Build Your Own Pavilion was a digital platform and nationwide campaign to celebrate architecture and encourage young architects everywhere to design public spaces for the cities of the future.
Since 2000, the Serpentine Galleries have commissioned some of today’s most renowned architects to build their first structure in England. Open to the public throughout the summer months, the Serpentine Pavilion offers a pioneering way for its audiences to physically experience world class architecture. After 17 years of ambitious projects, the Serpentine Pavilion has become established as one of the most anticipated events in the global design calendar.
Inspired by the Serpentine Pavilion, Build Your Own Pavilion invited young people aged 8-16 to consider the relationship between architecture and public space, and to design the architecture for the cities they would like to live in. The campaign included a nationwide workshop tour, taking place in cities across the UK, and a series of online digital tools for teachers and children to use in the classroom.
Workshops encouraged learning about architecture in relation to the people and communities in their local area – using design and architecture as tools for collectively thinking about the future of our cities. The workshops were co-designed by children themselves, in collaboration with engineer-educators Kidesign.
The Build Your Own Pavilion website was the central location for resources to enable teachers to run their own workshops within schools. The brief challenged children to design Pavilions that transform public space and enhance the cities where they live, and our Pavilions gallery enabled children to like, share and comment on each other’s designs, enabling a greater sense of community. Architects, designers and public officials also commented on the children’s designs, asking questions and encouraging them to think more deeply about their design process.