30 September 2022

Return of the People’s Pavilion!

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We’re delighted to support the award-winning People’s Pavilion, a design competition open to young East Londoners aged 14-18.

It offers them the chance to gain skills in design, build and cultural production, working alongside leading figures from the built environment and creative industries.  

The programme invites young people from seven London boroughs to enter the competition. Heatherwick Studio is one of seven design practices who will help each team develop a concept for a People’s Pavilion through model making, sketches, scales and sections. A curated exhibition then hosts the proposals which go to a public vote, with the winner built next summer at Patchworks in East London.

Neil Onions, Founder and CEO of Beyond The Box, said:

“Young people have little to no agency in the design and creation of their environments. We want to positively challenge who gets to lead on the design and curation of cultural space, through co-design and co-production. This project actively engages young people in the design and curation of their own space.”

The winning design team also wins an all-expenses paid study trip to Italy to explore the Venice Biennale and the British Pavilion, designed this year by Meneesha Kellay, Jayden Ali, Joseph Henry and Sumitra Upham.

Matt Bell of Heatherwick Studio said:

“There’s a lot of talk about social purpose and EDI. The People’s Pavilion actually makes it real for young people. Groups of next gen wonder-makers from seven London boroughs exploring what the future holds. It’s just a brilliant, high impact programme.”

The People’s Pavilion will also produce a cultural festival, taking place at the Patchworks site in Leyton. This will include a special with youth music platform Gain Ctrl. Their multi-platinum awarded producers will work with young people to explore their environment through music, using it as a vehicle for placemaking, and connecting creative expression and storytelling to cultural placemaking.

Semothy Jones, Founder of Gain Ctrl, said:

“Music is often used as a response to the challenging economic, political, and physical environments many young people grow up in. Drill and rap music often get negative attention for the violent content of the lyrics – but what is often overlooked is the lived experiences that the young people are expressing through their music, the storytelling of their lives and the environments in which they live.” 

Last year’s People’s Pavilion won the Thornton Education Trust Award for Youth Programme of the year and has since been nominated for the IStructE’s Structural Awards. In 2021, it invested £16,000 in young emerging practices and studios, £12,500 was invested in paid roles for young East Londoners, £7,500 in commissions to local creatives and £3,000 in paid roles created to architecture students and graduates.

Good luck to everyone involved from Heatherwick Studio!

We’re proud to be working alongside you and a group of amazing, socially engaged architecture practices:
Make, AHMM, Haworth Tompkins, JTP, dRMM and David Chipperfield Architects.