Archikids Festival

Archikids is Open-City's flagship Family Festival of Architecture

hatwalk'Education through Enjoyment'

Open-City believe that the best way to understand and appreciate the value of good design is to visit the actual physical buildings and places. Inspiring the next generation of Londoners about the great buildings of their city, Archikids is a weekend programme of fun and free architectural activities in the heart of the city.

The programme was piloted in 2012 as Open House Junior and following a fantastic public interest (over 2,158 children) Open-City launched the weekend as a flagship programme in 2013 called Archikids Festival. Archikids has since established itself as a main programme in Open-City’s education strand.

What is Archikids?
During the Archikids Festival buildings, places and spaces that are architecturally inspiring host a variety of engaging activities – tours, workshops, exploration trails, and competitions.The purpose of which is to encourage young people of neighbouring boroughs to discover the City of London’s fantastic buildings and architecture.

Who is involved?
Architects, artists, engineers, designers, students and city workers will help Open-City’s education team run these fabulous activities and help us discover the public spaces and places where we live, work and play each day! With over 15 years experience in architectural education Open-City has the knowledge, skill set and relationships to facilitate this unique education platform.

Who will attend?
The festival is aimed for 5 - 11 year olds from all over the capital and specifically from City of London’s neighbouring areas – Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Islington. Over35,000 children and adults are actively involved each year.

What is the value of Archikids Festival?

  • Creates the first free and inclusive festival of architecture for children.
  • Showcases innovative thinking and practice to educate future generations about their city.
  • Attracts a broad multicultural, geographical, inter-generation audience.
  • Allows young people to access a part of their city, which is normally not frequented by children.
  • Encourages hard-to-reach young audience to extend their horizons beyond their own neighbourhoods.
  • Produces activity resources to help children learn about their built environment, usable throughout the year.

Get Involved?
Are you a design professional interested in educating next the generation of budding designers? Or perhaps a local organisation in the City of London? Join Open-City in making the Archikids Festival. Find out more.

Examples of Activity


Solid Void with PRP Architects and HTA Design
A material experiment of how space is created
using cast moulds.Children were invited to first create their own solid/void 'box'. Filling it with putty that set within 5 minutes and then removing the 'box' to reveal the reversed spatial cast. Upon completion the casts were exhibited on a city grid.


SpaceMakersSpace Makers with Urban Interactive
Using construction materials such as bamboo, rope, and rubber sofits Space Makers created a lifesize monopoly boardfrom which children could physically build a temporary space. Learning practical construction methods such as cross bracing this activity gavechildren the chance to understand the physics and mathematics behind building buildings.

Build a Geodesic Dome
Understanding the geometry of architecture is a key learning outcome. Using only newspaper and plastic connectors Build a Geodesic challenged families to build a lifesize geodesic dome in one hour.


Performing DesignPerforming Design with Surface Architects
Considering light, space, sound and movement as fundamental elements of architecture, this activity challenged participants to consider architecture as an interactive entity rather than a solid fixed state. Children walked past sensors to light up other spaces and then ‘curated’ this interaction afterward. 

City of a Thousand Architects City of a Thousand Architects
Paper, bubble wrap, egg-cups, straws! Using every recyclable material under the sun City of a Thousand Architects gets families to build a gigantic city of cardboard. Introducing children to the importance of urban infrastructure – roads, electricity and water.


On your scooterOn your Scooter!

Rethinking Open-City’s architecture trails, we launched ‘On your Scooter!’. A self-guided trail combining architectural investigation of the city with playful scooter games. On your Scooter! was hugely popular during the weekend and for Archikids 2013 we hope to devise an even better trail.



Supporters of Archikids
Aukett Swanke
Ec3 Legal
Stanton Williams









The changing face of London


Read about all our pioneering programmes designed for people to learn about and advocate for the value of good design through first-hand experience


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