We’ve kicked off our most exciting project yet – the Mega Maker Lab. With 100 children, we’re bringing a new family experience to London over the Summer.

Imagining the Mega Maker Lab

We’ve kicked off our most exciting project yet. Over the next 4 months, the Institute of Imagination and architectural educators MATT + FIONA are working with young people to design a new experience dedicated to the imagination.

Most excitingly, together we are going to make this space a reality! This August, we are transforming a 12,000 square feet warehouse into a new experience imagined by young minds for the next generation of inventors – the Mega Maker Lab.

This space will be London’s only summer experience dedicated to the imagination. A major family activity where you can play, explore, experiment, build, tinker and collaborate throughout the month. At the heart of the Mega Maker Lab are children’s ideas and everyone is invited.

Knowing that maybe what we made would be real would be amazing, to see what we made in real life.” Imagination Architect, Year 5

Meet the Imagination Architects

How many young people can look around them and say they’ve had a say in what they see?” Matthew Springett, from MATT + FIONA

100 children from London primary schools joined us in the Imagination Lab over 2 days to become our Imagination Architects. Through a day of making, design and architecture we explored how to transform an empty space into a fun, interactive and playful environment, designed to let imaginations run free.

The workshops aim to give children a much-needed ownership of their environment and show them that they can make their ideas a reality. Over the course of the workshops, children worked with architecture education duo MATT + FIONA, supported by expert volunteers from architecture firm Jestico + Whiles, designers and structural engineers.

Inspiring Ideas

Through a combination of model making, marking out, drawing and sculpting, children worked together to tell us what the Mega Maker Lab could look like. We were blown away by their ideas, from hanging structures that create quiet spaces for invention and play areas that invite children to make and meet new friends to arena performance spaces to share ideas – from big to small, every idea could make it to the final build.

My area is playing with different kinds of children and playing with people you don’t know. And when you get sad you can sit on a bench and when you sit on it a friend can come and say ‘do you want to play with me?’ …it’s important because you can play with different people and you can play with your family.” Imagination Architect, Year 5

Combining subjects to release imaginations

This workshop focussed on an interdisciplinary approach fusing art and design, science and digital technology, which Matt and Fiona specialise in and we always champion in the Imagination Lab. Architecture as a discipline breaks down the barriers between subjects beautifully. Using this as a springboard children were asked to think about everything from materials and their properties like weight and texture, through to how model-making and crafting can help think about proportion and spatial design.

Raising aspirations through real-life projects

We aim to raise the aspirations of our Imagination Architects, who will see their ideas become a real-life project. In the summer term, our Imagination Architects will be invited back to work alongside Matt and Fiona and the iOi team on building workshops, bringing the project to life with hands-on construction experience. All students and their families will be invited to the final experience, to see the public enjoying their ideas.

I would feel amazed…like wow. I would bring my family

I would tell my parents ‘I made that’.”

What’s next for the Mega Maker Lab?

We’ll be bringing you regular updates as our Imagination Architects’ designs begin to be translated into a real environment and we’ll be sharing insights from MATT + FIONA on their developments along the way.

Find out more about the Mega Maker Lab experience here and register to find out when tickets go on sale by signing up to our newsletter.

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