Capturing infrastructure’s best side

In the Facebook age, taking quick snaps of pretty much anything and then posting them online is almost second nature. However, the UK’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is no doubt hoping that contributions to its infrastructure photography competition will be a little more considered.

The aim, after all, is to encourage participants to appreciate the vital role of assets such as roads, bridges, water supply systems, telecommunications and energy-generating facilities such a power stations and renewable energy plants.

“Through this competition we hope to bring the importance of the country’s major infrastructure projects to life,” said Roma Agrawal, an associate structural engineer at engineering consultancy WSP in London and the chair of the competition’s judging panel.

“After all, it’s key that the British public understand these and that they are aware of the benefits these will bring to the country in the long term, be that to the job market or in terms of the general facilities available to the public.”

The competition invites members of the public to submit photographs of “any man-made physical structure which benefits society” and is designed to champion the importance of major infrastructure projects to British society now and in the future. Entries can be made until the end of the year, with winners and those that make shortlists to be featured in an exhibition that will open in February 2015.

Agrawal spent six years working on London’s iconic Shard building, designing both the foundations and the ‘spire’ at the top. She will be casting her eye over the entries, along with RICS president Louise Brooke-Smith and Helen Binet, an architectural photographer.

“With a number of bold and innovative infrastructure projects being proposed and world renowned sites across the country, we hope to encourage more imaginative thinking about society’s relationship to infrastructure and the vital role it plays in our lives,” she said.

Of course, the pleasure of capturing the beauty of the country’s infrastructure assets for posterity will no doubt be reward enough. But just in case it’s not, RICS is offering the chance to win £3,000 to be spent on camera equipment. The deadline is Friday 19 December and photographs can be entered online at