We aim to design places that are valued by those who use them daily and their communities. Consultation and engagement are woven into the design process, to help see the bigger picture, and establish a better, more integrated vision.
The first principle of social value is to involve the stakeholders. We welcome the opportunity to engage with the communities we design for, to work with them to understand their needs and aspirations.
Our origins are in Community Architecture. In the early 90s, we were founder members of the RIBA Community Architecture Group and pioneered the ‘percent for participation’ to encourage stakeholder engagement.
We have extended consultation to include ‘hands on’ design workshops using models and drawings, taken on project-specific apprentices, delivered work experience and skills training programmes and inputted to local plans and future developments.
A project goes far beyond the design of a structure, to build places that are valued by communities and the individuals that will use them daily.
‘Beyond Architecture’ is focused more directly on connecting people with inspiring ideas and on reaching a wider audience than is usual within the constraints of major capital projects.
From pop up interventions like Pea Soup House and Forest of Imagination to open talks and exhibitions in our Central London Studio, like the Material Matters series, the results have been uniformly successful in terms of the design outcomes and the creation of new connections, drawing people not previously engaged in design to become involved because they were able to see design as something beyond conventional architecture.
FCBStudios collaborated with social enterprise, Beyond the Box, to engage with a group of young people from across London on a project aimed at raising awareness around Net Zero Carbon.
The young people were commissioned to work with us as ‘content producers’, responding to a brief to debunk the mystery of what Net Zero Carbon actually means for their peer group.
We ran a series of workshops around climate change and net zero where they were encouraged to engage in activities such as calculating their own carbon footprint. They then worked collaboratively, with our support, to develop a series of three podcasts and a zine.
The project culminated in a live event, hosted by the young people themselves. The event was an opportunity to discuss their personal experience on the project, how their own understanding of climate change had developed but also how they thought wider society could be better engaging with young people on climate change issues. Listen to the podcasts, or watch the event here.
This collaboration was part of our ‘What Is Net Zero Carbon?’ project and was as much about giving opportunities and work experience to these young people as it was also about engaging with a harder to reach audience.