Outreach workshops at Community College Whitstable

As part of the Outreach programme which the Kent School of Architecture runs, we made four trips to Community College Whitstable where we introduced the subject of architecture to a class of Year 9 Art students.

In our first two sessions we discussed the principles behind architectural drawing to the students, before introducing them to their brief – to design a café with a view on the Whitstable Harbour Arm.  Working in groups of 3 to 4, the students quickly started playing with ideas by sketching them and by exploring existing precedents.  By looking at projects such as underwater hotels and roof-top gardens, the students soon realised that the possibilities of architecture went beyond what they had originally thought.

In the third session, we introduced the students to the idea of working to scale and with this in mind, tasked them with making a 1:100 scale model which would showcase their designs.  We provided them with white card, acetate, foam board and paper and the designs soon came to life which the students all seemed to really enjoy.  Although some of the students needed encouragement in their abilities to design and model-make, they all pushed through and produced a variety of exciting and unique proposals.  The model making continued into our final session, at the end of which, we asked them to present their work to the rest of the class, which they all felt confident in doing.

During our time there it was great to also talk to the students about studying architecture.  Although they were only 13 years old, they were curious about the route to becoming an architect, as well as our current MArch work.  They spoke to us about their personal experiences and interests in the field, and there were a few students who were genuinely interested in pursuing it in the future.

Overall, we were truly impressed with the students’ creativity, outcomes, and interest in the subject. We both agree that we would have enjoyed a workshop like this at their age, as neither of us had the opportunity.  We hope the students have not only learned about architecture as a potential career path, but also about group-work, the design process and confidence in their abilities and ideas.

By Monica Win and Edward Hobbs
Stage 4, MArch

Outreach – Drop It! Event at KSA

Following on from the success of last year’s View Finders outreach project, this year KSA has been working with 5 partner schools (Canterbury Academy, St Anselm’s, Folkestone Academy, Brompton Academy and Community College Whitstable) on a project entitled ‘Drop It!’ with over 70 students and 15 KSA student ambassadors. The previous year we worked with 6 schools and approximately 60 students.

As with last year’s View Finders project, the aim is to introduce school students to architecture and to encourage them to be aware of the built environment as a possible future profession. This year’s brief is to design a box that can be dropped from an aeroplane into war zones or countries that have experienced a natural disaster. The box will open up, parts connected and assembled to form a number of ‘buildings’: a clinic, an orphanage or a dwelling. Students were asked to draw their ideas and make models over the course of the 6 weeks. The first of six sessions with our KSA student ambassadors began on Monday 25th January, and ran until Monday 14th March 2016.

On Wednesday 16th March 2016, students from five schools within the local area arrived at Kent School of Architecture (KSA) to test their tower building skills and find out the much anticipated results of the Outreach Drop It! challenge. Pupils, teachers and parents alike filed in to the Digital Crit Space at KSA for a warm welcome from Rebecca Hobbs, Outreach Project Officer, where they were briefed on the itinerary for the day. Thanks were given to all those who were involved in the project.

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Patrick Crouch, Design Tutor at KSA, quickly put the budding architects to the test with his challenge to build a “Tower in an Hour”. Armed with copious amounts of art straws, sticky tape and other materials, the teams set to work and built some impressive structures with guidance from Kent School of Architecture’s student ambassadors. Each group had a different approach to the tower but all had the same goal in mind: build the sturdiest, tallest tower in just 60 minutes. St. Anselm’s sought victory with their unique approach to the tower (which included a ball of string as decoration at the tip).

After refuelling with some much needed snacks and refreshments, Rebecca and Patrick announced the proud winners of the Drop It! Challenge. Student ambassadors had been working at the schools to help the pupils to design a box that could be dropped from an aeroplane into war zones or countries that have experienced a natural disaster. The resulting models were displayed in the Digital Crit Space, showcasing the different approaches that each school had taken. The winners, St Anselms, proudly accepted their prize from Rebecca Hobbs and as the event drew to a close, the students were left feeling truly inspired by their visit to Kent School of Architecture, the ambassadors they had met and the challenges which they had approached with vigour.

 

KSA Outreach Project hosts Drop It! Event

Following on from the success of last year’s View Finders outreach project, this year KSA has been working with 5 partner schools (Canterbury Academy, St Anselm’s, Folkestone Academy, Brompton Academy and Community College Whitstable) on a project entitled ‘Drop It!’ with over 70 students and 15 KSA student ambassadors. The previous year we worked with 6 schools and approximately 60 students.

As with last year’s View Finders project, the aim is to introduce school students to architecture and to encourage them to be aware of the built environment as a possible future profession. This year’s brief is to design a box that can be dropped from an aeroplane into war zones or countries that have experienced a natural disaster. The box will open up, parts connected and assembled to form a number of ‘buildings’: a clinic, an orphanage or a dwelling. Students were asked to draw their ideas and make models over the course of the 6 weeks. The first of six sessions with our KSA student ambassadors began on Monday 25th January, and ran until Monday 14th March 2016.

