Archikids Festival 2013

Archikids is Open-City's flagship Family Festival of Architecture

hatwalkArchikids 2013 took place from 17-19 May 2013 as a three-day family festival. Over 2,731 children of neighboring boroughs discovered the great buildings and public spaces of the City of London’s Square Mile by participating in the festival’s 46 architectural activities, tours and workshops.

"We attended the 2013 Archikids family architecture festival with our two boys, who built tunnels, made sketches of the skyline and had an all-round good time. It was a great set of activities and a credit to all involved.”
David Miliband, British Labour Party

What did we achieve?

Family Learning - ‘Education through Enjoyment’

  • The festival provided an informal and free learning model that is both educational and enjoyable.
  • It showcased innovative thinking and practice to educate future generations about their city and good design.
  • It developed ways in which parents and children can learn and be creative together.

Architectural Engagement

  • The festival programmed 46 architectural-specific activities that engaged children aged 5-11 years old in the great buildings and public spaces of the City of London’s Square Mile.
  • 21 venues hosted the activities and opened their doors to inspire the young participants including City Hall, Leadenhall Market, Broadgate London and Guildhall Art Gallery.
  • 72% of the families surveyed said they had not been to this part of the city before

Artistic and Professional Development

  • The Arch-Innovate Competition facilitated artistic and professional collaborations throughout the festival. Supported by the Arts Council’s ‘Grants of the Arts’, Open-City commissioned 10 groups to develop their work into a children’s architectural activity. In commissioning the activities, Open-City supported the creative and artistic development of these practitioners.
  • The Archi-Art Competition for children similarly celebrate∂ the talent and creativity of the younger generation and showcased their learning of good design following the festival.
  • The festival in general provided a platform for cross-sector working by building partnerships and collaborations with a range of member, trade and professional organisations.

Community Development

  • The festival attracted a broad multicultural, geographical, inter-generation audience to engage in their city.
  • Festival attendees from 28 of the 32 London boroughs, with particular attendance from Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Islington, Southwark, Camden and Ealing.
  • To encourage inter-borough community, Open-City ran pre-festival schools workshops in neighboring boroughs schools.

The success of this inaugural festival demonstrates how much learning potential the City has to offer young people, and the value of unlocking it through inspiring creativity and curiosity.

Programme Highlights and Gallery

Bird City at Goldsmiths Hall Gardens

Archilens at One New Change

Skyscraper Sketching at One New Change

Chicken City at Goldsmiths Hall Garden

Skyline Shadow Show at 155 Bishopsgate

Pastcards from London at One New Change

Beneath the City's Skin at Broadgate
cane city
Centre Cane City at Broadgate

‘All of us really liked the opportunity to see some of the wonderful architecture in the City at a time when it is not too busy and to explore parts of London you don't get to see very often. We shall be coming again next year if we can!’ Justin Bryans with daughter Eloise, aged 9

‘It was an excellent programme, with so much variety and really imaginative ways in which to engage children with their environment. Especially getting children to use their own imagination and dexterity skiils.’ Caroline Hoare with daughter Milly, aged 8

City of Bridges - Pre-Festival Workshops

Leading up to the festival weekend, Open-City and Jam Arts ran three school workshops with 180 pupils from neighboring City of London borough schools:

  • Buxton School, Waltham Forest
  • Rokeby School, Newham
  • The Bridge and Holloway School, Islington.

The workshop City of Bridges used the structures of well known, local bridges to teach the students about sets, platonic shapes, weight-bearing and numeracy.

Buxton School
The Zone, The Bridge and Holloway School


What comes next? Archikids Festival 2014


Archikids Festival 2014 to take place on the weekend of Saturday 26 - Sunday 27 July. To view the programme click here.







About Archikids Festival
Read more about the background of the Open-City festival.

Festival Competitions
Open-City ran three competitions as part of the festival weekend; Archi-Art, Arch-Innovate and On Your Scooter.

Programme of 2013
View the programme of Archikids Festival 2013.

What comes next? Archikids 2014
26-27 July 2014
Save the date for the next family event!



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