“Open-City's Accelerate is a vital programme for our students as most think of architecture as a 'closed' profession, which requires 'connections' in order to access. The programme has helped Abdi not only realise that they have the skills and talents needed to enter the profession, but has also been invaluable in helping to 'polish' his personal statement and portfolio. Above all, we are so grateful that he has been given the opportunity to do work experience with and has been mentored by experienced professionals.” Anthony Fitzpatrick , Higher Education coordinator at St Paul’s Way Trust School
Now in its third year, Accelerate into University, Open-City’s pioneering mentoring and widening participation programme in partnership with Make Architects and UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture, is engaged with over thirty 16-17 year olds from across London, and our most diverse group to date.
Architects from ten top practices are currently mentoring the students through the most challenging project brief so far, aimed to develop the key skills required for entry to higher education architecture courses.
So far Accelerate into University has enabled eighty eight, young Londoners aged 15-17 years to reach their full potential and improve their access to Higher Education across the Built Environment shaping professions; and we are proud that 85% of the year 12's that participated in 2012 gained conditional offers to study architecture and related subjects at university, including UCL, Cambridge, Cardiff, Manchester and Westminster.
Students benefit from:
Skills and knowledge students will develop during the programme:
"All of it was absolutely amazing, and really made the decision that I wanted to study architecture. The best parts were working with the architects (and... meeting lovely and enthusiastic ones), especially on such a long-term basis, which is very different to work experience, and meeting other students who had the same interests. Also, the end of year presentation, and the support from the leaders was brilliant. So inspiring, thanks loads!"
“Shazia noticeably grew in confidence during the process - as an individual and also in her design process and presentation of design work. It was certainly a valuable experience for her.”
“Given that the built environment affects the whole of society, it is essential
that the architectural profession should be drawn from an inclusive cohort.
Our pilot work with Open-City’s ground- breaking My City Too! campaign
and Architecture in Schools programme has already brought many hard-to-reach
young people to our attention. However, there is massive scope for us to
extend this, and Open-City’s expertise in doing so through a focused access programme is invaluable.”
"Architecture is about collaboration, culture and life. Therefore it's so rewarding to see how we can enthuse young people into this world of discovery through the Accelerate into University programme; it's about awakening curiosities and interests, caring for the environment, discovering how things are made, how cities and all their known and unknown places are magical worlds to be constantly discovered.
For more information, please contact Venetia Wolfenden or phone 020 3006 7008.
3 July 2014
View the incredible work produced by students for the 2013-14 Accelerate Exhibition at UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture.
24 December 2013
Ken Shuttleworth becomes a mentor for Accelerate Read more...
15 August 2013
Success for Accelerate into Architecture students! Read more...
Read about all our pioneering programmes designed for people to learn about and advocate for the value of good design through first-hand experience
Regular polls, surveys and research into Londoners' attitudes towards design quality and built environment issues
Find out how Open-City provides independent advice and support to communities