Select Page

Teachers in Residence: Foster + Partners

Blueprint 1000 member Foster + Partners hosted two teachers as part of the Association’s Teachers in Residence programme. During the week-long programme, Josephine Madden from Harris Academy, Morden, and Josiah Edun from Harris Boys Academy, East Dulwich, spent time with various departments including Specialist Modelling Group, Construction Review Group, Visualisation and Film, Industrial Design, and Modelmakers amongst others.

Teacher in Residence helps teachers to develop a deeper understanding of modern industry and the technical skills and attributes required by employers to give a clearer view of career pathways.

The aim is for the knowledge to be passed on to help equip teachers in promoting the value of the subject with the purpose of showcasing the range of careers and opportunities available to the next generation of architects and designers.

Five-day programme

Foster + Partners is a global studio for sustainable architecture, urbanism, engineering and design, founded by Norman Foster in 1967. The placement included an introduction to the company and integration into the architectural team. On day four, the teachers joined the Learning and Development team. The week culminated in a product design and model-making session. The placement revealed the high relevance of CAD within industry, which is utilised during all stages of the process as well as in architectural drawings. CAD software is an essential tool for engineers and other technical professionals, allowing them to create models and simulations of products or systems before they are built, which can save time and money by identifying potential problems early on.

One of the teachers, Josephine, was pleasantly surprised to see that the team was filled with younger members who are successfully working within the sector, including a number of apprenticeships accredited by Oxford Brookes. This is a route that will be shared with future pupils as they make their career choices. Each day new departments were visited, which highlighted that there aren’t just the jobs you automatically think of, and during the journey, Josephine was seeing the different job roles and mentally allocating these to pupils that had stated their area of interest.

The second teacher, Josiah, also gained a great deal from the sessions and comments, “To work at Foster + Partners you need to think like a designer….you can’t teach creativity but they can teach you how to use software”. The placement will affect his teaching methods in the classroom. As a teacher, he feels that his design skills used throughout university are getting lost.

More employers are reporting that they can’t find the qualified candidates they need. This is a major problem for the industry and is one that needs to be addressed urgently. Initiatives like Teachers in Residence are so important to ensure teachers are equipped with the relevant knowledge required in the classroom. This benefits the teachers who can enrich lessons with a new perspective. It benefits the industry to ensure a pool of talent and future generations have the skills required to fulfil the demand.

If you are a business leader who would like to hear more about Blueprint 1000 and the Teachers in Residence initiative, please contact: