Around the World

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? Do you have a favourite building, sculpture or landmark in a different country? Or even a favourite spot in the UK! 

Maybe you’d like to take a trip to the Egyptian Pyramids to meet the mummies, or climb the Eiffel Tower to see Paris from up high, or how about checking out Gateshead’s majestic Angel of The North? 

We’d like you to choose your favourite and make it using junk material you have at home!

Photos of winning family entries, judged by leading architects, will be collaged into a world map and:

  • Added to the Open City website 
  • Sent as a PDF to winning families

Don’t forget to check out our new TikTok activity for other exciting activities related to this challenge! 

Deadline for entries: Friday 5th June


Video Tutorial 


Step 1: Gathering Junk

Work as a family to have a really good look in your recycling bin, bag or box. What could you use to build your masterpiece?

Look out for: Cereal boxes (and inside bag), Egg boxes, Juice cartons/ bottles, Toilet/ kitchen paper/ tinfoil rolls, milk bottles, Food trays, Bubble wrap, Soap dispensers, Scrap paper/ Newspapers/ Magazines, Paper/ plastic cups etc. 

N.B. Please be careful with sharp edges, and make sure food trays and bottles are clean for you to work with.

Other materials that you could use that you might have lying around your home (not essential): String, Wire, Elastic bands, Paperclips, cocktail sticks, bamboo BBQ sticks, Scrap fabric, etc. 

Step 2: Warm up exercise

What you’ll need:

Your collected junk and other materials, scrap paper and pencils and/ or pens (colouring pencils, Felt-tips, biros etc) 

  • Place all your found junk objects on a table or the floor.

  • All look closely at this group of objects for various shapes and draw the shapes you see.
  • All try drawing the outline of one or more of the objects.  
  • Keep these sketches as we'd like to see them.

Step 3: Transform your junk into a building 

What you’ll need: Your collected junk, other materials, sketches, scrap paper, pens and access to the internet.

  • List all the shapes (2D & 3D) that you see in your junk materials and sketches.
  • Do these shapes remind you of any buildings/landmarks? Or shapes found in certain buildings?
  • Perhaps use the internet to search for famous world landmarks for inspiration.
  • Now decide on which landmark from around the world you are going to make a model of.  

Step 4: Make your Model

What you’ll need: Your junk material, and any other materials found, scissors, sticky tape, glue. Also hole puncher, stapler (not essential).

Before making look at: 

  • Model Making tips and techniques.
  • ‘Think like an Architect’. 
  • Watch our video of making ‘junkitecture’ 

Now it’s time to start making!

Timings: Between 2 hours to 2 days! Depending on the model making techniques you use and size of your model.

Step 5: Sketch & Photograph your Model


What you’ll need: scrap paper, pencils and / or pens, mobile phone camera.

Once you’ve finished your model: All sketch your model and label key features (e.g. materials and/or structure of the building, name of building, your family name etc)

Photograph your sketches and model. 

Step 6: How to submit your model and sketches


Competition deadline: Friday 5th June

Email your photos to

Please provide your location, surname and age of children.

Please let us know if a family member works in Creative Industries, as your entry will be judged in our professional category.

Key judging criteria are: creative use of reused materials and creative engagement with the original landmark, building, monument or sculpture.




Think Like An Architect... things to think about!


What is a building used for? Is it used to: 

• live in? (a home) 

• work in? (an office) 

• learn in? (a school) 

• play sports in? (a stadium) 

• pray in? (a church, a mosque, a temple) 



Materials are used to make buildings - both the structure and inside and outside surfaces. Materials can be made from naturally occurring substances or man-made products. 

Natural material examples: timber (wood), stone, mud man-made material examples: concrete, bricks, steel, glass. Many of these use a mixture of natural and synthetic substances. 



How big is your chosen building compared to the others close to it? Think how big am I compared to a door, to my home? 



Inside of buildings are lit up by a combination of natural and artificial light. 

Natural Light: Does sunlight come into the building? Are there lots of windows? Are there roof lights? 

Artificial Light: Can you see lots of lightbulbs through the windows? 



How does the building stand up? Think about what holds up the roof? 

Can you see the structure? Clues: does it have steel or timber posts (columns) or beams visible? 




Scale drawings and models

It’s impossible to draw buildings at their real size on paper! Architects, therefore, need to scale down their drawings of buildings, furniture and people to fit on paper. Builders and architects use special scale rulers to measure from scale drawings. 

Think ‘Honey I shrunk the Kids’! Or look at your toy cars and dolls, which are scaled-down by a ratio.

Model Making Tips



1. Place the junk you want to wrap in the middle of the scrap paper.

2. Fold around the junk so it is all covered. 

3. Fold and tape the side, top and bottom.

This technique can be used to make building blocks.



1. Using a sheet of card, draw out a wide spiral shape and cut out.

2. Stretch out the spiral and glue the ends to other structures at different levels either horizontally or vertically. 

This technique can be used to make ramps.

Paper mache


1. Mix one part sieved flour, one part water with a wooden spoon in a big bowl until you get a thick glue-like consistency. 

2. Choose your mould and smear a small amount of vaseline to surface.

3. Cut strips of newspaper, paint them with glue on both sides and paste to mould. Let each layer dry before adding the next. 

Folding Card

Folding Card

1. Measure a 2/3cm section of the card with a ruler, mark with a pencil and fold.

2. Holding at a 90-degree angle, use glue on the underside of the section and fix to your model base. 

This technique can be used to make internal or external walls.



1. Draw the net pattern on your card/paper.

2. Cut around the lines carefully.

3. Fold together, can glue the edges if you want.

This can be used to make cubes, cuboids, prisms etc... play around with the different shapes!