On Wednesday 16th March 2016, students from five schools within the local area arrived at Kent School of Architecture (KSA) to test their tower building skills and find out the much anticipated results of the Outreach Drop It! challenge. Pupils, teachers and parents alike filed in to the Digital Crit Space at KSA for a warm welcome from Rebecca Hobbs, Outreach Project Officer, where they were briefed on the itinerary for the day. Thanks were given to all those who were involved in the project.

Patrick Crouch, Design Tutor at KSA, quickly put the budding architects to the test with his challenge to build a “Tower in an Hour”. Armed with copious amounts of art straws, sticky tape and other materials, the teams set to work and built some impressive structures with guidance from Kent School of Architecture’s student ambassadors. Each group had a different approach to the tower but all had the same goal in mind: build the sturdiest, tallest tower in just 60 minutes. St. Anselm’s sought victory with their unique approach to the tower (which included a ball of string as decoration at the tip).

After refuelling with some much needed snacks and refreshments, Rebecca and Patrick announced the proud winners of the Drop It! Challenge. Student ambassadors had been working at the schools to help the pupils to design a box that could be dropped from an aeroplane into war zones or countries that have experienced a natural disaster. The resulting models were displayed in the Digital Crit Space, showcasing the different approaches that each school had taken. The winners, St Anselms, proudly accepted their prize from Rebecca Hobbs and as the event drew to a close, the students were left feeling truly inspired by their visit to Kent School of Architecture, the ambassadors they had met and the challenges which they had approached with vigour.

Another successful summer school at KSA

The second Summer School at the Kent School of Architecture was a great success and we were lucky again with the weather!

Pupils, primarily from local Partner Schools, enjoyed three days on campus engaging with a variety of activities relating to the process of designing a house for themselves and creating a community.

Pupils made a tower in ten minutes from small wooden blocks as an ice breaker followed by two short lectures introduced ideas of home and community.

They chose a role from a list and created a self-portrait illustrating themselves as an artist, a book dealer, a bird watcher, a gardener etc.  Following a site visit on campus and choosing a plot, pupils began the process of sketching out ideas of a house in earnest to be developed into models. The house needed to include a space to eat, sleep, wash and relax. An area was also included to work in their chosen role. A formal session of drawing on a drawing board allowed the pupils to learn about scale, plans and elevations with the associated drawing conventions.

Another successful summer school at KSA

The second Summer School at the Kent School of Architecture was a great success and we were lucky again with the weather!

Pupils, primarily from local Partner Schools, enjoyed three days on campus engaging with a variety of activities relating to the process of designing a house for themselves and creating a community.

Pupils made a tower in ten minutes from small wooden blocks as an ice breaker followed by two short lectures introduced ideas of home and community.

They chose a role from a list and created a self-portrait illustrating themselves as an artist, a book dealer, a bird watcher, a gardener etc.  Following a site visit on campus and choosing a plot, pupils began the process of sketching out ideas of a house in earnest to be developed into models. The house needed to include a space to eat, sleep, wash and relax. An area was also included to work in their chosen role. A formal session of drawing on a drawing board allowed the pupils to learn about scale, plans and elevations with the associated drawing conventions.

 

Community College Whitstable win the Stage Makers Competition

Students from Whitstable Community College have won the Stage Makers inter-school competition. The competition ran for three months and included teams from Abbey School, St Anselms and Community College Whitstable. The participating students were given a brief to design a building within their school site which could be used for performances.

Ambassadors from Kent School of Architecture led 5 workshops within each school and provided the students with materials for designing and model making. After introducing students to plans, sections and elevations, it was over to each group to decide what space they wanted to make for their school. There were certain things that the space had to include: a green room, WC and shower, storage, a stage and a space in which the audience would sit or stand.

On Thursday 3rd April, students, parents and staff were invited to Kent School of Architecture for an afternoon of activities and a presentation of prizes. Fine artist Patrick Crouch and the KSA ambassadors took the visiting students outside in the sunshine to design and build towers with some very impressive results.

The competition models were displayed in the Digital Crit Space which is where the judging took place. All the judges agreed that the Year 9 students from Community College Whitstable were the winners with their model – The Oyster.

Academic lead Rebecca Hobbs said: ‘All the pupils from the participating schools showed a great level of commitment and each group came up with some lovely ideas. The winning team used the oyster shell to generate the form of their stage. They encouraged and supported each other throughout the five workshop sessions. They worked together to produce a simple and elegant scheme illustrating their thought process in a very mature way’.

All students were presented with a Stage Makers sketch book and have been offered a place on the Architecture Summer School which is happening in July. The winners each received a copy of Phyllis Richardson’s influential book Big Ideas, Small Buildings and the afternoon ended with refreshments and a tour of the school.

Sonya Connell from Community College Whitstable commented: ‘The students thoroughly enjoyed the process working alongside the University staff and the student ambassadors and are thrilled to have won the competition. It was very interesting to see the University in action and the students really enjoyed seeing the work of the architects that they had been working with. The students are really looking forward to the Summer School and we are happy to support the project again next year’.

Mary Woodfine from Abbey School said: ‘Our students really enjoyed the workshops and meeting the ambassadors. Problem solving and team working skills came to the fore but over everything else the students really enjoyed the experience and as a result, are considering both the Summer School and Architecture as an option’.

We are looking forward to seeing the students again in July for the Summer School and would like to thank them again for taking part in our first Stage Makers competition.