'Building Experiences' and Fourth R Ltd.

Building Experiences is the working name for Fourth R Ltd. The work of Building Experiences has evolved from The Building Experiences Trust, established in 1989.

The objectives of the work are held within a framework of continual improvement. They are to:

  • Promote an understanding of the processes which shape and influence our surroundings

  • Create opportunities which encourage people of all ages to take an active and responsible part in these processes

  • Ensure that these opportunities are designed, implemented and managed in a fashion which results in sustainable growth and development for the groups / individuals / organisations / networks with whom we work

  • Disseminate our work and make best use of the scope offered for innovation by Information Communications Technology - ICT, and where appropriate to promote its use with those with whom we work

The Company's Director, Adrian Wills was a founder Trustee of the Building Experiences Trust, working initially to Lord Richard Rogers and later as Director in 1997, to Lord Palumbo. The Trust was set up to meet a need in built environment education and included Trustees from architecture, design, engineering, construction, the arts and education. The Trust was subsumed into a new organisation to encourage public participation in design and the built environment in Cambridge. Along with the Chairs other key members of the Trust were: Sir Jack Zunz, Ted Cullinan, Bob Smart, Bryan Jefferson, Phil Jordan, Rolaine Copeland, Sir Martin Laing, Christopher Pratt, Jake Brown, Zeev Aram, Prof. Don Gray, Nick Davis, Neils Wamburg, Gordon Young, Roger Whiteman, Phil Turner and Dame Elizabeth Esteve Coll.

Local recognition, as a teacher in Gloucestershire and later national recognition, evolved from working with partners from education, industry and the environment. In particular, the Director worked closely with Prof. Sir Colin Buchanan over a two year period on a project that became known as the 'Know your Surroundings' initiative. This was networked throughout the world through the WWF Centres.

His work has always concerned itself with an holistic approach through pioneering curriculum and staff development initiatives in the broad area of environmental education.

As a result his background includes membership of education committees for:

  • The Council for Environmental Education 1985-89

  • The Royal Town Planning Institute 1988-92

  • The Building Experiences Trust 1989-95

  • The Civic Trust Education Group 1990-92

  • The Royal Institute of British Architects 1990-92

Through the World Wide Fund he has practically realised opportunity for teachers actively involved in development education.

He has carried out exchange work in Hungary, Germany and Poland. Judges described his work on an award winning school's exhibition, for the International Biennale of Architecture Cracow, as follows:

"The teaching and learning process illustrated by this work is a successful attempt to develop children's sensitivity, knowledge and experience. We wish to stress a special role played by such projects in the process of educating the youngest generation - the present and the future user and creator of the architectural space which surrounds us."

Culture and Art Dept. City Council of Cracow

Fourth R Ltd. designs and delivers workshops to learners and trains teachers and other adults in hands-on, educational activities. The workshops are designed to support and complement a wide educational practice. Workshop training is supported through a CD Rom package and through providing relevant materials and resources. Each package also has a complementary, hands-on IT learning element which can be used on PC networks.

This approach has been widely recognised as valuable and is evidenced in a national, non-teacher, training programme carried out during 2002 for the Construction Industry Training Board. Further evidence of the value of the approaches, is in the increasing number of teacher training contracts being undertaken.

The Director's background includes 20 years in secondary, mainstream education during which he held posts of responsibilities for academic, pastoral and whole school improvement. Higher Education includes qualifications from Bath, Warwick and The Open Universities

Major examples of Work as Director for
The Building Experiences Trust

Developing Practice - Extending Networks

  • Three programmes of 40 workshops in The London Borough of Tower Hamlets - taking place in Primary, Secondary and Special Schools.

  • Implementation of a BA / Royal Society Millennium Award to develop a Workshop on The New Millennium Bridge with the support of Ove Arup Engineers.

  • Implementation of a BA / Royal Society Millennium Award to train adults to enable them to work. Capacity building with Society of Black Architects.

  • With international architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Inc., on developing a new Workshop on 'Making Models'.

  • Design and implementation of new Early Years Learning workshop - Space, Size and Me for Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership.

  • Design and implementation of aspiration building project for Islington Schools,
    'The City at Our Feet'.

  • Design and implementation of a School's Programme in collaboration with Arts in Form, a London-based Arts Council funded organisation, and The London Rivers Association - 'Space and the River'..

  • Design and implementation of a Schools Programme for The Architecture Foundation, for its Roadshow project in Hammersmith & Fulham and Tower Hamlets.

  • Linking with national organisations such as the CITB and RIBA to provide activities and opportunities to celebrate such national events as Architecture Week, Construction Week and Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths Week.

  • With Oxford Brookes University, School of Planning on promoting courses in higher education related to urban design and planning.

  • With Brent, Tower Hamlets and Mullion, Cornwall, Summer Universities, raising aspirations amongst 11-25 year olds through 5-day summer schools.

  • With the national One World Week organisation supported by DFID. The initiative linked mainstream primary and secondary schools and colleges from the East End of London with those in the West-Country, together with National Specialist Colleges on an arts and architecture programme.

Building Experiences     Site Design: Wills-Fleming