Pupils design their ideal neighbourhoods

Tuesday, 15th May, 2018

Pupils design their ideal neighbourhoods

More than 700 pupils from 24 primary school classes have worked with Cardiff University’s School of Architecture to design their ideal neighbourhoods.

The Shape My Street competition, supported by the Design Commission for Wales and the Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW), was won by Ffynnon Taf Primary School in Taff’s Well.

Marlborough and Christ the King primary schools in Cardiff were runners up.

The pilot competition, launched in January, aims to help young learners aged seven to eleven to understand what makes a successful home and community, while also raising awareness of careers in the creative industries.

Ed Green, from the School of Architecture, said: “The competition activities are intended to develop understanding of the importance of design and quality in the built environment.

“All of the schools that participated produced fantastic work, full of ideas, demonstrating the potential of all of the children involved to design independently and creatively, but also to work collaboratively.”

A particular aim of the programme is to encourage participation from schools in remote geographic locations and economically disadvantaged communities, to raise awareness around careers in the creative industries, both within Wales and more widely.

Shape my Street

Carole-Anne Davies, Chief Executive of the Design Commission for Wales, said the judging panel was impressed by the quality and diversity of the submissions, and by the way the children were thinking about what is needed to make a positive community.

The three winning schools were invited to a ‘celebration day’ at St Fagans National Museum of History. There, the three classes were asked to design a future house for the National Museum Wales site, each with the help of two professional designers.

RSAW President Carolyn Merrifield, who judged this stage of the competition, said: “Once again the quality of the work was fantastic with all of the children producing really creative responses to both the brief and the place,” she said.

Matt Worth, head teacher of winning school Ffynon Taf Primary, said: “I was particularly impressed with the children’s work when collaborating on creating their street.

“They showed much empathy and social understanding when debating what amenities the community would require, who should have access to the best views and in their determination to design quality public spaces.

“I’m looking forward to extending the project into a whole STEM week.”

We’re looking to expand the initiative into a national competition open to all primary schools in wales next year.

For more information, please contact shapemystreet@cardiff.ac.uk