We spent Saturday at a celebration of all things play at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) headquarters at Portland Place in London. The RIBA Day of play is a day of activities, tours and workshops for all the family, inspired by The Brutalist Playground installation.
The RIBA Day of Play is FREE of charge!!!
We started the RIBA Day of play at The Brutalist Playground installation, is a new commission by Turner Prize nominees Assemble and artist Simon Terrill. As part of the Brutalist Playground, RIBA has been working with local communities who live on the estates featured in the installation. This display is the culmination of these projects and includes work from Open Age groups in North Kensington and Westminster.
Call me biased but what would a trip to an Architecture play day be without LEGO® being involved? Hosted by Duncan Titmarsh the UK’s only certified LEGO® professional. Duncan was on hand all day getting stuck in, offering tips and advice. On the same floor was a Game Design Workshop run by the extremely talented Sophia George. Sophia is a BAFTA award winning game designer with plenty of colouring pens and paper. There was a long table so the children had space to get creative. Jonah loved the Squishy Cityscape which was a huge table of Play Doh and tools.
Outside on the patio, we met Adam and the guys from the Involve Architecture Collective. They were so lovely to little Jonah as he stepped up to be the first to design his own cast in plaster. It was a brave endeavour for the collective architects. There were wooden jigs, plaster of paris and the impatience of small children to contend with. But their passion, commitment and work ethic shone through. A highlight for me.
Although not entirely age appropriate I took Jonah upstairs to the Great Meccano Challenge. Experts from SELMEC (The South East London Meccano Club) welcomed us and took time to show Jonah how Meccano worked. He even took away a little goodie bag for when he’s a bit older.
We did bring a tablet with minecraft installed with the intention of attending the workshop hosted by blockworks but had no time. Anyway, that’s not a problem you can access the server from home. Contact blockworks for more information.
There was a colouring in corner and a massive mural started by the brilliant artist Katie Kennedy. Katie kicked things off with some pictures of Brutalist playgrounds that the children could extend. You can see the finished drawing on twitter
There were building tours that we didn’t get time to do and perhaps might not have been suitable for a 2 year old anyway. But the tour walked past me a number of times and I grabbed snippets when I could.
Getting in and out of London with young family can be a struggle especially when it’s so hot. But refreshments were served all day and the staff were extremely helpful. Look out for more events on the RIBA website. Highly recommended!