Architecture and Young People

Architecture and Young People

The future quality and sustainability of our built environment will be determined by the children and young people of today as the clients, consumers and decision-makers of tomorrow. 

The RIAI offers a range of resources to help teachers, parents, mentors and Architects to bring architecture into the classroom at primary and secondary school level.

This section provides access to materials, resources and programmes for primary and secondary school teachers, working either in collaboration with Architects or on their own, to help young people understand architectural design and the process by which their environment is shaped.


RIAI supports Junior Cycle Graphics 

In junior cycle Graphics, students develop their creativity, spatial ability, and capacity to reason and communicate ideas through engagement with abstract and applied geometric problem-solving activities. Graphics encourages the development of the cognitive and practical dexterity skills associated with graphical communication.

Students develop their creativity as they investigate and solve design challenges. Students work with their peers to refine their ideas from an abstract concept to a final, detailed, drafted design. Abstraction, and spatial reasoning are fundamental to this process; graphics provides multiple and varied opportunities for students to develop these high level cognitive and creative skills in engaging contexts. Skills that encourage the student to solve problems through creation, innovation, communication, collaboration and exploration, all of which are developed in an active learning environment where students can advance their ideas from conception to realisation.

They will develop cognitive and practical skills such as graphical communication, spatial visualisation, creative problem-solving, design capabilities and modelling, both physically and through the use of computer-aided design.

Architect Dermot Bannon Talks Graphics at the touchpoint below. 


RIAI JCt4 Junior Cycle Graphics Exhibition

Junior Cycle for Teachers, in association with the RIAI, are delighted to collaborate on an exhibition of first-year Graphics students work during COVID-19. 

First Year Graphics students were asked to look at their favourite space or object and communicate graphically on one single A3 or A4 sheet:

  • What is it? 
  • Where is there geometry present? 
  • Show how you could make it better? 

The RIAI is very proud to showcase the exhibition of student entries. 

View a video of the exhibition (with soundtrack) here or at the touchpoint below.

Download a PDF of the exhibition here


'The Power of Design' - A Junior Achievement Ireland Programme

The Power of Design is schools programme developed by Junior Achievement Ireland in association with Dublin City Council. The programme, which uses a learning by doing methodology aims to demonstrate, to primary and second level students, design’s positive impact on social cultural and economic life.  Workshops take place in the classroom and are delivered by design volunteers from the working world. Read more 


RIAI Transition Year Programme

This RIAI Guide supports Architectural Practices who take on Transition Year Students. The RIAI guide is a framework for a one-week transition year student placement in an Architect’s office. Download the guide from the touchpoint below. 


RIAI Shaping Space Educational Resource

Shaping Space is an education resource designed to help teachers encourage young people to consider and explore a range of social, environmental, technical and aesthetic issues related to architecture and the built environment.

Starting with their own homes and communities, the programme invites students to look at different types of buildings and towns, explore planning, design, materials, building technology, conservation and preservation in Ireland and in other societies and other ages. 

The programme can be adjusted to suit the needs of individual schools and students, and its format ensures that any school can include a single module or a year-long course within the academic year.

Access the RIAI Shaping space from the touchpoint below.