Joinedupdesign for Academies
Joinedupdesign for Academies gives pupils a voice in the development of new academies.
The programme works alongside secondary schools and colleges as they transition into academies. Adapted from the joinedupdesignforschools and Young Design Programme models, it invites local primary and secondary pupils to have a say in their new places of learning. Each project often involves the complete redesign and rebuild of existing buildings.
The pupils form client teams, representing the views of the current school communities. Client teams are paired with undergraduate design students from universities, who are mentored by professional designers and architects. The students help the client teams to consider common issues in school design, and to identify what they would like from their new academies.
Together they develop a Pupils’ Brief that sets out the client team’s vision, and includes design concepts from the university students. The brief informs the project’s architects, sponsors, governors and local authorities, providing valuable insights from the school’s future users.
“I hope this experience is repeated, so other children can have the opportunity that we have had in the actual creation of a building”.
“I feel proud because when we grow up, we can say to our children, ‘oh yeah, I went to that school and I designed it!’”
“It is both inspirational and grounding for architects to engage with the end users of a building, and a pupil client team can provide a vital insight into the young people’s perspective”.
“The pupils’ presence was a breath of fresh air”.
“The programme is a huge learning curve for pupils, including a newfound confidence and a way of working with other children”.
The Pupils’ Brief marks the beginning of the process; it also describes how client teams can continue their engagement. Pupil clients become an extension of the project team, contributing to decision-making, and collaborating with architects and planners in the design and build.
Both pupils and students acquire valuable transferable skills, such as problem solving, teamwork and communication, whilst gaining knowledge of the creative industries. Pupils develop a real sense of ownership and pride in their new academies.
The programme demonstrates how the education sector can be joined up with local authorities, sponsors and professionals to benefit everyone involved. The model can be adapted to suit any new school build or refurbishment.