Phil is a qualified architect with approximately 20 years working experience. He has worked on several prestigious projects including the London Millennium Bridge, Newcastle’s Sage Music Centre, and Halley VI Antarctic Research Station. Phil loves a challenge. His interests include innovation theory and the development of materials and building systems.
From my adventures running architecture sessions with kids, there is a lot I have learnt about creating the best facilities to support young creative geniuses. Here is a series of recommendations to create and manage an exciting hub of architectural discovery:
Architectural Design is not a subject normally taught in schools. Because it presents something of a novelty to children, it often produces some very creative and exciting results. Furzedown Primary School in South West London regularly hold a sequence of lessons in its summer term focusing on this with a Year 5 class. The process starts looking at structure and continues with spacial design, materials, drawing techniques followed by model making. The children are normally given a brief and asked to design a pavilion. To conclude the sequence of lessons, a selection of projects is chosen to build full scale.
As part of their Art curriculum, Furzedown Primary School in south west London has been running workshops on architectural design. This is to help the children’s knowledge and understanding of materials, structure, colour and aesthetics, and how they can be applied physically into built assemblies. Architectural design is not a subject normally taught in schools before college, but it is a subject that is very relevant to everyone. We all live in the built environment which is heavily managed with lots of design interventions. Individually and collectively these affect us directly, so why not bring architectural design into the classroom?
It can be easy to forget that a child’s mind works in a wildly-different way to that of an adult. DesignBox Architecture director Philip Wells was reminded of this when he ran a series of creative workshops at a London primary school...
Children learn very quickly. Their learning patterns are led by their conceptual thoughts at first, and then by experience as they get older. When children are faced with new challenges, their thinking methods are not confined to established preconceptions of how things should look or work. Instead they are more fluid, often very confident and usually unique.
Reports of budget cuts for school building programmes have left most teachers struggling away in the same old classroom environments. Many existing classrooms do not offer the best conditions for teaching in or learning. Our stock of existing classrooms might be tired and requiring attention, but they do not need to be second-rate environments.