RIBA Architecture Ambassadors at London Design and Engineering UTC\

Hawkins\Brown were invited to deliver a series of workshops to students at London Design and Engineering UTC, exploring the theme of ‘Future Cities’ while encouraging conceptual approaches to architecture.

With students of 16-17 years old who are currently considering future career options, the workshops were a fantastic opportunity for Hawkins\Brown to talk about the architectural profession and allow the students to explore their creative and technical abilities. We created a series of workshops which encouraged the students to think about the biggest possible ideas, which were then developed through storytelling and concluded in the design of a dwelling.

The big idea

After a brief presentation about who architects are and what we do, we introduced the idea of what future cities might look like by exploring conceptual scenarios within themes; technology, density, climate change and society. The students were then tasked to think about ‘What will your future city look like?’ With minimal limits to the brief, the students’ utopian, and dystopian, ideas started to take shape. Inspiration from Sir Ebenezer Howards’ ‘Garden City’, Kiyonori Kikutake and the Metabolists and Superstudio helped the students to consider the physical manifestation of their ideas on the city.

Building upon these ideas, the students imagined a day in the life within such future cities through a storyboarding exercise. The students used various means of representation to create their stories, thinking about the different places they would go, how they are connected, and what the architecture is like.

Designing a dwelling

Using the storyboards, students channelled their ideas from a conceptual to developed proposal for a dwelling in their city. With guidance, the students began to represent their ideas through plan, section, elevation, and model making to consider technical aspects of the designs.


For the final workshop the students attended a day of reviews and were given an insight into architectural practice at Hawkins\Brown’s office in Clerkenwell. Prior to commencing reviews of the work, Rachel and Ayanna (Part 1 Architectural Assistants) gave the students an overview of architectural studies, the different paths to take and the opportunities each can create. The students then presented their ideas from concept to dwelling – a challenging task indeed! Visiting critics from Hawkins\Brown were impressed with the work, from technical ability to representation of the projects. A series of awards from ‘most radical idea’ to ‘most sustainable project’ finished the workshop series on a high.

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