The first Digital Academy!

Our Graduation photo for our first Digital Academy cohort!

We were so oversubscribed when we opened applications for our Digital Academy programme that we decided to run 2! The first programme ran 10-weeks between July and September and saw 31 participants take part.

The programme was split into 2 sections, the first being an individual design project for a community hub. The cohort took their own neighbourhood as their inspiration to explore what their community was like, what types of activities and services their community may want or need, where in their local area a community hub could exist, and what it could deliver. Below are just some of their amazing designs.

Next, we took on a design challenge within small teams. We worked with our Partners Regenda who provided the participants with a live housing-led regeneration project to respond to. The cohort worked in groups to understand the needs of existing and new communities in the area so they could provide a considered mix of housing, amenities and spaces.

Each group was assigned an individual mentor who supported them throughout the entire process. This an amazing opportunity to have input and guidance from a professional in the built environment and to hear about what their career is like.

Each group presented their ideas back to Regenda who were so impressed with the thought that the participants put in to understanding the impact of their designs on communities, and the range of approaches that they took in communicating their vision.

Thank you so much to all of our amazing participants who took part, the mentors and Ambassadors who supported the programme, and of course our Sponsors and Partners who could make this happen.


“Despite being an international company we pride ourselves on our local commitment across our offices.  Arup has held an office in Liverpool for over 15 years and we work throughout Liverpool City Region on a range of projects and services.  We see Placemaking as a vital component on any project we are involved in and therefore we are delighted to be part of the PLACED Academy where we can contribute, support and promote the careful consideration of Built Environmental principles with students and future professionals.”


Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services.  We aim to help our clients meet their business needs by adding value through technical excellence, efficient organisation and personal service.  Throughout the world we aim to provide a consistently excellent multi-disciplinary service, which also incorporates our concern for the environment.  Founded in 1946, Arup now has more than 14,000 people working in 88 offices in 33 countries and our projects have taken us to more than 160 countries.

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Prince Architects

“Having been a PlacED Ambassador for a number of years, I have seen first hand the amazing work the organisation does empowering young people to become involved in shaping the places around them. The built environment belongs to us all, yet careers in professions such as architecture can often seem out of reach for many. Initiatives such as the Digital Academy are invaluable in breaking down social and demographic barriers to entering the sector, creating an inclusive environment for students to develop, ultimately leading to a more diverse industry that benefits everyone. It is therefore a pleasure to be able to support the Academy and help to keep this good work going.”


Prince Architects is a small practice based in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, working on a diverse range of projects from private houses, to listed buildings and commercial properties. We take a collaborative approach to design, working closely with clients to understand and explore their aspirations and project potential. This process is underpinned by thoughtful, environmentally responsible architecture, that adds value for both client and place. Beyond the traditional practice work, we recognise the importance of inspiring the next generation of built environment professionals, demonstrated by our involvement with PlacEd, the University of Liverpool School of Architecture and the RIBA Student Mentoring Scheme.

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