ZHF expands Open City’s Accelerate Programme in London and Birmingham, UK
Accelerate, Open City Accelerate Alumni Workshop at the Zaha Hadid Foundation, London, United Kingdom, 2023 © Jazz Noble

The Zaha Hadid Foundation is sponsoring Open City’s Accelerate 2023/4 programme in London and Birmingham, UK. Open City is a charity dedicated to making architecture and neighbourhoods more open, accessible and equitable by creating public educational and cultural programmes. Accelerate is one of the longest running widening-access programmes in architecture and offers free design, education and mentoring schemes for young people.

We have joined Open City’s existing partnerships with the Architectural Association, The Bartlett School of Architecture (University College London), Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London) and Kingston University to sponsor its Accelerate programme in London, a year-long course that provides skills, workshops and mentoring to 90 students aged 16 to 18 from under-represented groups. 

We are also supporting its Accelerate Studios programme, with the provision of six in-school studios and one off-site day focused on the work of Zaha Hadid for students in years 10 to 12, and helping to expand it into Birmingham, for the first time with two studios and eight in-school workshops. Plus, we are hosting and funding the development of the Accelerate Alumni group, which delivers workshop training at our site at Bowling Green Lane in London, to inspire the next generation.

Sarah Phillips, Head of Education and Empowerment at Open City, said: ‘This feels like such a strong partnership with both organisations determined to make a significant impact on the understanding and opportunities for those from under-represented groups. It is a fitting legacy to the outstanding architect’s [Zaha Hadid’s] own ambitions and we are delighted that it will be used to extend Open City’s work into Birmingham for the first time, as well as in London schools at a time when creative education is in dire need of greater recognition. 

To download a press release please click here, and for more information, please contact comms@zhfoundation.com.