Architecture Workshop with STORE

On Tuesday 30 June the L4 (yr 9) GCSE art pupils embarked on a journey through architecture, working hard both in the classroom and outside in the Head’s garden and ending with a final structural piece which we built using willow sticks, pieces of fabric, glue guns and our bare hands. Two professionals, Greg Nordberg (a structural engineer from the architectural consortium STORE) and Stephanie Farmer (Artist and Art Educator and Exhibitions Organiser, also from STORE), helped us learn more about architecture with nature in a dynamic way, and they organised a fabulous project which inspired every young artist in the group.

The scorching hot day began by understanding the theme of organic architecture; we listened intently then played an amusing game which involved inventing our own bizarre animals on paper. Afterwards we collaborated in groups to design a habitat for the animals only using classroom materials like tissue paper, card and pipe cleaners. Everyone enjoyed the morning and was buzzing to create a final composition in the Head’s garden, so we planned it out and set off on the challenge.

Our aim was to create an architectural piece influenced by the nature around us, we approached this goal by splitting in groups to work efficiently on different tasks. Throughout the time we experimented, changed and developed our ideas; even though problems arose we managed to overcome them, improving at every step of the way. Everything successfully combined together; we created a beautiful scene of a fabric and netting roof which projected interesting overlapping shadows as the sunlight shone through it, and included simple handmade ornaments which dangled from the roof and a dome made out of withy and rope with green netting wove around it including rope suspension. At the end of the day we all felt proud of our hard work and we were very grateful to be given a wonderful opportunity to explore architecture in a fun productive way.

Sarina Ramasamy

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