A new wave hits London

Nick Myall
Wednesday 06 Jul 2016

Youngsters are being challenged to design and create a small-scale model of a temporary summer Pavilion in London that can house public events and a café

Build Your Own Pavilion is a nationwide campaign and online competition which challenges young people aged between 8-14 years to design a small-scale model of a temporary summer Pavilion. The project accompanies the Serpentine’s internationally acclaimed annual architecture programme – the Serpentine Pavilion – to inspire the next generation of architects to design the Pavilions of the future.

This second year of Build Your Own Pavilion: Young Architects’ Challenge builds on a very successful pilot in 2015, which received more than 600 online competition entries. It was launched to mark the 15th anniversary of the Serpentine Pavilion commission, which since 2000 has seen incredible structures designed by some of the world’s greatest architects. Following popular demand, this year the competition is open to international entries, with the additional option of submitting digital design and computer-aided drafting (CAD) models.

The competition is made possible by support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and forms part of a larger digital engagement partnership.

Entries will be divided into four categories: Hand-made Models and Digital Design, each with 8-10 years and 11-14 years classes. Each winner will receive an iPad pre-loaded with 3D CAD drawing software and runners-up will be awarded an architecture toolkit packed with books and creative materials. Designs will be judged by a panel of experts, including Bjarke Ingels, architect of the 2016 Pavilion. The winners will be selected in October 2016. 

In addition to participating in the online competition, young architects can join the Build Your Own Pavilion national programme of live workshops taking place this summer. Led by Dejan Mitrovic, founder of Kidesign, last year these mobile architecture workshops took place in 15 different locations across the UK. There is a variety of different workshops to suit different needs, from technical and computer-aided design with 3D printing to family drop-ins and mass makes.

Throughout the summer, a ‘Pavilion of the Month’ will be showcased in a special exhibition housed within the Serpentine Pavilion designed by Bjarke Ingels Group.

The brief is simple: to design and create a small-scale model of a temporary summer Pavilion that can house public events and a café. Physical models can be made with materials that can easily be found in the home or classroom, including scissors, sticky tape, glue, cardboard, paper, plastic, plasticine, lolly sticks, plastic straws, wire, thread or string. Digital designs can be created in Autodesk, a tool for 3D and CAD available to download for free. Online tutorials will be available to help teachers and young people feel confident in using the software.

The Build Your Own Pavilion website provides guidance on the principles of architectural design and a basic toolkit that includes useful information on everything from working with simple modelling materials through to 3D design and printing. The site also offers the opportunity to learn from architects who have designed previous Pavilions, including Sou Fujimoto, Smiljan Radi? and selgascano, plus videos with the 2016 architects Bjarke Ingels Group, Kunlé Adeyemi, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan coming soon. They can be seen on youtube.com making their own models from simple materials. 

Participants can each enter up to five models by uploading photos or a link to their CAD files to the Build Your Own Pavilion website.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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