The RIBA is calling for architects to help bring architecture teaching into schools as it starts to roll out a nationwide educational drive
The launch of the institute’s national schools programme follows a three-year pilot which has seen expertly trained architects volunteer their time ‘to deliver bespoke and creative, curriculum-linked workshops’ for children aged between four and 18.
The trial programme featured 349 architects from 170 architecture practices and, as with the new national initiative, was free of charge to schools.
At present architecture is not part of the national curriculum.
An RIBA spokesperson said: ‘[Our] national schools programme will help thousands of children to explore and understand the built environment – its impact on people and communities; how it is shaped and developed; and why good design is important.
’Architecture is not a subject that is taught as part of the school curriculum. The aim of the programme is to foster a generation that understands the impact and importance of excellent architecture and is inspired with the confidence, knowledge and skills to make their voices heard.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners architect, Lorna Jackson with students at Brampton Manor Academy participating in a RIBA Schools Workshop
Source: Lucie Goodayle Photography
RIBA’s head of learning, Andrew Nelson, said that any architects wanting to find out about the programme in their region or to register their interest should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
He added: ‘We couldn’t run this programme without the time and expertise given by architecture professionals. The RIBA National Schools Programme currently rotates to different geographical regions each term. We would love to hear from you.’
The programme offers a ‘bespoke variety of workshops, matched to the individual needs, resources and interests of the school’.
Projects in the pilot phase have included huge large-scale models made of bamboo and proposals for creating ‘a city of the future’.
Speaking about the programme, RIBA president Ben Derbyshire said: ‘The RIBA believes that everyone has a part to play in shaping their built environment, and we are committed to empowering young people through this nationwide programme. The huge enthusiasm and commitment of the individual architects and their practices in giving their time to make this programme possible is impressive.
‘We are proud that our pilot project has already reached 18,000 young people, all over the country, and we look forward to inspiring thousands more.’