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Design Day Summer School: Minecraft - Designing Beyond Borders
​Credit: BlockWorks

Design Day Summer School: Minecraft - Designing Beyond Borders

​Join us for this five day workshop as we explore what borders are and how they might be constructed or destroyed. For ages 11 to 15.

Our experience of architecture today is defined by borders: invisible and physical, global and local, positive and negative. Join us as we explore what these borders are and how they might be constructed or destroyed. We will design and build using Minecraft, a game which redefines the concept of shared space and collaborative design as we know it. Through sketching, model making and 3D printing we will bring these ideas to life over this five-day workshop.

During this workshop, attendees will design a proposal or intervention for Portland Place, London, based on a choice of four different briefs – each focusing on the different forms of borders and boundaries existing on the site. Minecraft will be used in the afternoon sessions of each day, to help develop attendees’ concepts in 3D, and at different scales.

Attendees will also be introduced to different methods of architectural representation – sketching, modelling, video making, photography. The products of the workshop will be compiled and presented as a mini exhibition, displayed at the Family Fun day on Saturday 5 August.

With Kayoon Anderson and James Delaney

Please note - all participants will need the following to attend this workshop:

• Their own laptop with a mouse
• Minecraft 'PC Edition' downloaded to their laptop
• Minecraft account

This summer school takes place daily from Monday 31 July to Friday 4 August 11am to 4pm. Lunch is not provided, so please provide a packed lunch for your child to eat in their break.


Day 1, Monday 31 July
Introduction to the course, and the main workshop project – ‘Borders at Portland Place’. Attendees will work in four different groups, each tasked with discovering the different forms of borders at Portland Place. After developing early sketches and maquettes, attendees will use Minecraft in the afternoon to create digital site models representing their findings.

Day 2, Tuesday 1 August
Continuing site analysis for the ‘Borders at Portland Place’ project, and experimenting with 1:1 scale models. In the afternoon, groups will come together to present all their work and collate into a site summary. Attendees will then being to model early proposals and interventions in Minecraft as individuals.

Day 3, Wednesday 2 August
A photography and film-making workshop in the morning, followed by continuation of main workshop project proposals outside of Minecraft, with sketches, plans and models. In the afternoon, attendees start to develop their proposals in Minecraft at a larger scale.

Day 4, Thursday 3 August
Attendees finalise the ‘Borders at Portland Place’ project through completing their 1:1 Minecraft proposal model, and also producing a Minecraft ‘YouTube’ video; a walk-through and explanation of their project inside of Minecraft. After lunch, attendees are introduced to a new project – ‘The Future of Portland Place’, an exploration of the future of the site and how borders might have changed or been affected.

Day 5, Friday 4 August
Attendees’ main proposal models will be 3D printed throughout the day. The ‘Future of Portland Place’ project will be finalised, and attendees will setup a mini exhibition and display which the public will see the following day.

Educator Bio

Kayoon Anderson and James Delaney are both architecture students at the University of Cambridge. For the last 5 years, they have been exploring the potential use and relevance of Minecraft to architectural practice. In 2012 James co-founded BlockWorks, a digital production company which works exclusively with Minecraft, and is now the largest of its kind in the world

See our full Summer programme of Learning workshops here.