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Design Quality Indicator (DQI) plays a key role in Creative Spaces

Since last October Year 8 and 9 pupils (13-15 year olds) from over 500 schools nationwide submitted entries for the competition each hoping to win the opportunity of having their design built. The prize was £50,000 to have the winning entry built and pupils had the choice of either refurbishing an existing element of their school building or designing a new entity altogether (i.e. an outdoor classroom). Winners were chosen from each of the twelve regional Development Agencies receiving a prize of £3000. The regional winners were then judged by a panel of Industry Professionals who picked three to go through to a National Final, the overall winner was Monkseaton High School in the North East. Simon Pole of Pole Associates and a member of the CIC DQI Management Group was one of a number of industry professionals to form the competition’s judging panel, chaired by designer Wayne Hemmingway, at the final hosted by RIBA.

The DQI framework was integrated into the competition structure with a simplified version of the existing DQI questionnaire being used twice in the process. Impact, Functionality and Build Quality remained the three areas of focus. The first use enabled students to establish what the school was lacking or what needed improving and the second was used to assess whether the aspirations had been met at the mid-design stage. The pupils used the DQI to provoke group discussion and enable a consensus to be reached as to what the proposals for their school should be. The written element of each design proposal discussed how the DQI helped them achieve their primary objectives and this material was taken into consideration by the judges in deciding the eventual winner.


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