05 / 02 / 2024

Renowned architect and TV presenter George Clarke and his education charity MOBIE (Ministry of Building Innovation and Education) is working with Suffolk County Council and housebuilder Lovell to invite young people from across Suffolk to design green homes and green spaces for a site in Newmarket. 

The challenge, which launches today, is all about ‘thinking circular’. We are asking young people to design the homes of the future, focused on saving energy, resources, and the planet as a whole. Following the three basic principles of the circular economy, the young people involved will explore how homes can be designed to eliminate waste and pollution, incorporate reused and recycled materials, and regenerate nature.

Suffolk is a growing county, with an estimated 70,000 new homes being required to accommodate its growing population between now and 2030. Suffolk County Council has selected Lovell Partnerships as its partner for a new joint venture, Edmundham Developments, to develop new high quality homes on a number of its sites over the coming years. 

The Think Circular challenge is open to schools and colleges across Suffolk. It aims to engage young people to consider the type of homes that Suffolk needs and how they can be designed and built more sustainably. With growing skills gaps within the housing and construction sectors, it will hopefully inspire the county’s brightest young talent to consider a career in designing and building homes. 

The challenge is open to primary, secondary school and college students aged 5-18, who will compete in three distinct categories: ages 5 – 11 (primary), 11 – 15 (secondary), and 16-18 (further education). Students can participate individually or as part of a group, offering a platform for collaboration and teamwork.

Entries can take various forms, providing participants with creative freedom. Whether through physical designs or digital drawings, students can bring their ideas to life by hand, by using computer software, or even through gaming platforms such as Minecraft and Roblox.

The winner of the design challenge will be announced at a presentation event in the Spring. There is a prize for the winning team and their school or college from each category.

George Clarke, founder of MOBIE, said: Home is the most important piece of architecture in our lives. It crafts the way we live and determines how we grow as families and communities. A well-designed home and neighbourhood can enhance our quality of life and promote good health and wellbeing.”

"We need younger generations to define how they want to live now and in the future. Young people are vital to the future of housing, and it is important that their ideas influence home design and shape their communities. That is why I am delighted to be launching this home challenge in Suffolk with Lovell.

MOBIE has been engaging with the next generation of housing designers and makers since 2017, and we’re continually blown away by their creativity, imagination and passion when it comes to designing places that not only look beautiful, but which provide high living standards and minimise our impact on the environment. This Think Circular challenge is a great way to engage young people in the crucial conversation about what Suffolk’s future homes should be like. I cannot wait to see how they respond - based on previous challenges I know we will be amazed by their imagination and creativity!”


Cllr Richard Smith MVO, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Transport Strategy and Waste, said: “The County Council knows that Suffolk faces major housing challenges over the coming years, which is why our joint venture with Lovell is so important. It is good to be launching our partnership by asking our young people to not only think about the type of homes we need to meet these challenges, but how we can build them more sustainably. I am really looking forward to considering their ideas.”


Matthew Goakes, Area Director for Lovell, added: “We are delighted to introduce MOBIE to our joint venture partners. Edmundham Developments has been established to deliver high quality and sustainable homes across the county and to capture as much economic benefit locally as we can. We hope many local schools and colleges will take part in this challenge, which will not only help develop understanding of housing and sustainability but also hopefully allow us to attract the brightest talent from the next generations to come and work with us.”

Entries will close on April 12th 2024. For those wishing to register an interest in this challenge or to find out more about the terms and conditions and submission requirements, please contact: [email protected].

For further information on:

Lovell Partnerships, please visit: https://corporate.lovell.co.uk/who-we-are/

MOBIE, please visit https://www.mobie.org.uk/about