Rolling card or paper

Rolling Card2

1. Choose size and length of paper or card.

2. Roll into a tight tube and tape along the side.

3. Measuring a small length up the side of the tube, snip several slots along the end and push out to make the base.

This technique can be used as columns.

Card and paper slot joints


1. Cut squares of card/paper to size.

2. Measure through the middle equal lengths, and cut these out. Slot two pieces together.

Good for modular designs – elements that can be added together continuously.

Milk Bottles

Milk Bottles2

1. Cut through the middle and around the handle. 

2. Save the lid and other panels of plastic to build other parts of your model.

This technique can be used to make windows, pipes, or rolled up to make columns.



1. Carefully pierce holes in the corners of the pieces of card/paper.

2. Feed the straws through them. You can add as many floors as you can fit!

This technique can be used to make a simple structure of a building.

Egg boxes


1. Cut into the egg box and around the middle spikes and internal egg holder pieces.

2. You could also use the box lid for your model too.

The technique can be used for the top of roofs or facades.

Paper and plastic cups


1. Cut around the cup into as many pieces as you want.

2. Make sure to save all the pieces for different parts of your buildings!

This technique can be used for windows, walls and curved roofs. 



1. Cut the pieces of paper/card in horizontal and vertical directions.

2. Weave them in and out of eachother or layer them on top of eachother.

3. Glue the edges down to make it secure.

This technique can be used for building facades (the front of the building).

Photographing your work

Photographing your models can be approached in a number of creative ways. Here’s a few tips to help you take more professional images at home. You can use any camera you have available - the example images were taken using an iPhone 6S.



It is important to have a clear background in your images, to avoid distractions from your model. Plain card works well (one sheet on the surface, one behind the model). A white model will stand out well against a dark or colourful background, or white on white will give a minimalist look. Glossy surfaces can reflect your model.

Camera Angles

Try using different angles to showcase different elements of your model. You can move 360 degrees around your model, and if you raise it on top of some books or a box, allows you to look up from a lower angle. If you’re using a phone or small camera, then you can get right up close to the model.


To give an idea of scale in your models, you can add recognisable figures, such as people or cars. If using human figures, like lego figures, think about how they interact with spaces in the model. A clear idea of scale is useful for architectural models, but for more abstract work it may be more interesting if the scale is unclear, and the viewer tries to work it out themselves.



For a natural look, you can use sunlight by itself to light your model. However this leaves strong shadows, so if you want more even light and detail throughout the image, then you can use a second source of light from the other side to add light to the darker areas. This could be a desk lamp or phone flashlight, for example. 

Tik Tok Instructions

Instructions on how to make a TikTok into Architecture Video:

TikTok is a social media platform which allows users to create interactive fun videos – whether this be of dancing, lip syncing or comedic.

You can create videos by either filming directly from the app, or on your phone and then editing it within the app. 

Filming directly in the app allows a maximum of 15 seconds and using a video from your phone, allows a maximum of 60 seconds.

If you don’t have the TikTok app:

  • Download it from the Apple or Google Play store.

  • Create an account - if between the age of 13 and 18, you must get parental consent and have the account monitored by the parent. If under 13, you must create your TikTok videos on a parent’s account

Step 1: Pick your favourite landmark (building, monument, sculpture) and you could also find a photo of it on the internet!

Step 2 : Create a dance and pick a song (from the soundtracks in the app) that you feel represents or links to your chosen landmark or the country where it is. Be as creative as you like!

Step 3: Making the video - Filming: 

Film yourself/ family dancing, and you could also film your family making their junkitecture model, or film/ photograph it in stages.

  • Film directly into the app if you already have ideas of the TikTok you want to create OR film using your phone camera so that you can choose from the outtakes.                                                                 
  • Tip: If filming via the app, you can choose from a range of available effects and filters before filming your video e.g. the green screen filter which allows you to insert a picture of your chosen landmark into the video. You can even set a self-timer to give yourself time to prepare – choose from either 3 or 10 seconds.

Step 4: Making the video – Editing: 

Once filmed, you can edit the video to your liking - choose from different screen effects, filters, stickers, other sounds and even add text!

Step 5: When you are happy with your video, post it on TikTok with a caption and @intoarchitecture/@familiesintoarchitecture #junkitecture!!

NOTE: You have the option to share this publicly, with select friends or privately and if you feel like there is more to add, you can save it as a draft to return to later!

You also have the option to allow comments on the post and to have other people create a duet and react video with yours.

Step 6: Don’t forget to submit your video. You can do this by copying your video and sharing it’s link and emailing it to

If you also made a #junkitecture model of your favourite landmark, please send your TikTok video link with the photos and drawings of it. 

Have fun!


TikTok Parental Controls - Child Safety:
  • Offers a few parental controls in the digital well being section - can enable this on your child’s phone and use a passcode to protect them. 
  • App has a family pairing feature - use your own adult account to control your child’s account.
  • Restricted mode setting - can be locked with a passcode.
  • Parents encouraged to share an account with kids under 13.
  • Private account feature on TikTok.
  • Options to limit screen time.
  • In the safety section under “account”, there are options to customise who can post comments on your child’s tiktok and who they can duet with.


TikTok Video

This activity was created by Celebrating Architecture in partnership with Open City.


Since launching at the RCA in 2018, and over the last two summers,  Celebrating Architecture has worked with 175 young people from schools across London. Through our Pavilion workshop days these students (aged 9-18 years and from all backgrounds) have discovered, experienced and made architecture in cultural environments, alongside leading London Architects.

This creative and aspirational learning initiative is led by architecture educators, Neil Pinder and Venetia Wolfenden, with the key aim to bring diversity into the profession, so that our future built environments reflect the societies that they are designed for. We are also determined to promote the importance of creative subjects in state schools to ensure continuation of a diverse pipeline of talent to the profession.