Multi-disciplinary architectural practice, rg+p has partnered with Nottingham Trent University to offer students a practical insight into the design of educational and learning environments.

The Leicester-based firm has undertaken lectures and workshops with undergraduates from the Nottingham Institute of Education as part of their ‘Designing Spaces for Learning’ module. Principal landscape architect, Julian Gladman and head of interiors, Ian Matthews have delivered two lectures at the University’s Clifton Campus as well as hosted 30 students at rg+p’s Leicester office to provide real life examples of the environment and business of architecture.

Julian Gladman said: “We’ve just completed a short series of lectures with students from the BA (Hons) Education Studies course to broaden their understanding of the role design plays in the development of a learning environment such as school or college. Our lectures were written specifically for the course and covered current design practices, the best approach to learning space design including the associated limitations and challenges as well as the importance of preparing an integrated design throughout a project’s lifecycle to ensure end users remain engaged. To further enhance this, we invited the students to our office to observe how it’s used as a learning and collaborative space as well as visualise how the design of our ‘own space’ came to life, providing a practical example for them to draw upon.

“Our practice ethos is focused on collaboration and teaching so it’s really important to not just offer opportunities like this for aspirational architects but also for our own architectural trainees, who were very involved in the development of content for lectures and during the presentations at the office.”

Following the success of the inaugural visit, rg+p has committed to host a further 25 students at their city centre office on Thursday 29th March.

Sarah Davies, senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University commented: “rg+p’s sessions have been extremely informative and engaging, providing a breadth and depth of information about a variety of design contexts and schemes. Our students have been really positive; commenting on how much they appreciate time with industry professionals and the opportunity to tour and learn from a real working environment. This has been a hugely successful partnership so far and we’re now looking forward to our next visit.”

rg+p’s work in the education sector is extensive, encompassing a phased development masterplan over 20 years at Grantham College, Lincolnshire; a £2.2m extension to Redbridge Primary School in Ilford, North London; and the award-winning conversion of two Victorian school buildings in Leicester into a permanent base for the RSSB to host meetings, seminars and spiritual teachings.


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BDC 305 Jun 2023