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Kids school and holiday art clubs

Collaborative Design and Build – day 1

Architect and designer James Sale from Collaborative Design and Build joined us for two days of large scale making, where we learnt about the principles of architecture and design.


Back in February I visited James in his vibrant East London studio/workshop where the plans for this holiday course were borne.

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We began the morning by thinking about what architecture meant to us and making some drawings.

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James spoke to the children about their ideas, then we warmed up by making structures with our bodies.

First we worked in 2’s and 3’s


Then in larger groups

DSC_0158 DSC_0161 DSC_0163 DSC_0169 DSC_0170 DSC_0181…and as a whole group


We spent some time looking closely at the materials we had gathered – I have made friends with all my local tradespeople now!

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We explored what they could do

DSC_0186 DSC_0191 DSC_0195 DSC_0206James set us the challenge to build in groups the tallest structure we could with limited materials.



Foam tubes


DSC_0220Cardboard tubing





We worked very hard, using tape, string and staples to build as high as we could.


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One group made it to the very top!DSC_0281

James measured each structure to find a winner! It was very close!

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After lunch we did some more drawings to adapt and change what we had already made to construct buildings we could get inside.

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James also showed us some handy joining techniques to help us step away from the tape!

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And off we went! Our ideas kept us busy most of the afternoon.

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We worked well in our teams

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Or sometimes on our own if we wanted.

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We worked on the exterior and interior of our structures, adding flooring and even gardens.DSC_0372 DSC_0376

We took a few small breaks to survey our plans


and have a drink  and snack in our new dens!


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A strange kind of city began to emerge and the feel of the room changed dramatically. I think you will agree the children were very inventive.

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Once the main structures were complete we began to decorate and add some luxurious features.



Clocks and TV screens


Pictures on the wallsDSC_0406

Soft furnishingsDSC_0419

Fixtures and fittings


Kitchen and even food


Names and numbers were added


As slowly the city changed and grewDSC_0418

We took a tour of all the structures and thought about what we could improve or change.

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We were learning from each other.

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Tomorrow we will start to connect these structures together and develop our new city.

To see what happened in day 2 click here.





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