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 and Junior Cycle for Teachers' Junior Cycle Graphics Exhibition supports 'Good Design in Everyday Life' 

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. 

The RIAI, in association with Junior Cycle for Teachers, is delighted to collaborate on an exhibition of the work of Junior Cycle Graphics students. Further details

Architect Dermot Bannon Talks Graphics at the touchpoint below. 


'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 


The RIAI Supports the B!G iDEA Programme

The B!G iDEA is a programme which aims to tackle challenges through creativity, and the RIAI is delighted to announce its new partnership with the programme. We believe that the programme can enable the next generation to understand the power of architecture. 

The B!G iDEA is an educational programme supporting students to learn the skills they need to tackle issues they are concerned about. 2022 projects were: Climate Change, Equality, Mental Health, Housing Crisis and Healthcare. View the winners of the 2022 Big Idea programme here.

How to get involved? We invite RIAI members to become involved in this award-winning programme as part of our partnership. Mentors are from all areas including architecture, product development, engineering, tech, and lots more, from CEOs to graduates, and mentors can choose to support students on the issues and briefs that resonate most with them. Find out on how to get involved


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.