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Children's spatial proposals put RIBA top of the class

RIBA president Marco Goldschmied and Alsop Architects won top marks last week as the driving forces behind a new project aimed at getting schoolchildren educated in design and involved in the architectural development of London.

The Arts Inform project, 'Designs on London', is headed by joint chief executives Frances Morrell and Linda Payne, who last week commended the president and Will Alsop for their 'conviction' and being 'instrumental' in making it happen.

The scheme will enable schoolchildren aged between 14 and 19 to work with architects at Alsop Architects, David Marks Julia Barfield, Penoyre and Prasad, Zaha Hadid, Edward Cullinan Architects, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, Rick Mather Architects and Richard Rogers Partnership to come up with ideas on the development of London to feed into mayor Ken Livingstone's emerging spatial development strategy.

Children from 25 London schools will come up with commentaries, visions and plans for improving their areas, and their drawings and models will go on show at the Proposals exhibition at the RIBA from 6-30 June.

'I'm very excited about it, ' said Goldschmied.

'These are the purchasers of houses of the future and I'd have loved to have had the opportunity when I was 16.'

Morrell said the project will now involve architects visiting schools after the children visited practices in an earlier phase. Christoph Egret from Alsop Architects will also deliver a presentation on the event later this month at the RIBA - the project emerged from Alsop Architects' plans for the Venice Biennale last year and from Will Alsop's work with schools.

Morrell said the project aims to give children an understanding of the world of urban design, through looking at their areas and deciding with their teachers what facilities 'weren't there that should be'. 'It is a creative citizenship project and will enhance their own learning experience in school, ' she said.

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