For more than a century, RKD has been making a meaningful difference to future generations. This is a cherished value that goes to the core of our enterprise.
Every year, we are approached by our community and local schools to accommodate Transition Year students on work placements through a week-long learning programme. We even have members of the RKD community today who started out on a TY placement with us at the start of their career.
But in March 2020 this tradition was put on hold when COVID-19 radically changed the ways in which we could interact and share knowledge.
By adapting our approach and harnessing technology, we transformed the RKD learning programme to create an entirely new online experience for students, which we call Virtual TY@RKD. We have been running the new programme as a pilot scheme since October 2020, taking new learning on board as we go. We have improved our knowledge sharing capabilities to create a better experience for the students.
With ages ranging from 15–17, the students work remotely using a blended approach of live Microsoft Teams calls, videos, presentations, research documents, and individual & group projects. They are supervised remotely by a talented team of RKD mentors, who not only share their knowledge and expertise but who also develop their communication skills through the mentoring process. The week-long programme introduces TY students to all aspects of architecture with a focus on independent thinking and innovation—critical principles that align the next generation of talent with RKD’s core values: design, leadership, people.
Moving the programme to a virtual model had its challenges but it also presented new opportunities. Our increased capability has enabled us to accommodate three times as many students as before, when office desk availability was the limiting factor. As well as supporting schools situated locally to our Irish office locations, we have been able to extend participation internationally with a diverse mix of students from Ireland and abroad.
Virtual TY@RKD opened a unique opportunity for a greater number of our own people to get directly involved and mentor a budding architect. Our team at RKD commands a unique set of skills, experience, perspectives, and insights, which together are invaluable and inspiring for our TY students. Our mentors had a shared goal: to develop the TY students, building their confidence as they tackled their first ‘Design That Works’ practical design project over the course of their week. We are proud of all the RKD mentors, who demonstrated real leadership and commitment to being part of a better future, all while making the experience as enjoyable as possible.
Congratulations to all our TY alumni. Based on the highly creative quality of the students’ work, we can be sure the future of our profession is safe in the hands of this exceptionally talented group!
“I thoroughly enjoyed the week and I feel that it has really introduced me into potentially pursuing a career in architecture in the future and a lot of that is down to you.” Student.
“I have learned a lot and I am now definitely very interested in architecture.” Student.
“An amazing opportunity, definitely the best week of TY so far!” Student.
“Thank you so much for making the week so enjoyable & interesting – they really engaged with the programme and it has kindled a genuine interest in architecture.” Parent.
“The collaboration between the mentors and students worked really well.” Mentor.
“Seeing their ideas and confidence develop over the week made me feel part of something special. It was great to see how excited the students were to present their own work and to be proud of their achievement.” Mentor.
Get In Touch
At RKD, we are always looking to nurture new talent and make a meaningful difference to future generations. If you would like to know more about getting inolved with RKD’s TY programme email email@example.com