BDP welcomes the next generation of Architects, Engineers, Urbanists and Designers.
BDP’s London studio hosted a ‘hands-on’ Day in Industry to provide local secondary school students an insight into design-related career pathways.
The day was specifically targeted at secondary school pupils from London’s Islington Schools in the Phase I stage of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme; a programme designed to transform the future of education through new build and refurbishment of existing schools.
BDP is designing a number of innovative schools in the London Borough of Islington as part of the BSFand it was an opportunity for BDP to interact directly with students from these schools and expose young people to the career possibilities within the design industry.
Fourteen pupils and staff from BSF Islington Schools: St. Aloysius College and Highbury Grove, were welcomed to BDP with a presentation from architect and project leader Ken Powrie, who reasoned with the pupils: “After having spent so much time in your workspaces, we think its time you had the opportunity to visit and participate in ours”.
Participants then divided into four smaller groups which moved around the studio to experience different aspects of the design process and sample BDP’s interdisciplinary approach.
Landscape architect Sarah Hobday-North, mentored students through the practice of town planning, considering strategic placement of: schools, roads, shops, homes, and green spaces; while engineers John Roycroft and Robert Sullivan facilitated an activity to mirror the structural design process by challenging teams to build towers using spaghetti and plasticine.
Acoustics specialist, Paul Driscoll, immersed students in the world of acoustic design by soundproofing a meeting room for a practical listening exercise as means to demonstrate the impact and effect various products, materials, and design strategies have on common school spaces.
Architects Ken Powrie and Elena Balducchi tasked students with plotting their journeys to and from school on an aerial topographic map. Students were prompted to describe their individual journeys and voice problematic and/or unsafe areas. Student contributions on the day were collated and are being used to inform a current BDP project around safer journeys to and from school.
The day concluded a summary interview with participants.
According to 14 year-old St. Aloysius student, Enrico Palomeno; “All the people who taught us and took time to talk were really nice and looked interested in how we can improve certain things. This made me feel happy that someone is listening to our thoughts. The trip was about ‘Islington Building Schools for the Future’ and I learnt new stuff such as the category acoustics in architecture. I am very interested with architecture and I am thinking to take it up as a future career.”