Build a den, think of the future: Architecture ‘should be taught at primary school’, says new study
Farrell Review says that high streets and social housing estates are 'often devoid of good design'
Monday 31 March 2014
Future generations of young children should be taught about architecture at primary school, with lessons in den building to encourage an understanding of the world in which we live, a government-commissioned study has said.
The call for building design to be taught across the curriculum is a key recommendation in the Farrell Review into architecture and the built environment, which also calls for a national chief architect to be appointed.
The review’s author, the architect Sir Terry Farrell, condemned the state of many “everyday places including high streets and social-housing estates” – describing them as “often devoid of good design-thinking”.
To help to address this, his review said architecture and an understanding of “place” should be taught “as early as possible” across different subjects rather than in its own right – arguing that it is a “fundamental problem” that the built environment is “not being sufficiently taught about in our schools”.
Another key issue is the cost of entering the profession – which can be up to £100,000. “We risk creating a situation where only the independently wealthy can afford to become architects,” Sir Terry warned. “Myself and others, like Norman Foster, brought up in modest circumstances in the North of England, could possibly not have afforded to become architects today.”
Den-building lessons are cited as a way of giving children “an understanding that shelter is something we create, and can change”. Education is part of a “major cultural change that is needed to make proactive planning and high-quality design a normal and accepted part of our society,” the study said.
Sir Terry said: “I hope this review will be the catalyst for change and the start of a big conversation about our built environment.” The Culture minister, Ed Vaizey, who commissioned the review, said: “Good design builds communities, creates quality of life and makes places better for people to live, work and play in.”
A Department for Education spokesman said: “Architecture is covered in the new art-and-design curriculum, which will be compulsory in all maintained schools from this September.”
Farrell’s findings: other proposals
- Appoint a chief architect
- Have local authority “civic champions” to promote good design
- Use planning fees to recruit more design-literate planners
- Establish a Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Conservation and Engineering (Place) Leadership Council
- Define a new method for valuing property which includes “measurable space standards” and “design quality”
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Czech police haul migrants off trains to Germany and 'write numbers on their arms in ink'
Trans actress Candis Cayne reveals she walked out of a Curb Your Enthusiasm audition over an offensive joke
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
- 5 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
This is a volunteer role with paid expenses : Belong: Seeking volunteers who c...
£19000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This market leader in the devel...