Explore these architecture programmes for young people

Architecture programs for young people to try out

Interested in architecture but don’t know where to start? Here are opportunities for young people and aspiring professionals to give you that critical start

Although it shouldn’t be, architecture can be an exclusive industry. It is rarely suggested as a career option in school, let alone taught, and attending architecture school is an expensive endeavor. And once young architects are in practice, it can often be difficult to take a break. But there are architecture programs and initiatives designed to help young people discover the profession, build skills and create opportunities for advancement. Here’s a roundup of some in London and beyond.

Architecture programs to explore


Photography: Luke O’Donovan

Launched by London-based charity Open City, Accelerate is an education and mentoring program for 16-18 year olds that is helping to improve access to careers in the built environment. Comprised of free skills workshops, one-to-one mentoring in architectural firms and college application guidance, the annual program (which runs October through May) hopes to diversify the architecture industry. The participants also work on design projects that will be presented in a public exhibition at the end of the year. Accelerate is currently open for applications to begin the program in October 2022 and the application deadline is September 30th.

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Photography: archimake.org

For the slightly younger ones (7-16 years), Archimake is a social enterprise offering workshop-based courses in architecture, art, design and engineering to enable children to explore these areas creatively and gain qualifications in the UK. Archimake was founded by architect Cheryl Pilliner-Reeves and is designed to complement school curricula. Archimake is accredited to assess national qualifications leading to GCSE equivalent certificates.

The young climate prize

Photography: The World Around

The non-profit platform The World Around – which runs public programs to engage with architecture – has launched a new initiative aimed at young people aged 13 to 25: the Young Climate Prize. Participation is free and the scope is international. It welcomes submissions of existing climate-related design projects. The 25 award winners will join a bespoke academy and be mentored by “Design Champions” – designers, curators and other leaders from around the world – working to bring about positive change. Applications are possible until October 31, 2022.

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Academy placed

Based in North West England, Placed Academy is an open-access program on the built environment for 14-18 year olds. Held annually in July-May on a part-time basis, it includes workshops that build practical skills in architecture and planning, as well as advice on career paths. The program ends with an exhibition of design projects that participants work on throughout the year.

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What else?

It’s worth keeping an eye on POoR Collective, a design-led social enterprise focused on empowering young people and helping to create opportunities including the Build the Way internship – although that’s not currently open for applications.

Meanwhile, the London Neighborhood Scholarship Trust is a charity that raises money to provide architectural scholarships to underprivileged young Londoners.

Also, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a helpful resource offering grants, grants and advice on apprenticeships if you are looking for support to reach or advance in the architectural profession in the UK. If you’re a teacher or funder looking for facilitators to get young people excited about designing and building, check out Matt + Fiona and Build Up – along with everyone else above.


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