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March 22

Building our school for Architecture Day

Wednesday 13 March 2019 heralded Architecture Day, which is delivered by The Design Department and some really talented GDST alumnae who are architects, engineers and professional designers.

With 116 Year 6 and 8 students working together in one room all day it promised to be organised chaos – and was! Students worked in mixed teams of eight to design and build a tower from newspaper and masking tape. The brief was for the tower to be as tall as possible and be self-supporting. Rather unbelievably the only “half team” of four won with a brute that stood over 3m high! There were also awards to other teams for elegance, innovation and triangulation.

Following a quick break, students then divided again into groups of four and were given a brief to design and make a model of part of a school – a library, chemistry lab or chill out zone for example. Buildings from around the world were shown during a presentation and our guests: Katie McAdam, Nisha Vekaria and Naomi Rowland gave talks on what they had designed and built as further inspiration.

The outcomes were from the practical to the insane and made us wonder how each team having similar design briefs could produce such diversity! At the end of the day we assembled “our school” together before a proper critique of the designs with some fantastic questions, answers and explanations of design decisions.

Special mention must go to the team of Eva, Lilia-Rose, Juliet and Sophie for their overall design work and just about everyone else for their amazing designs and models and insightful, open questions. 

Finally, a big thank you to Naomi, Nisha and Katie, plus the parents that came in at the end of the day to witness the “building of the school”, plus the staff who helped out on the day. Behaviour, organisation and most importantly learning were exemplary. We look forward to next year!


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