• 18 June 2018

Waterman inspires the next generation of city-shapers at Open House Families event

London’s family-orientated architecture and engineering themed festival, initiated by the charity Open City, kicked off in a great spirit on the 9th June.

Six members of our team – Miriam Spatafora, Alex Kirker, Rebecca Cadwallader, Jennifer Camilletti, Katarzyna Mazur, Sophie McCabe and Ottavia Rispoli, were involved in the popular event holding inspiring workshops about engineering.

Previously named Archikids Festival, the free weekend-long annual event took place across four locations in London, namely Gasholder Park, 30 St Mary’s Axe, Canary Wharf and Here East. Hosted by engineers, artists and architects, it welcomed families and children to explore architecture and engineering through a range of exciting workshops.

Our team set up their ‘Build with Fabrics’ stall in Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, where children were challenged to construct tensile fabric structures using pre-cut tights, foam board, wooden sticks and pencils.

Our Engineer, Miriam Spatafora, took part in the morning workshop, commented: “It was a really rewarding to explore engineering together with the children! I believe it’s important to make them aware that their ideas count. We asked them to decide the position of the fabric, how tall they wanted their structures to be, and how they wanted to decorate after the main structure was up. We helped the children to build tents, houses for stuffed animals, circuses, tunnels etc. Most of them brought their masterpieces home, feeling very proud of their creations. For me, it was great to see them curious, engaged, passionate and enthusiastic and I feel grateful for the whole experience. Our industry should definitely be involved in more initiatives like these!”

Alex Kirker, one of our Graduate Engineers, said of the afternoon session; “Open House Families is a great day for parents to bring their children to as they can all learn about engineering and architecture in a fun way. We all enjoyed engaging with the next generation and giving them an insight into what structural design is about. The children had some very creative ideas, and may hopefully one day make great engineers.”