Alongside our project work, we actively promote and participate within a programme of community based initiatives.
This enables our team to experience a different type of working environment - working directly with communities, enhancing our understanding of the projects that we undertake and the communities in which we work.
Our involvement with Beyond Boundaries extends to working with communities predominantly within the Haringey area, collaborating with HARPA and BuildUp . Over the course of summer 2017, our staff volunteered to help redesign and rebuild a previously discarded playground climbing structure. The project engaged children who wanted to learn how to design and build.. The structure, named ‘The Whaler’ by the children, was unveiled by MP David Lammy and Councillor Alan Strickland, with each project participant recognised for their contribution.
The project has since gone on to develop into a programme of initiatives - more playground building with HARPA and BuildUp in Haringey with an Apprentice style competition for teenagers to pitch their design solutions to a panel for the proposed reuse of previously discarded play equipment. We are also supporting an Apprentices programme through Beyond Boundaries, with our first tranche of participants starting to get work experience, placements and full apprenticeships within the construction and design industries.
HTA are working with Our Enterprise to raise £100,000 to help build a new school in Chimbota, Malawi.
The project began when Our Enterprise Director, Alan Caldwell visited Malawi for the first time to visit his daughter who was volunteering. There he met Phillip Chibisa who took him to see the school. In a country where secondary education in remote areas relies on the enterprise of folk other than the state, Alan saw Chimbota as a shining example of what can be achieved.
Chimbota aims for the highest standard of teaching which has to be funded from school fees and in a remote, rural economy this is no easy task. The early years of the school have been supported by donations and the generosity of friends inspired by the achievement and vision of these communities, but it is not sustainable.
To be financially self-sustaining the school needs to attract 160 paying pupils each year and have the ability to generate income. The more income it can generate, the more bursaries it can provide to ensure everyone who wants an education can have one. To achieve this, Chimbota needs three key things - Access to power, On-site pupil accommodation and enterprising projects
HTA challenged their staff to design new school accommodation, with the three winners heading out to help build their accommodation in 2020.
Assemble & Join
A&J is a community engagement tool that has been used across different projects to help reach as many people as possible through design and build activities. Originally initiated at Lower Marsh, the project aims to make equipment and activity that is not usually experienced in the high street, available to all. We also offer training, skill sharing and free workshops available to all.
Training is offered as part of the engagement programme, with participants learning how to design, craft and make using free equipment and materials. The project is funded by S106 agreements or as part of regeneration engagement programmes.
Originated in Lower Marsh in Lambeth, the project has since been replicated in Bristol, and at Trevenson Park, Cornwall and the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark and is running at Winstanley and York Road in 2019.
Lego Design & Build Competition
The Lego Design and Build Competition involves 8 teams of 6 young people (aged 11-15 years) taking up the challenge to ‘Design a prototype house or apartment that reflects life beyond 2020’ with an interest also in the sharing of their design process.
The Beyond Boundaries team at HTA Design, in collaboration with SeerBridge, launched this initiative to encourage young people living in regeneration areas to engage in the exploration of design and construction.
Each team was given a pack of Lego with the aim of producing a model that is constrained to a 32 x 32 stud baseplate. As well as the final Lego brick based model, the competition is encouraging young people to utilise the software ‘Lego Digital Designer’ which has been made available to each team to support their idea creation and development process. Each team has mentor support and guidance from a member of the HTA design team.
Charitable activity and fundraising
Alongside project work that aims to interact with specific communities, we also commit to an annual programme of fundraising for charities that have been nominated by our staff.
These fundraising activities regularly include charity cooked breakfasts and lunches, bake sales, sporting challenges such as running marathons, climbing mountains and cycling ridiculous distances. The practice commits to fund matching donations made by staff throughout the year.
Additionally, we also support challenges on a larger scale, including in recent years over £40,000 raised for Coram through Cycle to Mipim, Pedelle and the Surrey 100.
For the past three years HTA teamed up with the Archikids festival, in association with Open City. Together we've hosted an annual event including: YOUtopia, a fun and interactive workshop for youngsters encouraging them to learn more about architecture held at St. Mary Axe Plaza; ‘Design and Create Your Street’, an activity designed to get children thinking about what they would want from their dream home, and how buildings work together to make up a terraced street; and 'Solid/Void Creations’ – two complementary activities for younger children to explore the built environment by modelling positive and negative impressions of buildings and spaces.