It will soon be half term, here are five ideas we have for fun and educational activities for young designers and architects whilst they are away from school…

Adults and kids at the ‘Fantastical cities’ family workshop, RIBA, April 2013

Participants at the ‘Fantastical cities’ family workshop, RIBA, April 2013

There’s no excuse for anyone to be bored during half term, there are activities that can be done at home, outdoors or the RIBA and to get the whole family learning about the buildings and spaces around them. We’ve put together just a few things everyone can do:

1. Make models

Participants at a model-making workshop for children, RIBA, August 2013

Participants at a model-making workshop for  7-11 year olds, RIBA, August 2013

Collect some toilet roll tubes, coloured paper, cardboard, scissors and glue to create 3D models of your own home, famous buildings or your neighbourhood – but factor in a few minutes for tidying-up time! There are no restrictions on your imagination, so experiment with size, shape, material and colour. There’s lots of images on RIBApix of buildings from across the world, browse it for inspiration.

Go further and create your own design for a building and think about:

  • Who will use and what they will need?
  • How big will it be?
  • What will it be made out of?
  • Where would you put it and why?

 

Older students should think conceptually: Explore the patterns and shapes in nature, at geological features and abstract paintings to see what new structural forms you can create for your models.

Student exploring new skills through model making at a ‘Skill-Up’ workshop for 15-19 year olds, RIBA, August 2013

Student exploring new skills through model making at a ‘Skill-Up’ workshop for 15-19 year olds, RIBA, August 2013

2. What will your home look like in the future?

Children created models of what they imagined their homes would look like in the future, during a RIBA family workshop, February 2012

Children created models of what they imagined their homes would look like in the future, during a RIBA family workshop, February 2012

Re-imagine your home and think about how you will live in the future, perhaps in the next century: Will houses float in the air, be unusual shapes or need rooms for alien visitors and hover cars? Draw or make models of your vision of the future. If you want to be ambitious, think of ideas for futuristic cities and the new technologies that could change our lives.

3. Explore!

Students sketching outdoors during a RIBA ‘Skill-Up’ workshop aimed at 15-19 year olds, August 2013

Students sketching outdoors during a RIBA ‘Skill-Up’ workshop aimed at 15-19 year olds, August 2013

There’s much to be learnt from exploring the spaces around you, as you might discover things you’ve never noticed before. Sketch the room you’re in, think about how you’d like to change it. Look outside you window, what can you see? Explore your local street and beyond and record in words and images what’s there using a sketchbook, tablet or camera. Also, look at these buildings closely, have they got unusual textures and patterns on their surfaces? See if you can create rubbings from the buildings you see.

Rubbing being created from a relief in the Florence Hall, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, August 2013.

Rubbing being created from a relief during a workshop for 7-11 year olds at the RIBA, August 2013

4. Exhibitions and galleries

V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery

V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery

Visit museums and galleries for inspiration. The V&A+RIBA Architecture Gallery is a permanent exhibition of architectural models, drawings and photographs to explain the history of world architecture. The gallery is open to the public from 10am to 5.45pm daily and 10am to 10pm on Fridays, entry is free.

5. Join us at the RIBA

Drawing created by a student during a Design Day workshop, August 2013

Drawing created by a student during a Design Day workshop, August 2013

The RIBA have organised a series of events at 66 Portland Place to get children and students designing and learning from real buildings and the architectural collections of the RIBA. There will be workshops led by professional artists and educators, where participants can work with others and unleashed their creativity  in topics such as animal architecture and the city, whilst learning new skills, including how to make models, the design process and new drawing techniques. Some events are drop-in, others will require advanced booking, check listings in What’s On for details of all RIBA events. 66 Portland Place also has facilities for adults; the cafe, Library, exhibitions and bookshop will be open as normal throughout half term.

Half term events at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place:

 

We hope everyone has a great half term and all the teachers get a good rest. We look forward to seeing some of you at 66 Portland Place in a few weeks!

 

All images © RIBA, British Architectural Library

About Wilson Yau
I work for the British Architectural Library at the RIBA as part of a team to share news, images and information online about the activities of the Library and the fascinating items we have in our architectural collections – it contains over four million items, so there's plenty to see! If you’re curious about what we do at the Library and with the collections, or want to discover the latest about our education programmes, public events and exhibitions at the RIBA, please visit www.architecture.com

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