Tag Archives: community

The future of architecture – Jet Chu

We asked ten architects – each of whom joined Make in a different year since 2004 – to write about how they see architecture and the built environment changing over the next ten years. Here is ex-Make partner, Jet.

Rebecca Woffenden
Jet Chu
Make Partner since 2010

China is a big country with a huge population. Lots of skyscrapers and high-rise apartment buildings are being built here at the moment and living vertically will soon be a normal way of life for many people. Because a building is such a large object and has to last for many years, it is really important how it is incorporated into the bigger picture of a community and a society. At this stage, most people in China are just paying attention to a building’s appearance, yet in the coming ten years it seems to me there are two other main areas to focus on.

The first is sustainable design and living green. People have a growing interest in and awareness of our impact on the planet and the environment. With new advancements in technology, we should actively use more natural and renewable energies in our day-to-day living, and so reduce our impact.

The second focus is that as more people move into high-rise living, it is important to think about how to rebuild a neighbourhood and a sense of community. In essence, the challenge is how can we bring the ground to the sky?jet-chu-quote

I think the future of architecture should incorporate both of these focuses – using high-tech ideas to provide a modern style of living that also minimises the impact on the environment. We are already working towards that goal but there needs to be much more force. A building is about four walls and a roof in the end. It all depends on how we use what we know to change the way we live for the better.

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Accelerate! is the first ever access programme into university for Year 11 and 12 state schools students developed by Open-City. It is aimed at young people who want to pursue a career in architecture or the built environment but would benefit from mentoring and skills enhancement.

Make and the Bartlett School of Architecture are working in partnership with Open-City to deliver this exciting programme, which is targeting students from underprivileged backgrounds. The key aim is to help them develop the skills required for entry to higher education architecture-related courses through early intervention and mentoring.

This 18-month scheme will enable these young people to reach their full potential and improve their chances of entering higher education. Practical work experience sessions held at the Make studio over a 12-week period, involving direct engagement with design professionals, will equip the students with the experience, skills and confidence needed to aid them in achieving places at university.

Accelerate! is educating those young people who will become built environment professionals in years to come; in the long-term, this will result in a more representative demographic group shaping our future cities.

The 12-week work experience summer programme will help young people to develop a number of important skills and experience, including:

  • Critical thinking
  • Independent learning
  • Communication
  • Transiting from school to a working environment



Open-City is an independent not-for-profit architecture and built environment education organisation, expert in the field of bringing architecture to the future generations. They have been delivering free education programmes to some 30,000 state school students over the past 10 years.

Their school and youth programmes  lead the way in exploring architecture and urban design and inspire young people to explore London’s built environment, equipping them with creative and communication skills that can support their learning.

Make has been involved with Open-City since 2006 and has participated in a wide range of educational and mentoring programmes.

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