Launching the PLACED Digital Academy!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of PLACED Digital Academy – a FREE to access, creative programme about the built environment for 14-18 year olds. 

The shift to a digital Academy for 2020-21 is in response to the current Covid-19 crisis, when supporting young people in taking positive steps towards their future is more important than ever.

The Academy is designed to tackle the barriers that young people face in accessing professional careers in the built environment. It seeks to support greater diversity in the sector, enable participants to develop their skills and confidence and empower them as active members of society. It is being delivered in partnership with the University of Liverpool School of Environmental Sciences, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the Regenda Group, along with support from amazing sponsors.  

The ten-week digital programme will give 30 young people the opportunity to participate in an exciting programme of activities about the built environment, with online workshops, tutorials and guidance from industry mentors.

Participants will take part in online workshops, including design projects, skills development activity, professional skill sessions and one-to-one support, helping them to feel confident as they take their next steps on their journeys. Young people will be supported by the PLACED team and fantastic mentor Ambassadors, built environment professionals and students. Mentors will include architects, planners, interior designers and landscape architects, offering young people a unique insight into careers and study routes.

One previous Academy participant states:

“The Placed Academy has really benefited me in many ways. It has boosted my confidence, developed my teamwork skills and has truly given me an insight into the built environment and what a career would be like in it. It is a great opportunity”. 

The 2020 digital Academy builds upon the success of PLACED’s first Academy programme, which ran from July 2019 until May 2020, as a series of face-to-face activities and workshops. 35 young people graduated from the programme in May. Their time on the programme has seen them become confident, informed young people able to think creatively to solve problems and develop ideas. 

PLACED Director, Jo Harrop says 

“At PLACED, we believe creative learning is an invaluable tool in developing young people’s confidence, self-belief and skills. Making the built environment the focus of this creativity means we can create empowered young citizens who know their view matters and that they have the potential to shape the places in which they live. 

We also believe it is a priority to support young people under-represented in the built environment in accessing the sector: whether young women, those from black and ethnic minority communities and those from less privileged areas. Only by supporting greater diversity through education can we create better, stronger and more understanding communities who can make a difference. 

That is why we established the PLACED Academy and we are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from our Partners and Sponsors.”

To find out more and get involved explore the pages on this website, and find out more about PLACED at placed.org.uk. Applications are open until 30th June. 

Sketching with Louise

We had the pleasure of working with our good friend and Academy Sponsor, Louise of Intrinsic, to run a sketching session for our participants. You can see a small selection of her amazing work above!

This session was highly-anticipated with the group which was due to take place in-person before the COVID situation took hold. So, we took the session online instead, and this was so successful we ended up running two sessions!

The first session was inspired by an online workshop Louise took part in with the Urban Sketches Milano group. After an introduction with some tips and tricks, we did sketches which looked out of our window for an hour. We then came back on to zoom to share our results!

Here are some of the wonderful submissions we received in the first session!

The second session started with Louise demonstrating a couple of quick sketching techniques, then focussing a session looking at interior spaces and objects.

Submissions are below!

Thanks again to Louise for holding these online sketching sessions, all of the participants loved it and have got a huge amount out of it regardless of their experience or confidence in drawing.

See more of Louise’s work below:

Cafe and support centre for CIF

In response to COVID, we make the decision to take the remaining Academy sessions online. Although we unfortunately don’t get to see each other in person, we’ve been staying in touch using zoom to carry on talking, learning and making.

We worked with our Sponsors Construction Impact Framework to develop a brief to allow our participants to design the look and feel of a new cafe and support centre. They considered the need for a flexible space for various events to take place, and a place to feel safe and supported with a ‘homely’ feel.

They designed two main boards:

  • One board communicated the vision for the space. This communicated how the cafe should feel, and how it should suit the needs of the users.
  • The second was their design board. This communicated the key design features such as colours, materials, furniture and layout.

Take a look at more of the submissions below.

You can see a wide variety of responses, and some common themes. Greening was popular, as were earthy tones and comfortable seating to deliver on the ‘homely’ feel of the cafe. There are also some interesting ways of creating multifunctional spaces by using modular furniture, movable walls, and pods to carve out more intimate spaces.

This was many of the participants first time using Photoshop in order to assemble these panels, and we think they’ve made impressive visuals to communicate a cohesive and people-centred vision for this unique space with certain specific needs.

Well done team!