Back in December 2023, we hosted another Shape My City workshop after enjoying the success of the programme the first time around. Design West’s year-long programme encourages young people in under-represented socio-economic groups, BAME and female students to seek access to opportunities in the workforce across the built environment. AWW was privileged to host a session to showcase what our organisation has to offer as well as inspiring the students to move into the sector.

We had some of our talented team give an insight into life at AWW as an architect or interior designer, and how we work together, as well as some of the educational requirements and steps it takes to get there.

The students were then given a ‘client’ brief that imagined our Bristol office was being taken over by Spotify. How would the employees of Spotify need a space that differs from ours? What things could be added to suit their business? What could be taken away?

The students were encouraged to pick an area or concept that interested them and to use their imagination to develop their design. Some focussed on one room in the original office to completely edit and renovate, whilst others looked at colour palettes and furniture pieces that they felt reflected the branding.

Members of the AWW team were integrated into the discussions and provided a sounding board for the students to explore their ideas. Schemes like this are a perfect way to engage with the next generation, we hope we will see these students emerge in our industry in the future and relish the opportunity to give them this unique industry access.

Shape My City gives us as much as we hope we give the students, we embrace its vision and enjoy playing a part of the story. Continuing our social value journey, we’re excited to partner with different organisations in the future and add breath to our outreach work.

Founded in 1996, Design West is a centre of excellence for design and placemaking based on Bristol harbourside. The charity’s mission is to inspire the public, politicians and professionals across the built environment to design better, healthier places to live, work and relax. Programmes including Bristol Open Doors, Shape My City, Design Review and public talks are devised to inspire, inform and involve people in the design of the world around them. Design West work across sectors and society and are international and local, bringing people together to shape better places.

Photo credit: Paul Blakemore (c)