Saturday, 27 February 2010

Architecture for Everyone

The short documentary above was created by a not-for-profit production company in South London called Chocolate Films. In addition to their commercial work they are notable for their community and educational outreach programme. Their film promotes a partnership between RMJM architects and The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, launched in 2008, and called Architecture for Everyone.

The film begins by highlighting the need for creative and community based solutions to architectural problems in the inner city where space is at a premium. I particularly liked the climbing wall on top of the sports hall at the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey. Althought the film focuses on sports architecture in London, the Architecture for Everyone scheme is actually intended to encourage youths from inner city areas across Britain to take an interest in architecture. In doing so the scheme hopes to change those areas "from the inside out" by fostering community links and supporting diversity within the architectural profession as a whole. To help achieve this they have set up a programme of workshops in major cities across the UK. In 2009 they were also able to send six British youngsters to study architecture at Harvard University in the United States.
Seeing the film I was struck by what a fantastic opportunity this provides for the youngsters and communities involved. For further details you can visit either The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, or Architecture for Everyone who also have their own blog.

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