Headline: Mayor Announces Winners of Second Design Future London Challenge
City Hall, London – The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, unveiled the winners of the second Design Future London Schools Challenge, where talented young Londoners showcased their creativity and sustainable design skills through the popular video game Minecraft. The ceremony announcing the winners took place at City Hall and marked the culmination of a collaborative effort between City Hall, Microsoft’s Minecraft Education, and C40 Cities.
The Design Future London Schools Challenge aimed to inspire young Londoners to pursue future careers in the green, tech, and design industries. Participants were tasked with designing sustainable changes to a special Minecraft version of Croydon town centre. The challenge received an overwhelming response, with more than 150 entries demonstrating the enthusiasm and innovative thinking of the young participants.
The participants, ranging from the youngest to the oldest, showcased their visions of a greener Croydon through a variety of mediums. The youngest students presented their ideas through a two-minute video, while older students went above and beyond by creating physical models, proposals, videos, and presentations. Many of the winning submissions emphasized the reuse of buildings, aligning with the circular and sustainable economy promoted by the Mayor’s London Plan. The designs also incorporated community-oriented features such as rooftop gardens and specialized facilities for young people.
In an unprecedented move, Mayor Sadiq Khan made his virtual debut as a non-player character in the new London Minecraft World. His presence served to introduce the challenge to young Londoners and underscore the significance of their contributions in shaping the future of the city.
Expressing his awe at the ideas and designs presented by the young Londoners, Mayor Sadiq Khan said, “We were blown away by the fantastic ideas and designs young Londoners came up with to create the Croydon town centre of the future, from sustainable housing and community spaces to art and transport.” He commended the partnership with Minecraft Education for making the challenge engaging and fun, congratulating all the participants for their dedication and creativity.
The Mayor’s Office collaborated with C40 Cities on the challenge, as part of their Schools Reinventing Cities program incorporating Minecraft Education. Other partners included George Clarke’s education charity MOBIE (Ministry of Building Innovation and Education), Croydon Council, and Mayors Fund for London.
George Clarke, MOBIE founder, expressed his enthusiasm for inspiring young talent to shape the communities of the future, saying, “Creating places that are innovative, beautiful, genuinely sustainable, and transform the quality of people’s lives is why we hold these challenges.” He applauded the thoughtfulness and complexity demonstrated by the finalists’ schemes and eagerly looked forward to their future endeavors.
Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities, lauded the collaborative effort to involve young voices in envisioning the future of cities. He congratulated the winners of Design Future London for their innovative ideas and people-centric designs, emphasizing the importance of thinking big for a greener and safer future.
Executive Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry, praised the competition for introducing town planning and regeneration to young people in a fun and accessible way. He congratulated all the winners and acknowledged Croydon’s position as the ideal location for the competition, considering its large population of young residents.
Julian McIntosh, JMA architect and TV presenter, commended the students’ creativity and ingenuity, highlighting the transformative power of creativity and innovation in their work.
The Design Future London Schools Challenge not only sparked the imagination of young Londoners but also showcased their potential to contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future for the city.