PLACED Academy Insights

PLACED are launching a new series of FREE events for people aged 13-19 interested in careers in design and the built environment.

At each event you’ll hear from inspirational speakers at all stages in their careers, from recent planning graduates to architects heading up national design practices. They’ll be representing exciting firms across the UK, working to design and create the towns and cities in which we live.

Our speakers will be sharing some of their work, telling you about their career journeys, talking about their successes and challenges and giving you some invaluable tips. There will also be opportunity to ask the questions you really want to find out the answers to.

We’ll debunk myths, challenge misconceptions and tell you about careers, pathways and opportunities that you may never have heard of!

You can view and book onto the sessions we’re running at the links below!

Monday 25th January, 4.30 – 5.15
What’s it like to be an Architect?

In our first PLACED Academy Insights event, we’ll be finding out what it is like to be an architect. We’ll be hearing from two inspirational speakers who will be talking about their careers in architecture, giving us insight into what their job entails and how they got there.
Monday 1st February,
4.30 – 5.15
Urban Design and Landscape Architecture

What’s it really like being an Urban Designer or Landscape Architect? We’ll be hearing from two inspirational speakers to give us some insight as they talk about their careers in urban design and landscape architecture.
Monday 8th February,
4.30 – 5.15
Diversity in the built environment; Black Asian Minority Ethnic role models

We will focus on diversity in the built environment, in particular, the need for increased representation of BAME professionals in the industry.

We’ll be hearing from inspirational speakers talk about their careers, how being BAME has influenced their work and some of the challenges and barriers they have overcome.
Monday 15th February,
4.30 – 5.15
What is it like to be a Planner?

Our fourth session of PLACED Academy Insights will explore what it is really like to be a planner. We’ll be hearing from inspirational speakers as they give us some insight and talk about their careers in planning and how they got to where they are today.
Monday 22nd February,
4.30 – 5.15
Opportunities in the Construction Industry

For our fifth session in the PLACED Academy Insights series, we’ll hear from inspirational speakers who will give insight into their careers and the different opportunities that exist in the Construction industry.
Monday 1st March, 4.30 – 5.15Woman role models in the built environment

During this session of the PLACED Academy Insights series, we’ll be hearing from a panel of inspirational women who work in the built environment. They’ll be sharing their experience of what it’s like being a woman in the industry as we discuss addressing the gender imbalance, fair representation and the challenges and barriers they have overcome.
Monday 8th March,
4.30 – 5.15
A focus on Career Pathways: How do you get there?

For this session of PLACED Academy Insights, we’ll be hearing from inspirational speakers talk about their differnt career journeys and how they got to where they are now.
Monday 15th March,
4.30 – 5.15
Building a portfolio: What, how, why?

In our penultimate PLACED Academy Insights event, we’ll be discussing portfolios, with advice from university students and industry professionals. They will show their work, share top tips on how to start, what to include and why, and best ways to capture and present your work. 

With the restrictions of lockdown, why not make a start on creating yours now?
Monday 22nd March,
4.30 – 5.15
Aligning strengths and values with your job: being your own boss

In this session, we’ll be hearing from inspirational speakers talk about the decision to start their own business after identifying their strengths, values, what they enjoy and how they can make a difference. How did they overcome doubts, fears, challenges along the way? How do they feel about their journey now? What advice would they give? To end our series on a high, we hope these insights will demonstrate that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible!

We really hope to see you there! If you have any questions about these events, please contact

Digital Academy 2

Our second Digital Academy launched in October and ran 10-weeks until December. We had an amazing group of participants who took pack in a mixture of individual and group design challenges which responded to projects from 2 of our Partners, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) and Public Sector PLC.

The first 4 sessions were kindly supported by a range of PLACED Ambassadors who spoke to the group about who they were, what their job is or what they are studying, and gave advice about a range of topics portfolios, jobs, studying and developing confidence.

The LCRCA wanted the young people to think about their priorities for the future by inputting into their developing Spatial Development Strategy. This is a planning document which outlines the objectives for how land and buildings should be used across the city region, and covers the topics of the environment, the economy, quality buildings, health and social value.

We had lots of interesting conversations which led the participants to design a community hub with these themes in mind. Below is just a small selection of some of the contributions;.

Next we moved on to our group projects with the support of 6 amazing mentors. The cohort designed masterplans in response to a Town Centre development from Public Sector PLC, challenging them to think what makes a great neighbourhood to live, work and play. The designed a mixture of housing, public realm, landscaping, community buildings and transport routes and hubs in order to make a place that offered an exciting, welcoming, safe and friendly place for people to live and visit.

Congratulations to all our participants, and we’re are wishing them the very best for the next steps. And of course, a huge thank you to everyone who was a part of making the Digital Academy possible.

We’re looking forward to the next cohort starting in 2021!

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.