Architecture in Schools: Celebrating Urban Design in Nature

Engaging Places
Our urban spaces are great places to explore the shapes and structures of our natural architecture.  London is a rich source of wildlife and the structures that support a bio-diverse city are all around us; in bat shelters, bee hives and the trees that birds make their home. Architecture in Schools is a London wide Architecture initiative from Open-City. The 2014 theme is about exploring and celebrating the natural built environment and the way urban design can be seen in the structures and spaces which support the ecology and wildlife of the city.

Mathematics, science and art and design can be brought to life outside of the classroom through architecture explorations. Back in the classroom we can make our own structures that can be placed in the school grounds, and on the rooftops or spaces around the buildings where we learn.

Architecture in Schools

Each year during the autumn term secondary schools across London are given the opportunity to explore examples of good design and then work back in the classroom to bring what they have learnt in to the classroom. The start of Architecture in Schools is a time for teachers and architects to come together, explore the design brief and carry out model making training. Explorations will then take place to explore London’s urban environment, with a focus on the architecture and natural habitats of the city. Back in the classroom the design brief will be carried as part of an architecture and design competition.  Schools across the City will celebrate by coming together and holding an Awards Ceremony at the end of the project.

Architecture education, the new National Curriculum and the Farrell Review

With the introduction of the new National Curriculum in September 2014 we hope Open-City’s schools architecture initiative will be a great way to start an exciting new phases in education.

The publication of the Farrell Review is also a welcome development in the way architecture is included in the curriculum. One of the recommendations is a call for a National Schools design competition to celebrate architecture with awards being presented by leading architects. Architecture in Schools is a great example of how this could work.

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