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Growing Pains: Is London truly designed for children?

The theme of this year’s London Festival of Architecture was “Re-Imagine”. Our event focused on children, the result of which was “Growing Pains: Is London truly designed for children?”.

We first revisited our riverside community in East London, Royal Wharf, where the local school kindly let us undertake some high-energy workshops with the Year 4 students to understand how children experience the built environment around them.

The planned activities encouraged the children to think about three key questions: “What does your dream street look like?”; “What are your feelings towards the urban spaces around you?”; and “What are the most important aspects of urban design to you, as children growing up in Newham?”.

This was not only a fun and enriching afternoon but also informative, forming the “brief” for a series of informal, interactive workshops at our Studio Late exhibition. Guests were invited to watch a short film where they could hear the children's thoughts and ideas about urban spaces and were allowed to see the children’s creative drawings. Using this information, guests were encouraged to grab a pen and re-imagine public spaces around London—bringing the children’s “dream streets” to life!

During the evening, many visitors engaged with the questions and topics. We hope our take on the theme of “Re-imagine” made for a thought-provoking evening!

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