Archio Workshop at RIBA Summer Party
August 2017
By Rosie Jones

In July, Archio were invited by the Royal Institute of British Architects to create and run a model-making workshop at the RIBA summer party.

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The RIBA summer party traditionally starts with a meeting of 150 staff from across the country, followed by a session focusing on one aspect of RIBA’s role. This year, the RIBA Learning Team had been asked to showcase the Architecture Ambassadors programme. Ione and Rosie from Archio were asked to represent the 200+ RIBA Architecture Ambassadors who have been involved in the scheme so far.

We gave a presentation about our experience of working with Year 9 students at Oasis Academy Southbank and screened the short film we made with Katy Milner, showing the kiosk design workshops we ran, and how the students benefited from being involved.

We then gave the RIBA staff a taste of one of our model-making workshops. They were given the task of building a new city made entirely from paper, in 45 minutes.

They were divided into 30 smaller groups, working with people they may not have met before. Each group was given a pack of materials and brief to design and make a specific type of building for a particular location in the city – e.g. a sports stadium in the forest, a train station in the city, a park within an industrial zone. Ideas were sketched, coloured paper folded and rolled into extraordinary shapes, and masking tape unfurled. The RIBA staff threw themselves into the task with gusto, and the promise of prizes prompted a healthy dose of competitive spirit.

In the last five minutes of the session, each group added their model to the large city map which we created for the workshop. Jane Duncan (RIBA President) and Alan Vallance (RIBA Chief Executive ) each picked a winning model. It was a fantastic, high-energy session which got people discussing architecture, context, and working collaboratively to a tight time frame.

We were delighted to receive wonderful feedback from RIBA after the event:

“I appreciate all the energy, effort and expertise you brought and the team thought it was a really enjoyable and worthwhile team-building exercise. You illuminated how architects and architecture make a difference! The film you showed was pretty inspiring too!”

(Alan Vallance, RIBA Chief Executive)

 “It was terrific. People loved it. Several have said it was the 'best ever' staff meeting. I really appreciate everything you contributed. Your creativity, hard work and expert facilitation shone.”

(Karen Fulcher, RIBA Engagement and Internal Communications Manager)

We are looking forwards to running a similar workshop again soon, and would like to thank everyone at RIBA for inviting us to showcase our film and workshop.