My Space My City My World
My Space My City My World is a creative learning programme that has been running for three consecutive years. Initially a 3-day project in 2008, My Space has now developed into a 4-day conference for young people. Held at the Stephen Lawrence Centre it aims to build young people’s confidence in making their voices heard in places where decisions are made about architecture, design, urban planning, engineering, global economics and the future.
Through the media of visual arts, sound and video, architecture and product design, My Space explores the individual student’s ‘personal footprints’, their views about their local urban landscape and their thoughts on the changes happening in the world.
Over the three years we have partnered with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which is an educational charity with a mission to help young people find pathways out of poverty and into sustainable, rewarding careers in engineering, architecture and other fields associated with urban design and regeneration. The Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford, a landmark design by architect David Adjaye, opened in February 2008.
My Space is supported by Aspire (Aimhigher South East London), a partnership of 4 universities, 80 secondary schools, 10 colleges, 6 London boroughs and a range of community groups who are working together to give young people in Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth and Wandsworth more opportunities to access further and higher education and thereby maximise their life chances.
Also integral to My Space is the London Engineering Project, which co-ordinates science, technology, engineering and math’s activities in schools and colleges in South London, engaging with pupils of all ages. The project illustrates and demonstrates the advantages of a career in engineering, and the benefits of studying in higher education institutes; it is developing new and improved engineering curricula to attract more students from all backgrounds.
My Space My City My World takes young people through a journey of creativity. It brings a large group of people together and places them in an environment where they can explore, share ideas and express themselves whilst having fun.
My Space is a chance for young people to discover the difference that they are capable of making, by looking at their space, city and world. These themes are explored through one of four creative workshops,
- Architecture and Design
- Seeing and Images
- Music and video
- Invention and product design.
The four days are split into the following:
Day one: My Space
explores personal aspects of each individual such as lifestyle choices, personal space, and attitudes;
Day two: My City
explores life in the city, living in a community, urban facilities and asking what makes a good city;
Day three: My World
considers our global responsibilities, energy use, international relations and justice, and how places in the world are connected;
Day four: What next
is a day for sharing what they have done and to think about how they can implement what they have learned.
The conference relates to young people on a personal, local and global scale, empowering them to think about changes they can make and how they can shape the environment that they are in.
In the three years that My Space has been running there has not been a single drop from the 100% attendance, everyone that attends the conference stays to the end which suggests that they can connect with what the conference is about and they feel there is benefit for them in attending.
There is an emphasis on young people learning from young people just a little older than themselves (year nine and ten students), which is why the participation of the Aspire ambassadors, The Prime Ministers Global Fellows, and the student photographer is important; they already have university connections and because they are only a few years older it makes it easier to relate to their experience.
Quotes from the young people:
‘I think we can make the biggest difference, we’re the next generation and if we’re not going to do it, who’s going to?!’
‘I will challenge myself even harder the next time to be the best that I can be, and not to be afraid to stand out.’
‘It made me want to improve my attitude in lessons’