A recent article published by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on architecture.com has highlighted Clear Architects’ work with local high school students. RIBA is a global professional membership body that is dedicated to supporting excellence in architecture.
Encouraging high standards
Architecture.com, RIBA’s official website, featured Clear Architects in its article:’The Legacy of the RIBA National Schools Programme‘. It showcased Clear Architects’ collaboration with Woodford County High School For Girls as part of the RIBA’s programme designed to inspire consideration of a future in architecture – a STEM subject – especially among girls. Architecture remains a male-dominated industry, though this is slowly changing.
Inspiring the next generation
Clear Architects delivered a series of educational workshops to students, enabling them to create bold plans for a new art and design building on their Essex-based campus. Alexa Kasim, the practice’s Technical Director, and James Mors, Creative Director, tasked students to develop a design proposal for a space that would better serve their needs.
Alexa says: “The assignment I set the class was to re-imagine their art department and the space it had. The ultimate dream goal was for them to come up with a proposal that could be built.”
“James and I started off by talking to students and showing them examples of unloved buildings around the world that had been transformed into much-loved spaces. We challenged them to think big and not be limited by their perceptions of what the school might spend on the work.”
Three years later, after several workshops and a lot of hard work from the students, various design proposals have been put forward to senior staff at the school. Some of the students have also been able to become Architecture Ambassadors, too, like Clear Architects’ Alexa and James.
According to the architecture.com article, the students say: “We hope to receive feedback from the collaboration that will result in outcomes that could support art and design teaching/learning in our school, and make a huge positive chance to the environment we so regularly inhabit.”
Looking to the future
Architectural education is something that Clear Architects care deeply about as a practice. Alexa says: “I felt that because we worked with a group of young people on a clear problem, the programme offered more than an introduction to architecture. We helped students bring out their problem-solving skills.”
“Having seen that some of the design proposals have been presented to senior staff and knowing that we helped bring about ideas, I am delighted. I believe that at least 2 of the students who were initially involved in the scheme have gone on to study architecture, which rounds off the experience nicely.”