of space, and re-use of resources available in the space. He also applauded the brilliant display of use of Internet of Things and user centric design where people are connected to the buildings and use of AI to predict energy usage. This provided a brilliant display of how the world is thinking through how it looks at augmented intelligence, empowering humans to have better outcomes through the use of AI.

Navid especially loved Joe’s view on how transport can be linked underground to replace conventional means of transport, explaining that these concepts are starting to emerge from the earlier implementations of the underground tube focussed on short distances to the now emerging hyperloop looking at shuttling people across hundreds of miles in very short time periods. Everyone agreed that Joe’s illustration of his building is fascinating and demonstrates how resourceful we can be with limited options., as well as being a great skill to have!

The next building was called Mandala Flower Building, created by Sander, aged 16 from Wimbledon,

A multi-use mall, city-hall, leisure-centre, multi-story gardens , Church and more, The Mandala Building is unique in that it is a social, cultural and economic hub of Gaborone, in Botswana! Water from dishwashers in kitchens etc. is used to water the plants in the gardens
 and there is an ocean-room, where sights and sounds of the sea are projected onto multiple walls for visitors to see as Botswana is a landlocked country.” Sander

Maggie loved the way Sander had considered how to create a building and space that would make people feel happy, and the fact that it would be accessible to all in the community, adding richness in culture and appreciation about the deeper, fundamental questions about what life is really all about.
Navid believed Sander’s concept to be extremely powerful, demonstrating the importance of diversity, inclusivity, culture and protection of mother earth. He praised Sander’s fascinating integration of technology through the use of solar panels which wrapped around the city, and the layering of the functional levels from green space to entertainment to a safe and peaceful space to worship. Navid added further information about some exiting projects we can see these days such as the ‘Gardens By The Bay’ in Singapore where they have built an entire vegetative and floral ecosystem indoors. Ali and Maggie both agreed that this was a highly creative design.

James (11) and Alice (12) from Burton on Trent created our next building called Honey Comb Hub, a residential building. The honey comb shaped hubs meant that lots of different rooms could be made available for different purposes such as detecting and adapting to suit the mental health of inhabitants, or health diagnostic hubs inside that can detect health issues and transmit information directly to medical centres.

This design could be altered to suit individual families or multiple occupancy.. with hubs being like flats. It is space saving, environmentally friendly and a healthy place to live.Green hubs are like garden rooms and address green space without need for garden at ground level. These could also use VR to make garden experience. Magnet technology is used to connect and allow transportation around honey comb hubs.”  James and Alice.

There was so much to talk about this building – Maggie focused on how the building was designed to turn to face the sun, and shared her memories of seeing a building in Norway which did just that, with all the resources set within the core of the building. Maggie felt that James’ and Alice’s building even went a step forward by subtly responding to the people within it, such as automatically changing the lighting to suit their mood!

Navid was impressed by James and Alice’s  mindset on learn fast, try, learn fast and try again – the agile mindset our future will need to develop brilliant concepts! He felt that the wholesomeness of their design was amazing, and the thinking about maximising use of space, energy and catering for the variety of human needs from physical to psychological very thorough.  Navid explained that the honeycomb rotating design to maximise the use of solar energy, using water treatment to enable self-sufficient access to purified water is a spectacular display of the possibility to have a wholesome liveable self-sufficient living space with near boundless access to resources.

With the rapid progress of technology, and our increased focus on nano-technology and combining it with bio-technology, he could see no reason why we cannot break through that science at a commercial scale. He urged James and Alice to stay curious and keep trying!

Our final building was created by Yves-Francois, aged 8 from London.  With a focus on health and well-being, it was called David Lloyd Club of the Future.

My building is special because it solves the problem of how people can still enjoy and have good health and well- being by using the swimming pools and contact free exercise/play area during a pandemic such as Coronavirus. Wehave an anti-virus tube which transports people from the roof top drone pad area to the hydrotherapy pool, the second pool and the exercise area. The risk of transmission of any virus is reduced of by not having changing rooms as the anti-virus tube functions as a dryer while club members travel back to the drone pad after a swimming or exercise activity” Yves

Maggie was particularly taken by the ant-virus tube that transports and dries at the same time! She said it would be great idea, especially in or current situation, if gyms and clubs could have this type of facility to ensure people are safe within the space, not to mention the saving of time! Both Maggie and Ali agreed that it was really thoughtful that Yves had taken on some of the challenges being currently faced.

Navid thought it was a great idea to use space from underneath to enable us to carry on keeping on top of our health safely. He also loved the design of the anti-virus tube and elevator design, explaining that this clearly shows how we can use bio technology and IoT to keep us safe. He added that the use of drones is a fantastic design to enable us to get to the facilities safely and securely from our homes, and that more design architectures and solutions like Yves’ will be needed in the future to make maximum use of space in a secure manner.

In answer to questions submitted Navid shared his knowledge and thoughts about what the major influencers for future technical design would be. He suggested there would be aspects such as:

  • Increased use of recyclable and bio-based materials
  • Increased focus on healthy, safe, multipurpose environments
  • Increased use of robotics, IoT and digital capabilities to enable increased ‘connectedness’ throughout our environment and it’s ‘connectedness’ to us to improve our quality of life
  • Venturing into different environments throughout the spectrum of land, sea, air and space