New London Architecture

Architecture for all through education

Monday 30 August 2021

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Neil Pinder

Teacher
London Borough of Wandsworth

The third meeting by the NLA's Expert Panel on Education, held on the 2nd of August 2021, saw various professionals in the built environment industry present their work to inspire young people from non-traditional and traditional backgrounds to get involved in the Architecture/Engineering and Creative industries. The Panellists were attempting to address access to education, diversity and the generation and retention of talent, and encouraging social mobility.
 
Kicking off the meeting, I showed a short video 'Architecture for All' which is a hard hitting video with statistics from the AJ etc. showing the disparity in the architectural profession, between those who have access, and those who do not have access to the profession. The video has input from my former students, expressing their Architecture/creative passion through the media of TikTok with various professionals, from Lecturers, Dr Adrian Lahoud, Dean of architecture the Royal College of Art to Fiona Millar, a British born Journalist and a campaigner on education, to Architects Pooja Agrawal CEO of Public Practice. The video also ends by offering 'Solutions' and the latest initiative, to attract young Architects/Creatives into the profession. GLAM GOES GLOBAL, GLAM is acronym for ‘GUCCI, LOUIS VUITTON ARCHITECTURE & ME’.
 
Through this popular culture, we can attract and enthuse young creatives to learn about architecture and engineering, either those choosing university courses or university students wanting to belong to a community of like-minded people. We think of GLAM working like the “Trojan horse” because they’re enticed by the ‘glitzy’ name and don’t realise the magnitude of the power of what they’re doing until they are fully immersed in the programme. Young creatives from non-traditional and traditional backgrounds feel comfortable, and for the first time in their lives they’re in a creative environment surrounded by people who look and think like them and share similar thoughts. 
 
Ann Dalzell, who is a fantastic example of a Non-Tradition succeeding, was the second person to present her work. She is a building service engineer at Arup. Ann explained that Arup was finding it difficult to attract local residents to their company, it was trying to engage the residents to look into apprenticeship/reskilling as a way of joining the built environment industry , hopefully enthusing more people 'who look like them' to join the industry.
 
Pedro Gill founder of, Studio Gill is a Colombian born, Non- Traditional Architect. He is a senior lecturer at The Bartlett School of Architecture. Pedro's focus was on a mobile learning installation in a local square, based in Carreras, Venezuela. This is a fantastic example of 'Design Activism'. The installation travels around the cities schools, youth groups, animates, educates, engages and works with underrepresented and hard to reach communities. Pedro would like a similar program like this to be implemented in London.
 
Bruce Glocking is the Head of Regeneration for the London Borough Southwark. Bruce presented, 'Southwark Stands together' The programme is a long term educational actions and initiatives, which uses  ‘Growth influencers’ - role models to convey its message. The Workshops hopes to generate awareness of the built environment. It has an Architects framework of approximately 110 practices.
 
Jess Mailey is an Architect Associate of 16 years at the 'Building Design Partnership] designing educational environments. she specialises in interdisciplinary learning giving access and opportunities through sustainable collaborative learning partnerships.Her presentation featured, 'The Spec Building' School of Physics Engineering & Computer Science. The inspirational part of her presentation was focused on making the subject accessible to all and explaining that it was about 'problem solving'. 
 
Ben Marston (Chair), Director at Jestico + Whiles, presented a secondary school in Helsinki. The Finnish education system seen as most outstanding in the world. The AOR  is the first school to have been designed round a 'new curriculum'. Phenomenon based learning, which studies real life events. this seen as a community centre as much as a school and designed as such. Subsequently it has the flexibility of been seen as part of the community which is also 100% part of a schools. 
 
Rachel is a Senior Associate,  Senoir Architect at HKS. Her presentation was about their initiative with 'Blue Print For All' it is a 3 year programmes and one off workshops, which can be accessed by anyone, with a view to make everyone aware of architecture and construction which achieved will be  is half the battle won.There are open evening for anyone to come and talk about architecture. 

Matt Oakley is Head of Commercial research at Savills. Savills have over 50 apprenticeships level 3—7. Savills are constantly in search of finding partners for tit's outreach work. It has architects in the top 100 for apprenticeships. Savills is always looking for the correct terminology when engaging with it potential end users, they realise, when The Royal Institutions and accreditation are mentioned it makes young people think they can’t compete and it is not for them. There has to be a coordinated programme from a young people that it is a career they can do.

Alan Ollier-Thompson Head of Skills,London Borough Waltham Forest. Presentation was a community learning hub in Leytonstone, engaging with young people in underrepresented/low skill areas. Shop frontage are used to engage new people. Co- located in child and family centre. Gateway for people to continue learning. Blended flexible learning is also offer.

Judy Raper CEO and Dean TEDI London. This a brand new Engineering institution to broaden engineering that include design.  This program breaks the mould as you do not need A-levels to get in, but students do need the 3 As: The Ability, Aptitude and Attitude. Diverse range of students from all backgrounds are very much welcome appreciated and championed.
 
Katherine Watt Osney Power Station Global Leadership Centre. Presented for university of Oxford the process of how they implement design -  design philosophy documents for accessibility and inclusivity in design. 

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Neil Pinder

Teacher
London Borough of Wandsworth


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