SmartLIFE Schools Workshop


“The best aspect of the workshop was the freedom to build your aspirations”


Shape East, in collaboration with SmartLIFE, an innovative pilot project funded by Cambridgeshire County Council set up to address strategic solutions to sustainable housing growth, recently completed another successful round of workshops in secondary schools across Cambridgeshire. The aim of the one-day workshop was to engage pupils in the challenges of housing delivery in growth areas – namely: affordability, sustainability/energy efficiency and skills/capacity shortages in the construction industry.

WorkshopParticipating schools were Swavesey, Cottenham, and Soham Village Colleges, and Parkside, Netherhall and Manor schools in Cambridge. Delivered over one day the workshops were lead by Architecture and Design professionals Nicholas Hawksworth and Jeremy Ashworth. The pupils, aged 14 –16, were given a presentation addressing the question - what are we doing to the planet and how can we make an impact using sustainable methods of building? Architect Jeremy Ashworth asked the question how can we design and build creatively and looked at inspiring examples from around the world.

The main focus for the day was a practical design activity. Pupils worked in teams and were asked to respond to a design brief to build their own model house using modern methods of construction and incorporating sustainable features. The design brief requested that each house must incorporate: an irregular shape (ie. not a rectangle) a minimum of two floors, a staircase, a double height space, a roof garden, a glass wall and a roof.

Feedback :

“ I learnt about modern methods of construction and how houses can be anything but ordinary”.

“The best aspect of the workshop was the freedom to build your aspirations”.