Competition gives high schoolers chance to dive into design


Oakville high school students got a chance to experience life as an architect at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. Students were asked to design a bicycle sharing exchange hub in Oakville. With professionals judging, students in Grades 11 and 12 have the chance to learn, show their skills and win prizes. Ten finalists were chosen to present their design on Nov. 6.

First prize, AQUILA B-Drive Hybrid Bicycle. (Photos by Jessica Swietoniowski/Sheridan Sun)

Erica Sharp, who is part of the interior design team for JohnWillmott Inc. helps organize the competition and hopes it gets young people excited about architecture, “whether it be architecture, engineering or design we give them an experience where they can dive in and really feel what it’s like to do an architectural project,” says Sharp.

Crowd full of student and parents

“It’s a really good time for architects and architecture,” says John Willmott.

The judging criteria is broken down into five categories 60 per cent design concept and overall presentation, 10 per cent clarity of presentation, 
10 per cent technical detail
, 10 per cent drawing quality and 10 per cent verbal presentation.

Ambrose Chin finished in third place winning the Beats Pill Speaker, Andrew Stomphorst finished second winning an Apple IPad and Anjali Dawani was the big winner of the night coming in first place and taking home a new AQUILA B-Drive Hybrid Bicycle.

First place winner, Anjali Dawani

“I feel like it’s a really good experience that I got out of it as I want to get into architecture in the future and it helped understand what I’m really going into,” says winner Anjali Dawani.

Judges and the top three winners

Not only do the top 10 students get a chance to hear from professionals but any competitor can reach out to the JWA staff to discuss and get feedback for their design. Past winners have been successful because their submissions have explored new ideas, were adventurous in their form yet still met the basic programming
. With strict requirements for this project the primary function of the structure was to house a small fleet of bicycles as part of a community ride share program.
 Each structure would be able to accommodate between 12 to 24 bikes, promote cycling, healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

The structure was intended for year-round use and the following had to be included or considered:

  • public component (seating/gathering)
  • security
  • allow for future growth
  • signage, digital presence & interconnectivity – app controlled 
payment/pay station/mapping etc.
  • public lockers/storage
  • equipment/parts sales (sales for bike components, ie. spare 
  • water bottle filling station and air for tires

Willmott, being from Oakville himself, looked at this competition as a way to give young people a foot in the door he never had, “I want to do something to give back. I like to do things like that for students and young people. I remember back when I was entering into university and applying for architecture school I really didn’t have that experience, I didn’t know much about it,” says Willmott.