Back to Blog

Working with Young People from the Ebbsfleet Design Group

Posted on 20 June 2023

Written by:

Elly Mead
Image credit: The Glass-House

On Wednesday 14 June, The Glass-House team travelled along the Thames Estuary to deliver an afternoon workshop with Ebbsfleet Design Group, a group of young people from Ebbsfleet and its surrounding neighbourhoods. The group, part of Cement Fields’ This Must be The Place long-term placemaking project in Ebbsfleet, is exploring and shaping the new garden city as it is being built through a range of projects and workshops.

Image credit: The Glass-House

We worked with the young people to unpack ideas around the design of places, what design engagement is and why it is so important when thinking about how we shape current and future spaces and places. The majority of the session was dedicated to the young people designing engagement activities to inform a future building in Ebbsfleet for other children, teenagers and young adults. We asked them to reflect on their own experience of being in the design group, considering why and how they would want to be engaged to then inform their own designs. 

The young people split into two groups for this fast co-design activity. The first group considered how music can attract and bring people into spaces, designing a long tunnel structure that played music and contained strings of attractive lights. The space also included benches to create places to rest and linger within the tunnel. Young people who were drawn by the structure would then be asked their opinion on various aspects of the future design of the building.

Group 1’s tunnel of engagement. Image credit: The Glass-House

The second group reflected on why they were interested in being part of the Ebbsfleet Design Group, thinking about the opportunities, meeting new people and learning new skills. Lots of their friends are interested in going into the construction industry after finishing school, so they designed an engagement activity that involved building parts of the new building. The activity would introduce young people to new, green building methods and technologies whilst getting them involved in co-creating the building.

Group 2 working together. Image credit: The Glass-House

We’re really excited to be working with this group again shortly as several of them will be joining us for our upcoming webinar in collaboration with Cement Fields, Young People Making Places. The webinar, taking place on Thursday 20 July, 6:30 – 7:45pm, will feature a range of speakers from across the place making, built environment design and community landscape for a thought-provoking and inspirational session to explore how young people can be part of the design, construction and management of our places and spaces. Our speakers will include:

Tickets are free and available to book here.