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Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

12 April 2013

Inspire children to rethink the built environment

Continuing its ongoing support of the architectural learning programme at the V&A, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) have worked closely with the museum to develop their first ever architectural back-pack for families.

The ‘Discovering Architecture Back-Pack’ continues the V&A’s line of award-winning family back-packs, which are all full of brilliant hands-on activities, including jigsaws, stories, puzzles, construction games and objects to handle.

This new addition to the series will be the first to go beyond exploration of the museum’s collection as it will also encourage children to think about the building and the variety of spaces they can discover. The bag has been developed with Mike Davies, Senior Partner at RSHP, who has been responsible for some of the practice’s most innovative projects such as the Millennium Dome and Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

Mike Davies:
“The inspiration for the Discovering Architecture Back-Pack is the spectacular and varied architecture of the V&A itself. The museum provides an extraordinary range of spaces which can encourage children to think more about their built environment. The back-pack introduces children to important concepts which are part of the everyday world of architects and designers.”

The back-pack is designed for children aged 7+ and will take families on a journey to learn about the work of architects through drawings, colour, connecting spaces, light and materials, and finally construct a model and design their own building. The Perspex model contained within each pack has been designed by RSHP’s Modelshop Manager, Mike Fairbrass, and represents an everyday interior comprised of the key component functions: bathroom, living area, kitchen, etc. Children can use this model to instantly rearrange the inside of a house to create their ideal living spaces.

Given the subject-matter, the pack takes the form of a messenger bag rather than a more traditional rucksack and contains a folding ruler, pencils, a sketchpad and material samples. The guide with the back-pack has been designed by Harry Woodrow of Multistorey design studio.

Martin Roth, V&A Director, said:
“Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners have brought tremendous experience, knowledge and skill to this partnership with the V&A, and our new Discovering Architecture Back-Pack will be of great benefit to our young visitors. It’s a terrific opportunity for children and families to take inspiration from such a wonderful resource as the V&A building. Opening children’s eyes to the power of design and raising their aspirations for the future are core to the V&A learning programmes. I look forward to seeing families enjoying the back-pack in the museum.”

The ‘Discovering Architecture Back-Pack’ will be launched on 8 April in the V&A’s Sackler Centre for arts education, with Mike Davies leading a special tour of the museum for families to understand more about the building from the perspective of an architect. Following the tour, families will be able to get their hands on the back-pack for the first time and go forth to reconsider one of Britain’s most treasured architectural landmarks.

Notes to Editors:
About Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) is an award-winning, international architectural practice based in London. Over three decades, RSHP has attracted critical acclaim with innovative projects across Europe, North America and Asia. RSHP employs around 180 people in offices across the world – London, Shanghai and Sydney. The practice is keen to promote the value of architecture to young people and supports the Architecture Foundation Urban Pioneers programme as well as the Mossbourne Community Academy Architecture Club.

The practice has recently led a series of events with the V&A, including model making workshops for families and young people and a talk by Ivan Harbour at a creative industry event for secondary school pupils. More model making workshops will take place this August.

About V&A Learning Department
The Learning Department runs a year-round programme of events for a range of audiences, both in the galleries and in the state-of-the-art Sackler Centre for arts education. Over 200,000 people participate in these events annually.

There are programmes for schools, families, young people, adults, students and creative industry professionals, including digital and community events and activities. All of these activities are firmly rooted in, and inspired by, the V&A’s collections and exhibitions.

Back-packs are part of a wide offer for family audiences visiting the V&A. To find out more about the family programme at the V&A visit: www.vam.ac.uk/families

For further press information, please contact Robert Fiehn at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners on tel: 020 7746 0237 or email robert.f@rsh-p.com