Architects need to return to the classroom. The primary school classroom

Nick Ford, director of PipSqueak Architectural Design Engineers

Engineer Nick Ford has some advice for architects - and some great stories of small children’s lightbulb moments

All around me, people are making (and already breaking!) their new year’s resolutions. I have found myself returning to Niall McLaughlin’s words at BD Live, just before Christmas – it was great to hear him fired up about the need for young architects to acquire practical experience on site. It’s a view I share, based on 30 years of working in design – both with and around architects.

We take numerous work-experience students; many at year 10 (age 15-16) but also in sixth form and from university. At PipSqueak, we currently have three young team members, including a part I architecture graduate. All of them regularly have “lightbulb moments” here, when faced with reality in all its glory.

A 300kg door is just the latest example. “Of course I know that 300kg is heavy – but there is such a difference between your mind telling you that, as you sit at a screen, and actually hanging the door and its fittings.”

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