The home-building project, funded by Reading UKCIC and with support from Bewley Homes, the Whitley Researchers and involving academics from the University’s Participation Lab, focused on young people’s attitudes to what makes a ‘welcome home’ in Whitley.
A team of 6 JMA students were given an open brief to design a home of their choice, including features that represented ‘home’ to them, before building it for real. They had the enthusiastic support of industry experts and their peers. During and after construction they discussed the issues they faced and the priorities and views of the JMA school community.
The project highlighted the wealth of capabilities and capacities of young people in Whitley. This was a practical ‘finding out’ exercise where the students themselves led the generation of knowledge on what ‘home’ means. It also connected them with job and apprenticeship opportunities in the construction industry, inspired their understanding of social housing designs and promoted the importance of teamwork.