Leading Nottingham professionals to inspire next generation

Emily Nason of Leonard Design supporting students

Industry leaders from Leonard Design Architects, ARUP and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have teamed up with Scale Rule to inspire the next generation of engineers, architects and designers in Nottingham.

Scale Rule is a social enterprise which aims to benefit young people interested in the built environment but also promotes diversity and better representation within the industry. The scheme engages local students in year nine or 10 and provides the opportunity for them to be directly involved in a real-life construction project from start to finish.

Leonard Design, NTU and ARUP held a weekend workshop (14-15 July) at the NTU city campus. The weekend saw a number of interactive exercises including design, drawing, and model making, with an emphasis on teamwork.

Following a brief from the professionals, the teams were set the task of designing a pavilion for the heart of Nottingham. Each group was provided with materials to create concept sketches, models and detailed drawings. The finished designs were presented to a panel during the afternoon of the second workshop day.

John Morgan, director at Leonard Design, said: “We were thrilled to be involved in the Scale Rule event – it’s a really great initiative where young teens not only find out about why a career in engineering or design might be right for them but are able to put what they learn into action to create something physical.

“Getting to see something on paper become a reality is a really special process that they will undoubtedly remember when considering what they might like to do in the future.

“Our intention was to educate as well as inspire the teens who attended the workshop and encourage them into careers, such as architecture, that they might not have previously thought about.”

Dr Lois Woods, course leader in architecture at NTU, said: “Scale Rule is a project we’re really proud to be part of as it not only promotes different professions within the construction industry to local school pupils but will hopefully inspire them when thinking about their future careers.

“As a judge on the day I was very impressed with the quantity and quality of the design work produced in such a short period of time, with some excellent creative and thoughtful pavilion designs proposed. We are very much looking forward to seeing the next stage of the project and the pavilion being realised into a built structure!”

Steve Fernandez, associate director at Arup, said: “We are delighted to be involved in another Scale Rule project, which is a fantastic opportunity to inspire young students into the world of engineering and architecture as they are the next generation of designers.

“I was impressed with the enthusiasm and creativity that all the students displayed throughout the session, with many different interpretations of the brief, particularly in such a short space of time. They applied themselves to the task and produced some outstanding design work and excellently articulated their designs through their presentation boards, models and verbal presentation.

“I can’t wait to see how the winning design evolves and will be brought to life as a real pavilion later this year.”

The preparation, construction and assembly of the winning pavilion is due to take place in September. For more information about Scale Rule please visit:

For further information visit: or follow @leonard_design on Twitter.