How can we design for young people when we don't consult them?

Stephanie Edwards RIBA National Schools Programme

When she volunteered to be an architecture ambassador in a school, Stephanie Edwards learnt as much as the pupils

If you asked me when I first became a RIBA architecture ambassador, “Do you know how young people view their urban environment?” I would have smiled and delivered a confident speech founded purely on my perception of young people in the UK today, based on the fact that I still think I’m young, together with nothing more than a combination of my school experience (25+ years ago) and current media.

However, it only took one school workshop to radically change my mind.

The RIBA National Schools Programme is an opportunity for architects to share and develop skills with students in schools across the country, often through workshops and school visits. I used it as a chance to become a role model by raising the aspirations and empowering younger people with the tools to participate in the debate surrounding their built environment.

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