Photo courtesy of Chiquitectos.com from the workshop “Exploradores del Espacio” [Space Explorers] by the Fundación Telefónica Madrid.
The following is a list of architecture schools for children and young people – if you know of others, please get in touch via the “Comments” box below. Also on this site is a list of museums of school and education.
I love the idea that young people might learn about design and architecture for its own sake and for fun. In addition, though, there’s a number of important approaches that focus on teaching children how to (and that they have a right to) take part in understanding and sometimes even transforming their built world themselves. In England, Colin Ward was an interesting figure in this respect – an architect and later the Education Officer for the Town and Country Planning Association in England. Ward and many others promoted real possibilities for children to learn from their urban environments. More recently and focusing on architecture, Javier Encinas has put together a useful list and discussion (in Spanish) of architectural projects involving young people, mostly in Europe. Schools as Meeting Places: Critical and Inclusive Literacies in Changing Local Environments is a very interesting paper by Barbara Comber on teachers’ efforts in South Australia to develop their students’ skills at documenting and exploring the gentrification going on around them.
Innsbruck – Bilding, Kunst und Architekturschule https://www.bilding.at/
Helsinki – Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth http://arkki.net
Bavaria – The Bavarian Chamber of Architects has a range of events https://www.byak.de/veranstaltungen/architektur-fuer-kinder-und-jugendliche.html [Thanks to Martin Düchs for this].
Sicily – SOU The School of Architecture for Children www.sou-school.com
Imabari – The architect Toyo Ito has a professional architectural school that includes some sessions for children: http://itojuku.or.jp/about/english/
Madrid but work internationally – Chiquitectos: Workships for kids (and adults) aimed at learning about the built environment and sustainable development through games and play. http://www.chiquitectos.com/
Basque Region – Arkitente http://www.arkitente.org
Nationwide – RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) Schools Programme, “RIBA Schools involves both school visits to RIBA HQ in London and outreach where Architecture Ambassadors go into schools and work with young people on design projects.” https://www.architecture.com/education-cpd-and-careers/learning/schools-programme. RIBA have also now provided open access Learning Resources for Schools. Well done them!
London – Little Architect: The Architectural Association in the UK Primary Schools, “an education and learning platform for teaching architecture and sustainability in London’s primary schools” http://littlearchitect.aaschool.ac.uk/
London – Matt + Fiona who “ask young people how their built environment might be improved and empower them to bring that vision to life” http://mattandfiona.org/
London – as part of their work designing, making and doing, the creative Co-DB team also run projects with and for young people: http://www.co-db.uk/kids.html
London – Archimake, the “Young people’s architecture and engineering academy”: http://archimake.org
California – Y-Plan (Youth – Plan, Learn, Act, Now) is an ongoing action research project involving young people and run out the University of California, Berkeley. Its aim: “to strengthen our schools, create healthy communities, and build more equitable, sustainable cities” https://y-plan.berkeley.edu/
These are slightly different as they’re resources to support designers’ and researchers’ work with and for children, but since the resources are excellent, it makes sense to include them.
Designing with Children http://designingwithchildren.net/ Essentially a database of case studies presenting designs that were achieved by young people working with professionals.
Architektur für Kinder http://www.architekturfuerkinder.ch/ This is very different – an online archive as part of a research project on the history of playgrounds by Gabriela Burkhalter but again, the resources are so good, it seemed a good idea to include it in this list.
Engaging Places – architecture and the built environment as a learning resource (PDF, 1.1 MB). A document produced by CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) and the Architecture Centre Network.