The initiative, launched by Beyond The Box Consultants CIC - a creative practice that champions and empowers young people and their communities, is open to those aged 14-18 years from the seven east London boroughs. The selected teams work in partnership with built environment professionals to design their own temporary cultural space.
After volunteering our services for the weekend workshops which marked the start of the programme, the final selected teams for each borough embarked on a design development week during February half-term. The purpose of this week was to help guide a team from initial concept through to completed design, ready for detailing. As part of this, we were delighted to host the Havering team, 'Team Troops' at our studio to help them develop the structural elements of their design.
The three eager 'Troops' first took part in a mini bridge building challenge to gain an understanding of structural principles. They then used this newfound knowledge to help develop their concept for the competition in a creative design workshop. It was a wonderful day of experimenting, learning and, most importantly, having fun!
Inspired by nature, the final idea for their pavilion was to create a canopy of mushrooms, with supports at varying heights to mimic clusters of mushrooms in nature, with a large recycled canopy providing shelter. Considering the circular economy of their design, the design consisted of several connected pieces which could be disassembled and donated for further use, with the benches and seating also suitable for reuse. Describing their design, Team Troops said, 'Overall, we aim to make our pavilion one that is eco-friendly and represents how we can become more green.'
While Teddy, Albert and Hamza were not chosen as outright winners of the design competition, we are incredibly proud of their enormous efforts.
The winning team will now see their pavilion design brought to life in the grounds of Lea Bridge Library in Leyton, as well as winning an all-expenses study trip to the opening of the Venice Biennale In Italy. Running alongside the design competition, other young east London residents have had the opportunity to collaborate with exciting cultural producers to devise a festival of live events to be hosted at the pavilion.
By helping to enable these talented young people to create an exciting cultural space for their peers in their own community, we can help entice the next generation of built environment professionals. It's been an absolute honour to have had a hand in that process!