Young Minecraft fans in Havering use gaming skills to help design housing regeneration project
PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:15 23 November 2018
Havering’s biggest housing regeneration project received a special road test from 10 and 11-year-olds in the borough.
Pupils from the Rainham Village Primary School in Upminster Road South spent Thursday morning, November 22 using the computer game Minecraft to explore and design the Napier House and New Plymouth House sites in Dunedin Road, Rainham.
These sites are being developed as part of Havering Council’s joint venture with Wates Residential to create thousands of more homes for local people.
Hetty Brown, one of the 15 pupils who took part in the workshop, said: “It’s a really fun way of designing buildings that you might use when they’re built and you can see what it might be like to design things for a career when you’re older.”
Led by BlockBuilders, which imports map details into Minecraft so models of real-world places can be created, the children used avatars to walk and ‘fly’ around the site’s proposed designs, which have been developed by architects and masterplanners JTP.
They were also given the chance to think about what they treasure most about the site, what they would trash and if they had any big ideas for improving the area.
“Computer games like Minecraft provide a great opportunity for young people to experience some of the most exciting elements of construction and planning,” said Kate Ives, development director for Wates Residential.
“Using innovative and engaging ways to encourage interest in career opportunities in the sector is vital for the success of the industry and a great way of inspiring young people to think about their own futures.
“We are really excited to review the best ideas with Havering Council and look at how we can use them on the scheme, which will deliver thousands of new homes for local people as well as a borough-wide lasting legacy.”
The final part of three-hour workshop gave the pupils the opportunity to demolish and rebuild parts of the site through the Minecraft model.
Oliver Supryn, another Rainham pupil, added: “With Minecraft you can really visualise the scale of the building and what it will look like rather than trying to just imagine it from paper.”
The best ideas will be considered for inclusion in the final scheme and a video fly-through showing their ideas will also produced
Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council, said: “This is a great opportunity to engage our young people with the Council’s ambitious regeneration plans which are set to benefit the next generation with affordable homes, unique skills and training, and greater local career prospects.
“I look forward to seeing what innovative ideas our young people come up with and how it might shape future developments in the project – and might even give the architects a run for their money!”