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Architecture for Kids podcast created by design tutor Antonio Capelao exceeds 1500 downloads

31 January 2024

Launched in July 2023 by host Antonio Capelao, founder and director of Materials Matter Architecture Studio, and of award-winning Architecture for Kids CIC, the podcast is coproduced with the Built Environment Trust, the Thornton Education Trust, and the Welsh School of Architecture.

Architecture for Kids is a weekly podcast series that currently has over 30 episodes of insightful conversations about project-based learning pedagogies and co-design practices with children and young people to engage with their ideas, interests, and overall experience of the built environment.

Speaking about the driving impetus behind his solo mission to host, edit and distribute the podcast, Antonio shared with The Built Environment Trust that “we are aware that our beliefs and opinions stem from our childhood, and are influenced by the developmental context in which we are brought up, and reinforced by peer groups and cultural influences – ultimately, influencing how we think of ourselves and the world around us. Therefore, if we want to change attitudes towards architecture and the built environment, and foster creativity and problem-solving, we must focus on our children.”

Victoria Thornton, chair of the Thornton Education Trust has played a leading role in the discussion of engaging children and young people as co-designers of the built environment. As she has noted: “Architecture affects everyone, yet it is the one subject that is not embedded into children’s lives. Young people’s voices are often excluded from discussions and decisions on urban design whilst creative and design subjects are excluded from the school curriculum. If we are to create a significant step change, the architectural professions need to provide many more opportunities in which young people and children have a voice in their future environment. We believe small actions create major impact.”

Dr Hiral Patel, director of engagement at the Welsh School of Architecture expressed her support by saying: “The natural and built environment offers an incredible learning environment to young people. By immersing themselves in their neighbourhood, they can understand complex challenges, articulate creative responses, and build capabilities to actively engage in shaping their environments.  The Architecture for Kids podcast series champions this idea, which is also at the core of the engagement strategy at the Welsh School of Architecture.”

"The podcast series will be a valuable resource for academics, school teachers, parents, local authorities and community groups in the context of the new Curriculum for Wales. Most importantly, I hope this podcast series will enthuse young people to study architecture and design-related subjects and craft their careers in the creative industries.”

Since its release in the summer, Antonio has produced and released over 30 episodes with leading voices from the architectural sector, third sector, and wider; including Mark Southgate (CEO of charity Mobie), Lee Patterson (UNICEF and Cardiff Council), Magali Thompson (Great Ormond Street Hospital), Roland Karthaus (Design Council), Jerry Tate (Tate + Co), Sarah Phillips (Open City), Catherine Ritman-Smith (Young Victoria and Albert Museum), and Lisa Mazzola (AIA New York Center for Education).

Architecture for Kids explores myriad themes and approaches through which we can view how children’s perspectives could be applied to design: from climate and ecology, children in museums, how children move through the capital city of London, Cardiff’s recently awarded UNICEF Child-Friendly City status, and supporting the delivery of the national curriculums by exploring project-based learning, and learning through design from a young age.

If you’re interested in the interplay between children’s education and the built environment, or to hear how key figures are preparing children and young people for economic, environmental, and societal challenges, and their professional lives, this is a must-listen.

Architecture for Kids is available at Apple Podcasts, Buzzsprout, Spotify, Google, Google, and wherever you listen to all your podcasts, as well as part of a dedicated playlist on the Welsh School of Architecture's own YouTube channel.

Antonio Capelao teaches design to 1st-year undergraduate students of architecture, and a Vertical Studio called “Material Matters – The Future of Construction” at the Welsh School of Architecture for 1st and 2nd-year undergraduate students, in which he asks the students to look at architecture through the prism of sustainable construction materials.

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