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Architecture & Design for Young People

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What is spudYOUTH and how does it work?


spudYOUTH is an award winning workshop programme being run for young people aged 12 and upwards who are interested in architecture, urban design and public art. It is a weekly free programme run at spudWORKS in term-time. 


spudYOUTH follows a simple process that takes young people through investigation, analysis and ideas development prior to formulating practical proposals. It’s a skill set that can be  applied to many other things and provides all the spud projects with a clear and easy to

understand structure.

Why take part in spudYOUTH? 


  • Meet and work with professional architects, designers and student architects in the spudWORKS studio

  • Free weekly programme ran from 5pm until 7pm every Wednesday during term time at spudWORKS in Sway

  • Learn what makes a quality place to live 

  • Make a difference in your community 

  • Work in a real studio environment with professional designers 

  • Improve your design skills, communication, confidence, presentation, organisation and team work 

  • Enhance your portfolio and CV for college interviews and to stand out for university applications

  • Speak to key decision makers in your community 

  • GIVES YOU A VOICE amongst other local decision makers 

  • Present ideas, opinions and design proposals to councillors, local authority officers and other professionals 

  • Use spudYOUTH as part of Arts Award 

  • Meet new people and have fun! 


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Images and film courtesy of Kieran Short Media

The Future High Street Project has been made possible through the kind support of HIWCF


Future High Street: Lymington

As the country re-opens from lockdown our high streets, shops and businesses have all been affected.  Lymington High Street has been impacted too. But what do young people think? How will town look post-Covid? What opportunities do these changes present?

Now is the time for young people to have their voices heard. spudYOUTH ran an exciting summer workshop to allow young people to share their ideas, and learn new skills. The results of the week long workshop can be seen below.

The young people had some very thoughtful and articulate ideas, which they explored through drawings and model-making. The over-riding theme that came through very strongly was to have a 'green' High Street - literally greening the street up with planting and trees, but also a more sustainable and eco friendly High Street.

The other main focus was managing traffic in the town.  Ideas were developed to reduce parking, slow traffic and improve public transport. Young people felt that cars dominated the High Street currently and this was to its detriment.

Finally, there was a strong feeling that the Town needed public art, colour and 'something special' to mark it out as unique to visitors and not like every other High Street - to create a reason to stay, explore and revisit.  The full report can be viewed by downloading the PDF here.

We've created this virtual gallery so that you can enjoy the exhibition which is currently on at spudWORKS, but due to Coronavirus we have not been able to open to the public. 

Danebury Iron Age Hill Fort:

Visitor Centre Concepts


Young people taking part in spudYOUTH workshops have been developing concept designs for a small visitor centre to be located at the car-park ​at the foot of the historic Danebury Iron Age Hill Fort near Stockbridge in Hampshire.  The site, managed by Hampshire Countryside Services, is a very significant Iron Age Hill Fort in a spectacular location.  not has undergone a series of archaeological excavations which have revealed much about the construction of the site and life at the Hill Fort.

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Handlebar Cafe

The Handlebar Cafe is an ongoing project organised by young students from various schools and colleges in Winchester and the New Forest who have particpated in the spudYOUTH workshops. The original concept design (above) was developed by Alex Grice,

a young spudYOUTH participant.

Having presented the idea to Winchester City Council and to the Town Forum, spud and the student participants were invited to develop the designs further and explore whether this was a feasible design. An intensive series of workshops held in April 2015, supported by Winchester City Council, University of Portsmouth, ArchitecturePLB and other commercial organisations developed the plans, designs and business case more fully.


The cafe is to be located near a popular cycle path in Winchester and a short distance from St Catherines Hill.  


The idea is that friends and families will be able to purchase delicious food and drinks at a unique cafe after their cycle ride or walk, with gorgeous views back across the meadows to St Cross. You don't have to be a cyclist, anyone can visit and enjoy the delicious meals and drinks the cafe offers. People can arrive and hire a bike or if your bike is damaged you can get basic repairs and purchase  bicycle parts and accessories.


It is intended that the Cycle Cafe will be open year round, serving the many people who enjoy this fantastic location.


In addition to the cafe operating at a commercial level, spudYOUTH are exploring the potential to develop the business as a form of social enterprise.  The cafe could provide valuable opportunities for work experience for college students, apprenticeships and work placements for long-term unemployed.  Identifying potential partnerships with a local college and a commercial cafe operator will form a strategic part of the development.

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Buckland Rings

​In 2017 spudYOUTH developed ideas and designs for new gateways, seating and most importantly interpretation to bring Buckland Rings to life.  Previously there was only a basic sign announcing the site and  people knew very little about it.


This project was a great opportunity for the young people involved to learn more about this important site, work with a range of professionals including historians, landscape professionals, ecologists and artists.  The young people led on the ideas and worked closely with a range of people to develop them.  Funds granted by the Heritage Lottery allowed the young people to realise their ideas and install them on site.

Interpretation Artwork
Who said that interpretation panels had to be dull? spudYOUTH commissioned artist Harrison Alcock to implement his unique and original artistic drawings into the new interpretation that will be set in Buckland Rings. The drawings offer a tasteful and clear interpretation of the Iron Age era and draw visitors into indulging in the history of the hillfort

Guardians of the Gate
Behold the Guardians of the Gate, a dramatic and enticing proposal by Katie Surridge blending traditional ideas with contemporary and artistic design; the three structures consist of a durable Corten Steel body with plasma cut leaves. In each figure there is a copper heart with fine detailing, using classic techniques such as repoussé, in order to add an interesting tactile interaction to each figure

Iron Age inspired seating

Artist Nicola Henshaw has proposed a unique and intriguing seating design inspired by the tools used in the Iron Age lifestyle for example spear-heads and cutting tools. The seating will consist of naturally curved wood giving an organic aesthetic therefore allowing the seating to not be too intrusive to the scenery but rather be an elegant compliment to the natural fields of Buckland Rings


St Thomas' Church

​In 2016 spudYOUTH students were given the task of regenerating St Thomas' churchyard in Lymington. After exploring multiple options two projects were decided upon. The first was a new cycle shed to replace the worn out existing hut that was insecure and falling apart. The second piece was a new bench with new paving beneath. These designs were built in 2017 thanks to a grant from Tesco Bags of Help.

SPUD and spudYOUTH have being appointed to look again at the public space/courtyard area at the front of St Thomas Church and to work with local young people to create a new and welcoming landscaped area.  This work will commence in Oct 2019 and involve a Design Festival and workshops with local schools.

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