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Inspiring the future architect \

Our RIBA Ambassadors workshop for Rokeby School took place during their career’s week and involved a class of thirty Year 10 students. The day ranged from model making exercises to a building visit to our mixed-use scheme Here East.

We kicked off the day with a brief explanation of what it means to be an architect, and introduced the many career paths that can lead to architecture. We then focused in on a discussion about the use of drawings as a means of communicating design. Using fruit as a muse, the students were asked to explore plans, sections and elevations to explore the architectural concepts of scale, form, function, texture and light. The task emphasized the importance of two-dimensional drawing within the design process and started to get them looking closer at detail and materiality.

After the break we moved on to look at the importance of three-dimensional modelling to test ideas. The students were introduced to the idea of a ‘client’ and a ‘site’ and in groups were given a brief to design a pod/meeting space for their given client. Given the clients’ requirements and an idea of scale, they were asked to design and quickly model their ideas. The resulting designs brought about some really inventive outcomes which helped the student to explain their ideas and design decisions.

The day built up to a site visit to Here East, Stratford, to show the students the progress of the development and how design translates into completed schemes. Assisted by the Here East COO, the students had a short guided tour taken by a Hawkins\Brown architect who presented the building’s key design principles - including the meeting room ‘pods’ on which the morning workshop was based. The tour also included a view of the construction works on the gantry.

There was a really positive response from the students in the classroom and on site, with a great depth of inquiry into the design and detail of the projects. The students’ enthusiasm and creativity was a great way to force us to think outside the box and broaden our own ambition through collaborating with great young minds.

Many thanks to Rokeby School, Here East and the RIBA Ambassadors Scheme for all their support.

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