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.

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 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: