City Builder Academy

Delivered by:
MADE (West Midlands)

Project description:
The City Builders Programme mobilises the energy and talent of built environment professionals to support young people from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups to succeed.

The programme is delivered as an intensive 5 day City Builder Academy (visits and tours with a design project and presentations from a wide range of professionals) and as a shorter City Builder Expedition (visits or workshops explore a particular place, profession or topic).

Project objectives:

  • Greater engagement with and understanding of their environment, encouraging further social action and empowerment
  • Greater appreciation of the scope of the arts and creativity, working towards Arts Award if desired
  • Increased awareness of the many built environment professions, including routes into them
  • A design challenge which simulates professional practice

Outputs from activities:
Typically each year the project involves:

  • 25 young people
  • 4 university graduates/students
  • 8 professional speakers and facilitators
  • 3 one off activities/expedition led by professional
  • 1 facebook group offering a platform for the young people to share information/opportunities etc and stay in touch

Outcomes from activities:
Through participation in the programme young people:

  • have a better understanding of the environment, arts, design and engineering though the built environment professions
  • gain important life skills: confidence, communication, teamwork, critical thinking skills
  • have a broader and more accurate view of career options and aspirations
  • are inspired to engage with and seek to understand the designed environment around them promoting active citizenship.

‘City Builder Academy helped me to realise what really goes into architecture and what I can look forward to in my future!’

‘I’m glad I came because City Builder gave me a thorough insight into what architecture actually is, it helped me learn about various elements of architecture and helped me prepare myself for my future’.

‘My favourite part of City Builder Academy was the speakers. Listening to them allowed me to get a deeper understanding of landscape architecture’.

City Builder is in its 4th year. To date we have had:

  • 7 City Builder Academies
  • 4 City Builder Exhibitions
  • 152 young people have taken part in the City Builder programme. 70 of these have been girls, 82 have been boys and of these, 79 have come from BAME backgrounds. We have had 45 professionals helping us with the City Builder programme and 41 volunteers.

Further information: