Built environment

One of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust’s core objectives is to inspire and enable young people from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds to study and qualify as architects. This reflects Stephen Lawrence’s own dream of becoming an architect and the potential he demonstrated by securing his own work placement.

Since 1998, we have awarded 126 bursaries to young people wishing to pursue a career in architecture. We offer support to individuals at all stages of the long journey to becoming an architect.

Building Futures programme

Our Stephen Lawrence Building Futures programme inspires and enables young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented groups to study architecture, gain work experience and qualify as architects. We offer help for young people to overcome barriers and support them to expand their network, broaden their skillset and receive guidance about the profession.

Watch the video below to learn more about the programme.

Why do we need the Building Futures programme?

The Building Futures programme was launched in 2015 in response to the 2014 Creative Industries Federation report, which highlighted only 0.9% of registered architects were from BAME backgrounds.

We believe that architecture as a profession and the built environment that surrounds us in our communities should reflect the rich cultural diversity of the people living in that community. For many young people, becoming an architect seems like an impossible dream, not because they lack the ability or aspiration, but because they may not have access to the same opportunities as others.

There are many challenges and barriers that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds face. These can range from lack of access to professional networks of support, not being provided with that “foot in the door” work experience placement or financial constraints. These challenges combined with lack of advice or sources of inspiration can prove to be huge stumbling blocks to aspiring students.