Check out these architecture programs for young people

Youth Architecture Programs to Try Now

Are you interested in architecture, but don’t know where to start? Here are opportunities for young people and emerging professionals to help you get that crucial start

Although it shouldn’t be, architecture can be an exclusive industry. It’s rarely suggested as a career option in school, let alone taught, and going to architecture school is an expensive undertaking. And when young architects end up practicing, it can often be difficult to take a break. But there are architecture programs and initiatives that aim to help young people explore the profession, learn skills, and create opportunities for advancement. Here’s a roundup of some, in London and beyond.

Architecture programs to explore


Photography: Luke O’Donovan

Created by London charity Open City, Accelerate is an education and mentoring program for 16-18 year olds that helps improve access to built environment professions. Comprised of free skills workshops, one-on-one architectural practice mentoring and advice on college applications, the annual program (which runs from October to May) hopes to diversify the architectural industry. Participants also collaborate on design projects that are presented in a public exhibition at the end of the year. Accelerate is currently open for applications to begin the program in October 2022, and the application deadline is September 30.



For the youngest (7-16 years old), Archimake is a social enterprise offering studio courses in architecture, art, design and engineering so that children can creatively explore these fields and obtain qualifications United Kingdom. Founded by architect Cheryl Pilliner-Reeves and designed to complement school curricula, Archimake is accredited to assess national qualifications leading to certificates equivalent to GCSE.

The Young Climate Prize

Photography: the world around us

The non-profit platform The World Around – which organizes public engagement programs for architecture – has launched a new initiative aimed at young people aged 13 to 25: the Young Climate Prize. Free to enter and international in scope, it welcomes submissions from existing climate-focused design projects. The 25 winners of the award will join a bespoke academy and benefit from the mentorship of “Design Champions” – designers, curators and other leaders around the world, working to bring about positive change. Applications are open until October 31, 2022.

Academy placed

Based in the North West of England, Placed Academy is an open-access program about the built environment for 14-18 year olds. Held annually from July to May, on a part-time basis, it includes workshops that develop practical skills in architecture and planning, as well as advice on pathways into the profession. The program concludes with an exhibition of design projects that participants work on throughout the year.

What else?

Worth keeping an eye out for is POoR Collective, a design-driven social enterprise focused on youth empowerment, helping to create opportunities, including the Build the Way internship – although it’s not yet open to nominations.

Meanwhile, the London Neighborhood Scholarship Trust is a charity that raises funds to provide architectural scholarships to disadvantaged young Londoners.

Additionally, if you are looking for help in entering or advancing into the architectural profession in the UK, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a helpful resource offering scholarships and scholarships, as well as advice on learning. Finally, if you’re a teacher or funder looking for facilitators to engage young people in design and build, check out Matt + Fiona and Build Up – alongside all the others mentioned above.


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