Watch a video of the workshop and see what these young designers achieved during ’Body Building: Architecture and the Body’
In an earlier post we asked: When should children start learning about architecture? Of course, the answer was ‘as soon as possible’, especially as there seems to be enthusiasm from children for buildings and exploring the spaces around them – the evidence for this was witnessed at the RIBA a few days ago.
A team of staff at RIBA headquarters, led by Education Curator Elizabeth Grant, engaged with young designers and their families to explore architecture using their bodies. The participants of ‘Body Building: Architecture and the Body’, mostly aged 5 upwards, were very willing to share their knowledge and curiosity about how buildings work.
Each workshop began with the children using their bodies (and the adults present) to create architectural features; bodies became columns, arms as lintels and through collaboration they created colonnades, arches and domes. An active discussion, using material from the RIBA collections, involved participants answering questions put to them about construction and every building’s battle against gravity. A drawing session, using of the outline of the body to create additions to a skyline, followed. These young designers used their imaginations to give their body-inspired structures unique features – it was a return to the fun and avant garde of Archigram and its ideas for ‘walking cities’.
This free event, part of the London Festival of Architecture, showed that architecture can spark off fresh ideas, encompass a range of disciplines and is relevant to us all at any age. Learning about architecture should be accessible to all.
Photographs by Julie Mattison and Wilson Yau