23rd November 2023

Working with Open City’s Young Makers

Young City Makers is a programme organised by the Open City charity, to inspire the next generation of city shapers and city dwellers. Through this programme, we partnered with a primary school Year 4 class, to host workshops and site visits, with the aim of helping them understand how architecture shapes and contributes to the world around them. This year, the theme was “A More Sustainable London”, which we explored though workshops and site visits, with a final aim of making their own model city.

During our first workshop, we taught them about the different roles of people who make cities, helped them imagine what their ideal sustainable city would be like. Getting excited after we showed them some vHH projects, they had endless questions for us about how buildings are practically made. This transitioned into how the model city would be made – out of recyclable materials, on the theme of sustainability and reducing waste. The next week was our site visit to Canary Wharf. Seeing the model city room made by Canary Wharf Group, was the highlight of the day. Here, the students could see a professionally made model city and get inspiration on how to make theirs. The model-making workshop was a fun-filled day, where students reimagined how food, transport, and living could be designed to make their city. Our class were inspired by the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf to make their magical city in the clouds! They had the creative idea to make one main structure to insert all their ideas into, while wrapping a rollercoaster-style transportation network around it.

The workshops were a great way for the students to enjoy real life application of class learning. However, it was also a great way for us working professionals to see the city from another perspective. Building responsibly is key ethos of our practice, so this programme was a great opportunity to show the next generation that reducing our environmental impact must always be a key part of the design process. We hope they can celebrate their learning and making at the Tower Hamlets Town Hall Awards Ceremony on the 29th November!