Get A Proper Job

RRA Architects, Chanel Goodman, helps a student at the 'Get A Proper Job' workshop

Get A Proper Job

By Chanel Goodman

Last week, as part of the Herefordshire’s A Great Place project, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to run architectural workshops at a local school.

The Great Place project aims to showcase and revitalize Hereford’s creative and cultural sectors. Architecture is an industry with its roots strongly embedded in these areas, and so this is exactly why I decided to get involved in the Great Place project and, more particularly, join the Young Creatives Board. The Young Creatives Board consists of 7 young people who all work in the creative industries, these include screenwriting, photography, spoken word, and, myself, in the Architectural industry. As a group of combined talents, we decided to share our passions and motivate younger generations to take on the creative sector through a day of inspiring workshops and discussions.

The students created some fabulous models at the event

The students created some fabulous models at the event
The students created some fabulous models at the event

On the day, there were a range of workshops including photography, creative writing and practical arts. For the Practical Arts Workshop, the challenge we set for the year 9 and year 11 students at Aylestone School was to design a cultural quarter for Hereford. We arrived at the school with large maps showing parts of Hereford’s city centre and masses of recycled cardboard. We asked them to model the cardboard to form buildings and spaces of a cultural purpose for Hereford. Ideas included theatres, ice rinks, food venues, outdoor community spaces and even a large slide down the centre of one building.

The students really let their imaginations free with ideas for designing a city
The students really let their imaginations free with ideas for designing a city

Modelling these ideas was something totally new to the students, something that compulsory math’s or english subjects simply doesn’t involve. Feedback from one of the year 9 students was ‘that was the best lesson I’ve ever had’. Many creative subjects aren’t always encouraged in schools meaning that students tend to get the impression that they aren’t viable career options but last week, I think we managed to show that architecture, creative writing and photography are certainly ‘proper jobs’.

The 'Get A Proper Job' event was a huge success and great fun
The ‘Get A Proper Job’ event was a huge success and great fun

I’d like to thank RRA for encouraging me to partake in this opportunity. There’s something incredibly rewarding about guiding young people through the process of designing buildings, especially when they consider new innovative ideas for Hereford. Perhaps a large 50 storey tower wouldn’t quite suit our conservative skyline, but I’m sure a solar powered music venue would certainly be welcomed. It’s not only the students creativity that’s been inspired, but mine too.

A great Q&A session at the 'Get A Proper Job' workshop
A great Q&A session at the ‘Get A Proper Job’ workshop