Helping students to design homes on Mars
TAS has always been committed to supporting students, helping young people to explore the world of architecture. In August, I helped to lead a workshop for A-level and post graduate students held by D-Lab, a workspace and community interest company based in Hertfordshire and London focused on design, architecture, technology, and innovation.
The main aim of the workshop was to help students learn about architecture, but also to develop concepts they could use to create a substantial portfolio for their university applications. We gave students a brief: to develop a design for a living/working unit on Mars using the limited resources available.
Students were encouraged to think about how to understand the environmental, physical and softer emotional challenges of architecture. How would the spaces need to perform physically while helping people to thrive, not just survive, in these living quarters, creating spaces for a better mental health?
The workshop was part of D-Lab’s Architectural Apprenticeship Accelerator Summer School 2021, which held workshops throughout August at The Lab E20, an exhibition space set up to run for six months with each month hosting a different creative space. All learning was tied together through the narrative of sustainability. Throughout D-Lab’s month, students who took part focused on making, using digital 3D printers, laser cutters and virtual reality.
These workshops are an excellent way to help students grow and have more to present to their choice universities. It also gives opportunities for people to create portfolios to apply to study through apprenticeships, which only three universities are currently doing. D-Lab’s focus on developing students’ technical and software knowledge not only makes them more employable but shows them how a studio project works and how think in a more systematic way.