Architecture students asked to design innovative security features for Home Office

The RIBA has teamed up with the Home Office to launch a competition for students to create innovative anti-terrorism design solutions.

The competition, which is also being backed by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), is open to all 30,000 students of architecture and design in the current academic year.

Students are being asked to design a public space roughly one hectare in size with security features that do not “compromise the integrity of the environment's design aesthetic”. The first prize, awarded as part of the RSA's Design Directions student design scheme, will be £2,000.

Lord West, the Home Office security minister, said: “This competition is a great opportunity for students of architecture and design to make a significant contribution to protecting our country's crowded places from terrorist attacks. The designing-in of counter-terrorism protective security measures to new buildings at the earliest concept design stage will be crucial to the future of safer crowded places.”

The competition is the latest in a series of measures taken by the Home Office to get architects and designers thinking about “designing out terrorism”.

The RIBA joined forces with the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) earlier this year to set up anti-terrorism design workshops across the country.