The University of Newcastle, Australia

Designing the Future of Human-Kind(ness)

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Sahibajot Kaur won the 2018 Commissioner K. G. Hoffman Prize in Urban Design, generously established by alumnus Kevin Hoffman. She is now shaping the future of our cities as an architecture graduate.

Kevin Hoffman and Sahibajot Kaur
Prize winner and alumnus Sahibajot Kaur met with generous supporter and fellow alumnus Kevin Hoffman at fjmt where she now works. They discussed urban design and Sahibajot's ambitions for the future.

“If cities are the future – and maybe they are – how can we make them human without spreading out too far?” asked Sahibajot. An ambitious humanitarian, writer and community organiser, Sahibajot’s interest in site-responsive, socially uplifting and sustainable architecture informed her thesis, 'Type 15: Work-Live in Chandigarh'. The project proposed dynamic, high- density, mixed-use environments in the heart of Chandigarh, India, in response to the city's slums.

I hope to help shape a profession that paves the way for humankind to consciously inhabit the earth. I’m constantly questioning what it means ‘to live’, and how architecture can truly help people.” - Sahibajot Kaur, Master of Architecture, 2018

The project's strong social agenda  and  beautifully crafted models and drawings won Sahibajot the Commissioner K. G. Hoffman Prize and the AIA NSW Architectural Communications Award. She also received the prize for University of Newcastle Graduate of the Year (Master of Architecture) 2018.

When visiting India, Sahibajot took the opportunity to organise a presentation of her project to the people and architects of Chandigarh. She has also been sharing her knowledge and experience as an alumni speaker in the School of Architecture and Built Environment.

Winning the Commissioner K. G. Hoffman Prize in Urban Design made me realise the importance of urban-scale planning in people's human-scale lives; that the configuration of my overall scheme was just as important as the architectural detail of the buildings within it. This is an outlook I will carry through my practice.” - Sahibajot Kaur, Master of Architecture, 2018

A legacy of excellence in urban design

During Kevin Hoffman’s tenure as the Commissioner of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, he generously established the Commissioner K. G. Hoffman Prize in Urban Design in 2000. The prize acknowledges talented and emerging architecture students from the University of Newcastle who have incorporated the best principles in urban design.

Kevin has made the special decision to leave a gift in his will to provide ongoing support for the prize which will continue to inspire, recognise and empower future leaders in architecture and urban design for many years to come.

Architects and townplanners need to take a long term view. You need to think how your design will impact and interact with each element of its surroundings. It is reassuring to know that Sahibajot, and other prize winners, will continue my passion as they create our buildings, places, towns and cities of the future." - Kevin Hoffman, Bachelor of Architecture, 1966

We are very grateful to Kevin Hoffman for his generosity and the philanthropic donations which created and maintain the Commissioner K. G. Hoffman Prize in Urban Design. As a leader in his field and an alumnus, Kevin is also using his extensive expertise and experience to help nurture the best thinkers and leaders. Kevin and Sahibajot are inspiring examples of how our alumni go on to positively shape our communities of the future.” - Professor SueAnne Ware, Head of School, School of Architecture and Built Environment

Sparking a trail of good
Our Gifts in Wills brochure is a guide to making a lasting impact beyond your lifetime. To receive your free copy, contact Maria Pavela, Development Manager (Bequests) on 02 4921 8612

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