Students from Writtle College and Anglia Ruskin University have grand designs

October 2011

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

WikiHouse self-build project forms part of Chelmsford Festival of Ideas

Students from Writtle College – in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, Changing Chelmsford and 00:/research architects – will be demonstrating their self-build skills as part of the Festival of Ideas in Chelmsford on Saturday, 5 November.

Students and staff from Writtle’s School of Design programmes in Interior Design and Interior Architecture will work together with members from Anglia Ruskin’s Department of the Built Environment to build a section of an innovative WikiHouse in Chelmsford’s Market Square.

WikiHouse ( is an online resource where architects freely share designs and techniques to allow anyone interested in self-build to order and construct their own home.

Students will be given the opportunity to adapt designs for the timber framed house, and through computer software, develop templates which will be made into components by The Cutting Room, a Cambridge-based laser cutting company.

The timber and materials will be provided by Bellway Homes, and the students will construct a section of the house in Chelmsford’s Market Square on 5 November (9am-12pm).

“This is a great learning experience for our students on many levels as it offers practical hands-on activity and engagement with the wider public and professionals in Chelmsford,” said Dr Delle Odeleye, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Urban Design at Anglia Ruskin.

“I hope it is the start of more collaborative events between Anglia Ruskin University and Writtle College in the future.”

Chris Seaber, from Writtle School of Design, said: “The opportunity offered by this project allows students from both institutions to see their work move from the drawing board to a particular reality. This very rarely happens in schools of design that deal with the manipulation of the built environment.”

The WikiHouse project is part of this autumn’s Chelmsford Festival of Ideas and the Department of the Built Environment’s Ruskin Week, in which students are encouraged to develop their skills and gain practical experience in their field of interest, which this year is based around the theme of self-build and sustainability.