Thanks to the immense generosity of our alumni and friends, the Bill Brown Creative Workshops are coming to life, with the aim to open at the beginning of the academic year in 2023.

The target of finding another £750,000 to match the generous donation of the Bill Brown Trust, made in July 2021 when it donated £750,000 to name the building, was reached in April 2022.

As a physical space for interdisciplinary innovation and cooperation, the Creative Workshops will be a facility unique to Oxbridge Colleges, attracting the very best minds to Churchill and inspiring them to respond to the challenges of the 21st century in new ways. It will make Churchill an attractive College for those studying the new Design Tripos.

Led by Barry Phipps, we hope the Creative Workshops will bring together every section of the College community, involving cooperation not only between students and academics of all disciplines, but also between the College’s widening participation and access work, our new COR Engineering Fellow, the Archives Centre, the Møller Institute, and more.

A few projects have already begun taking shape in anticipation of the Workshops becoming a reality. Dr Ramit Debnath, a Sustainability Fellow at Churchill, inaugural Fellow of Cambridge Zero, and a Gates Scholar with a background in engineering and public policy, is creating art from his work on thermal imaging of College buildings, making sustainability research more accessible and impactful to a wider audience.  Finally, our Director of Music, Dr Ewan Campbell, is creating a bicycle orchestra in which musical instruments will be assembled out of bike parts and recycled metal. We hope his composition piece will be performed at the Workshops when it is complete.

These projects are only just a taste of what Creative Workshops might produce in future. As the College marks over 60 years of excellence, the Creative Workshops are an integral part of looking toward the next phase of Churchill’s future, ensuring that we retain not only our academic prowess, but also our unique and forward-thinking character that inspires the brightest minds to look in new and unexpected directions.