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Fantastical Future Cities: RIBA International Chapters celebrate World Children's Day

In November 2021, RIBA International Chapters organised a series of children's workshops to celebrate World Children's Day. See how the students and children unleashed their creativity through net zero future city inspired entirely by their imagination.

25 November 2021

For this year's World Children's Day, the RIBA International Chapters in Hong Kong, the Gulf, and China held a series of workshops, inviting children to create their own net zero future cities.

Each chapter had its own dedicated outside space to enable both students and children to build their imaginative city by using a wide selection of recycled materials. At the end of the day, we saw what kind of city the children and students would like to live in.

Architects and students from local architecture schools were on hand to assist the children, inspire them, and, most importantly, have fun making their ideal city.

Each chapter used its own interpretation of the theme of Fantastical Future Cities.

RIBA Gulf Chapter workshop

13 November 2021, Dubai Design District

The RIBA Gulf Chapter worked on an area representing part of the Design District in Dubai.

A team of architects and architecture students from architecture schools at Heriot-Watt Dubai Campus and Abu Dhabi University, and the American University of Sharjah were at the workshop to assist the children.

World Children's Day workshop, organised by RIBA Gulf Chapter, Dubai Design Week 2021

The activity was in the form of an interactive board game, distributed into four working stations, each one showcasing a concept that they need to focus on while making their proposed models, such as passive cooling and water consumption.

RIBA Gulf children's workshop 2021 - children making models of their imaginary city

RIBA Hong Kong Chapter workshop

6 November 2021, The Mills Fabrica

The RIBA Hong Kong Chapter hosted a creative workshop to engage with the children in their community. Children were invited to create their own imaginary future city play area led by volunteer architects using recycled materials on a base model of the harbourfront. The objective was to explore children’s creative ideas for the harbourfront, and future city development grounded in sustainability principles.

Fantastical cities children's workshop, organised by RIBA Hong Kong Chapter, 2021

Dr Ruffina Thilakaratne, Honorary Chair of the RIBA Hong Kong Chapter and Associate Professor of Chu Hai College said: "We are excited by this opportunity to be inspired by 50 future architects, designers, decision makers and leaders, and to learn from your bold, creative and innovative ideas."

For more information about Hong Kong Chapter’s children’s workshop, visit:

RIBA Hong Kong Chapter Facebook

RIBA Hong Kong Chapter World Children’s Day newsletter

Children exploring ideas of creating harbourfront, RIBA Hong Kong Chapter, 2021

RIBA China Chapter workshop

20 November 2021, YK Pao International School

In celebration of World Children's Day, RIBA China Chapter hosted a "shipping container remodelling" workshop as part of the Fantastical Future Cities program. Members of RIBA were joined by more than 30 students at YK Pao International School to reinvent prefabricated containers into future habitats with recyclable materials. The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness of climate issues and their impact. Children were inspired to create buildings that will use renewable energy and can adapt to sea levels rising and other environmental conditions.

For more information on RIBA chapters' events on World Children's Day, please get in touch with chloe.sadler@riba.org.

Children making models with Ken Wai, Chair of RIBA China Chapter

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