Arup Community Engagement


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Arup Community Engagement

Project overview

Project overview

  • Arup Education Trust graduate Kwena Mabotsa participated in an IDBE residential week at the University of Cambridge.
  • Cambridge PhD student, Hannah Baker, visited South Africa and ran a workshop with undergraduate students.

The Arup Education Trust (AET) has collaborated with the University of Cambridge’s Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE) programme. In April 2016, the top performing AET student, Kwena Mabotsa, visited Cambridge where she participated in a residential week with the IDBE masters students. She was part of one of the teams tackling the week’s ‘studio project’, The Museum of London Smithfield competition, and in addition to visiting the Smithfield site, was exposed to a rich variety of lectures on a range of topics, cross cultural interaction and interdisciplinary working.

Commenting, Kwena said: “It was my first time travelling outside of South Africa. The invitation came as a surprise to me because I never thought I would be the one chosen as the top performer for AET to go to England; it was like a dream come true. I was given a chance to attend a residential week for the IDBE Masters programme at one of the world’s best universities. I had the most exciting and memorable time of my life when I was there.”

Arup has a lengthy association with the IDBE, from which several of its staff have graduated. In November 2015, Hannah Baker, a PhD student at Cambridge who is researching decision-making tools for large scale retrofitting projects, visited South Africa where she ran a workshop for all the tertiary beneficiaries of the AET. The AET students worked in groups where they role-played project stakeholders considering the potential redevelopment of a gas works site in Johannesburg.

Susan Snaddon, member of Arup’s South Africa Planning and Development team and Trustee of the Arup Education Trust said: “It was a privilege for the AET to collaborate with the IDBE, a course which has an enviable track record over 20 years of enhancing interdisciplinary and collaborative thinking amongst built environment professionals from around the world.  We are very excited to continue working together going forward.”

Visiting South Africa and running a workshop with the AET students was a fantastic opportunity. The wide-ranging discussions were very beneficial to my own research and hopefully allowed the AET students to think about topics outside their curriculum.
Hannah Baker (PhD student, University of Cambridge), Cambridge
I loved the enthusiasm with which the AET students and the IDBE students and staff embraced this collaboration opportunity.
Susan Snaddon (AET Trustee and IDBE course associate), Johannesburg
The collaboration reflects exactly what the IDBE embodies; the opportunity to learn from and support each other, across disciplines, countries and backgrounds.
Dr Alice Moncaster (IDBE course deputy director, University of Cambridge), Cambridge
I had the most exciting and memorable time of my life in Cambridge.
Kwena Mabotsa (AET beneficiary), Johannesburg

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