BDP is proud of our commitment to inspiring young people at every stage of their education to pursue a career in the built environment. For over a decade, we have been fortunate to welcome young people into our studios through several key partnerships, providing them with meaningful placements and opportunities to experience a variety of professions.
An example of this can be shown in our work with Blueprint for All (BPFA) in the UK. BPFA works with young people, communities, and businesses to create an inclusive society in which everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or background is provided with tangible opportunities to thrive. BPFA also believes that “talent is everywhere”, and that every person, regardless of their background, should be given the opportunity and support to flourish in a society that recognises and values them - a belief that we also share at BDP. We acknowledge that by and large there is a lack of diversity within our industry, and we as a practice see it as an active duty to seek to change this, and positively contribute to the future of the built environment profession.
Having first worked with BPFA in 2019 in their Building Futures program and moving our efforts online in 2020 (during the height of the pandemic) to participate in their mentorship program, we were delighted to return to our in-person outreach initiatives this year. Alongside several other work placement opportunities we offered this summer, our London studio participated in BPFA’s diverse ethnic heritage and underrepresented careers program, Pathway to Professions. This flagship program provides career resources, bespoke employability workshops, and support from specialist professionals to students ages 13-15, who are often at a socio-economic disadvantage and have diverse ethnic backgrounds. In Spring 2022, people from our London and Birmingham studios also provided learning opportunities through the development and delivery of skill-building workshops (such as CV-building and interview preparation) to groups of students in their local area.
From the mentoring schemes with budding architects during early levels of academia to conducting workshops on how to create CVs and prepare for interviews, the sessions we designed aim to provide a framework for students to think about future opportunities and how they flourish in their career, either in architecture or beyond.Jordon Lambert Architect at BDP and BPFA mentor and workshop lead
Building on our previous work, this summer we were delighted to welcome students recommended by BPFA to undertake work experience in our London studio.
This summer I have been involved in mentoring two students, Rhianne and Serena from Blueprint for All, during their work experience week. Both students had an incredible drive and clear goals for their time with us, which (matched with their enthusiasm and intuition), allowing for us to provide a tailored, engaging week-long program. Even in such a short time, you could see the development in their understanding of the built environment, as well as their confidence. They also had a taste of what it was like to work at a multi-disciplinary practice, as they collaborated with other students, architects, and interior designers.Nariza Hopely Architect at BDP and BPFA summer work experience mentor
Through our work with organisations like Blueprint for All, we cannot only offer opportunities to those from non-traditional backgrounds to enter our industry, but we are also able to make an impact in the communities in which we work and build, adding value to the communities outside of the buildings we design. We look forward to continuing our work together in the future!