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RIBA National Schools Programme

Birmingham studio took part in the 2018 RIBA National Schools Programme, which sets up partnerships between schools and RIBA architecture ambassadors who volunteer their time to deliver curriculum linked workshops for children and young adults.

Architects Joan Kerr and Mike Duff visited Queensbridge School which was keen to introduce the programme to its design technology students following changes in the curriculum to focus more on innovative design and solution generation. At the workshop the year ten students were tasked with designing and modelling a lighthouse such as a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and to serve as a navigational aid to warn or to guide. The brief was open to interpretation for the students to decide on the location and what obstacle or danger the lighthouse would be indicating.

The students were also given an introduction to a career in architecture, followed by a design workshop where they learnt about the importance of understanding the context and the location of a building and also were given a problem for which they had to come up with a solution. It resulted in a very engaging session with some thought provoking and innovative work and some fantastic models and drawings.

Claire Starkey, design technology teacher, Queensbridge said “It was a brilliant experience for our students and I can tell they thoroughly enjoyed it! We really appreciate all the time and effort BDP has given our students; it will open their eyes to careers in architecture, improve their modelling skills and get them thinking more creatively which is what the new GCSE specification demands.”