Winner of Speaker’s ‘My Democracy Design’ competition

#UKPW - The @HouseofCommons has announced the winner of Speaker Sir @LindsayHoyle_MP's ‘My Democracy Design’ competition – an exciting art competition to celebrate the Palace of Westminster’s 150th birthday. 

Alice Forbes, aged 12 from Lancashire, has been named as the winner- receiving a special commemorative tile which has been based on her own striking design.

The final panel of judges – which included the Leader of the House, Rt Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and Shadow Leader of the House, Rt Hon. Valerie Vaz MP– were particularly impressed with Alice’s interpretation of the theme ‘My Democracy Design’. Alice’s design featured a hand-drawn image of the Palace of Westminster, incorporating the emblems of all four nations of the United Kingdom. The centrepiece of the tile includes a drawing that symbolised the importance of voting in the future.

Participants were advised that inspiration could come from a variety of areas, such as famous moments in the history of Parliament, or even what they would like democracy to look like in the next 150 years.  

Making the announcement during this year’s UK Parliament Week, Head of Education and Engagement for UK Parliament, David Clark, said:

“We received some fantastic entries to the ‘My Democracy Design’ competition this year.  The judges were incredibly impressed with the both the quality and messages behind the designs we saw – which show just how engaged the young people of this country are with democracy.

“Alice’s eye-catching design really stood out amongst the entries we received - providing a really optimistic and inclusive view of the future of our UK Parliament.”

Alice, the winner of the Speaker’s ‘My Democracy Design’ competition, said:

“I am very happy to have won the 'My Democracy Design' competition. I've been able to learn a lot about democracy when designing my tile. I visit London often with my family, and I think the Palace of Westminster is an amazing building.”

Alice will receive a certificate from Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, alongside a framed copy of her design. Alice’s design will then be transformed into her own unique democracy themed tile - evoking the famous encaustic tiles that the Palace of Westminster is known for. They will also receive a goody bag from the Houses of Parliament shop.

Two runners up will also see their designs framed and receive a signed certificate from Sir Lindsay Hoyle. They also receive a goody bag from the Houses of Parliament shop.

Open to young people aged between 6 and 15, the competition formed part of a programme of activities for the 150th birthday which included public talks, a new virtual tour of the Palace of Westminster, an online art gallery and range of social media activities.


Speaker of House of Commons launches ‘My Democracy Design’ competition 

Sir @LindsayHoyle_MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, launched the exciting summer art competition to celebrate the Palace of Westminster’s 150th birthday.

It took nearly 30 years to rebuild the Palace of Westminster after a devastating fire, but in 1870 it was finally completed with the beautiful mosaic tiles in Central Lobby. The Speaker is looking for the next great artist to design their own democracy themed tile.

Open to young people aged between 6 and 15, the design must focus on the theme ‘My Democracy Design’. Inspiration could come from voting, famous moments in the history of Parliament, like the suffragettes or even what they would like democracy to look like in the next 150 years.

The deadline for entries was the 31st August 2020.

What do you win?

  • One winner will have their design framed and receive a certificate from Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons. Their design will be created into their own unique democracy themed tile. They’ll also receive a goody bag from the Houses of Parliament shop.
  • Two runners up will have their designs framed and receive a signed certificate from Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons. They’ll also receive a goody bag from the Houses of Parliament shop.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said:

“This is a great opportunity for young people to get involved in our celebrations and to follow in the footsteps of Augustus Pugin, who designed the beautiful mosaic tiles you see in Central Lobby.

“Now it is your turn to create something that could last the next 150 years. I can’t wait to see democracy through your imagination.”

The competition forms part of a programme of activities for the 150th birthday which will include publics talks, a new virtual tour of the Palace of Westminster, an online art gallery and range of social media activities. 

All activities will take place online as the Palace of Westminster is currently closed to visitors due to COVID-19.

Images of the Palace of Westminster can be downloaded here. Images must be credited ©UK Parliament / photographer name (see Copyright Notice below each image). Images must not be altered in any way.

The House of Commons holds a range of images, including photographs of the Parliamentary Estate, Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and ceremonial occasions. 

Historical informationThe old Palace of Westminster was almost burned to the ground by an accidental fire in 1834; only Westminster Hall, St Stephen’s Cloister and the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft stand as they did in medieval times. In 1835, a public competition to design a new Palace was held. Of the 97 proposals submitted, the Royal Commission were unanimous in their choice of number 64. The design by Charles Barry bore the emblem of the Portcullis and proposed a Tudor style palace. The construction of the vast new Palace began in 1840. The first stone of the building was laid by Barry's wife on 27 August 1840. While construction was underway the House of Commons temporarily sat in the repaired Lesser Hall and the House of Lords used the Painted Chamber. Most of the decorative detailing including stonework, woodwork, tiles, fabrics and furniture was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin. The House of Lords first sat in their new purpose-built chamber in 1847 and the House of Commons in 1852 (at which point Charles Barry received a knighthood). Although much of the rest of the building was completed by 1860, construction was not finished until a decade afterwards by his son, Edward Barry.

UK Parliament’s award-winning Education and Engagement Service offers a wide range of free resources and services for teachers and school children, linked to the UK curricula.  

These include free online workshops for schools, teaching resources, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities for teachers and special events such as the annual UK Parliament Week festival (1-7 November 2020). 

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