An educational programme devised with our friends of “Architectural Farm”simply entitled ‘Draw’, was originally prepared as part of the Slow Architecture Exhibition of 2011. The programme investigated how the act of drawing can be used to engage students with their local built heritage. We encouraged students to first observe buildings or streetscapes within their own locality, and then draw what they see. We feel that by engaging with their local built environment in this way it can help them to appreciate what is actually around them. The exercise can be briefly outlined under five separate actions:

  1. Introduction: We introduce the students to the proposed exercise, giving them an outline of the process and its aims.
  1. Observe: The students, their teacher & ourselves then visit either a selected streetscape or a building in their locality, and are asked to take some time to observe before recording anything.
  1. Draw:Students are then encouraged to draw/ sketch the selected area. This could vary from a streetscape, a specific building or even a window/ door within a building.
  1. Reflect:Upon returning to the classroom, students will have the opportunity to offer opinions on their chosen building, its use, size etc.
  1. Imagine:Students can offer suggestions/ ideas that they may have on ways of improving the chosen building, place or space. In total the entire exercise takes no longer than 2 hours.

The “Draw” programme has developed into an annual exercise within selected schools and continues to engage students with their local built environment. This act of drawing, in unison with being afforded the time to engage with surroundings, can heighten everyone’s awareness of the local built environment, and may also give the opportunity to imagine what improvements could take place.