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Reflection on the Prize Trip of Think Design Make Competition - Ethel Ng

Ethel Ng, The University of Hong Kong

Captivated by the enchanting atmosphere of England, I had fully immersed myself into the cities during my stay in London and Manchester. The British Council provides me a precious chance to visit the country for the first time, which I had some amazing times visiting the museums and interacting with local scholars, architects and students.

It is extremely hard to pick the most memorable moment to sum up the trip. But as a prize trip of the Think Design Make Competition, the encounter with Thomas Heatherwick is definitely the highlight of the visit. It was great to be able to discuss the design with him in person and receive comment from him as he has always been my favourite architect. The visit to Heatherwcik Studio was also an eye-opening experience. Seeing the models and drawing that show how a design is generated have given me immense inspirations on architectural designs. Meeting the judges of the competition and presenting the design once again in Manchester School of Architecture are also strikingly beneficial in my pursuit of architecture study as I had direct conversation with the intellects.

Besides the academic programmes, other programmes arranged for us during the trip were all thoughtfully planned to ensure us were getting the best of England. I especially enjoy going to different museums with introduction by some of the curators. We have been to Sir John Soane’s Museum, TATE, the Design Museum and Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. I love it very much that we were able to see both the modern and historical art and explored beyond the field of architecture and design to get to know the background and tradition of the cities as well.

This trip has exceeded my expectations and has vast influences on both my personal and professional development. I am very glad and delighted to visit England as a design prize winner with British Council which this trip has enabled me to visit the country not merely from the perspective of a tourist but I am also intellectually stimulated.

Ethel Ng

A shopping mall near Covent Garden with some decorative light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, a subtle installation art.

Ethel Ng

We were taking a walk around the south bank and this amazing concrete National Theatre made of concrete captured our attention. The theatre is one of the most remarkable modern architecture in England for me.

Ethel Ng

The day we visited the Summerset House was sunny with a clear blue sky and it allowed us to look into details of the ornament of the building. The exhibitions inside the Summerset House were also great and worthy to pay a visit.

Ethel Ng

This photo was taken in Manchester. Manchester offered a different cityscape from London, I was especially mesmerized by Manchester Central Library and The John Rylands Library because of their historical architecture.

Ethel Ng

Before we left London, we went to visit the Natural History Museum. I had a lot of fun inside seeing all the bizarre animal specimen and precious gems and stones. 

Ethel Ng

I found that there are a lot of little bridges like this connecting two separated buildings in London, and they do not look like ordinary bridges. Instead, they are designed to be an artwork on the street. This twirling bridge looks very graceful and modern.

We visited the Tate Modern in the Bankside of London. I was very excited to see that it has many pieces by the masters such as Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian and Dali.