Summer City Builder Academy success

This Summer MADE ran their 5th City Builder Academy thanks to funding from the Ove Arup Foundation, Earnest Cook Trust and CHK Charities.  The academy was aimed at students from the West Midlands in years 10, 11, 12 and 13 who are interested in pursuing a career in the built environment.  This time the academy had a ‘green focus’ where the design challenge was to create a sustainable environment and integrate green infrastructure into the city- appealing not only to all the budding architects and urban designers out there but also those interested in a career in landscape architecture, green technology, ecology and sustainability.

It was a jam-packed, eventful week starting on the first day with a density, urban form and economics exercise invented by MADE’s CEO, David Tittle.  This got the students exploring ideas about the form of development before starting their design project, which was to transform a derelict space on the edge of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter into a new, vibrant, sustainable city block, the space being the Ludgate Hill car park on Livery Street/Lionel Street.

During the week the students received talks from professionals that informed the students about their careers, routes into the career, the kind of projects they work on and various specialisms within their career, this helped to influence and improve their designs.  The professionals that came were in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, ecology, engineering and building services. They also visited an architecture practice (Glancy Nicholls) and a transport consultancy (JMP) to see what it was like to work in a professional environment and what teams work together in the practices.

To aid their designs the students went on a site visit to the chosen site and the surrounding area.  This helped them to understand what the key aspects were of the site they were developing and what the land around the site was being used for.  They also had a tour of The Cube from Greg Willis who works at Make Architects and was involved with the development of The Cube.

On the final day each group had to present their scheme to a panel of judges and essentially have a ‘design review’ of their proposal.  After a competitive week with 21 students from 11 schools around the West Midlands there was a joint winner!  All students had a constructive week and are now more enthusiastic about their future careers within the built environment.

Reece Bushell, Pool Hayes Arts and Community School-  ‘I have really enjoyed the City Builder Academy.  I have learned a lot about the built environment and have made some good friends.  Many thanks to everybody for this wonderful week!’

Joshua Morgan, Weobley High School-  ‘City Builder Academy is a great course where learning and enjoyment are mixed to make it interesting to learn about the urban environment!’

MADE would like to thank all who gave up their time to help make this Summer’s City Builder Academysuch a success.

Our next City Builder Academy will take place from 20th-24th October 2014!  Please email Sally Robertshaw for more information or call 0121 348 7980.