Students designed and made architectural models as the culmination of a two-year construction diploma. They were given free rein to explore their ideas that included a re-design of Kettering town centre and a ‘rescue pod’ to be used in disaster zones.
The Year 11 students started the project in September with initial research and feasibility studies. This led to them refining their plans then making maquettes and finished articles from foam-board, balsa wood and acrylic. The models were made to either 1:50 or 1:100 scales and populated with scale model figures.
Teacher Jonathan Browne said: ‘I was really pleased as the students all designed very different projects. Chris Pimley really set himself a challenge when designing his ‘disaster pod’ refining it from a hexagon to an octagon. It was a really hard process that tested the students’ way of designing. It was the first time that they had ever made an architectural model to scale. They learned how to build the land up, make trees and photograph the models in night and daytime contexts. They each came up with their own distinctive artefacts.’
During the Construction in the Built Environment diploma the students visited building sites, had talks from visiting construction professionals and even undertook week-long work experience at firms such as Jeakins Weir and Kier Marriott. They also learned computer skills on industry-standard programs such as Autodesk 3DS Max to render architectural ‘fly-throughs’ and animations.
Mr Browne said: ‘I know the students learned a great deal from the experience. The businesses we worked with certainly supported and encouraged them, giving us materials, drawings and helping the students. During their diploma studies the students have learned from the professionals and amassed an impressive portfolio of work that will stand them in good stead when applying for jobs or higher education. There have been a great deal of positives from the diploma.’
Next year a new cohort of students will learn construction skills. The Year 10s will study carpentry, brickwork, tiling, plumbing and electrics at teaching workshops run by Moulton College.