The remodelling of the Design and Technology Department at Stoke Newington School and Media Arts College for The Learning Trust, Hackney was an opportunity to transform students’ experience of DT and re‐think the way the way material rooms, food and textile rooms and a new CNC room should be arranged to allow flexible and independent working. The brief developed the prevailing Building Bulletin guidance, and we liaised with the author of the bulletin at the DfES Alison Wadsworth to incorporate recommendations then still under consideration. The scheme was based on close working and extensive consultation with the user group, to explore how they wanted to teach and take advantage of current developments in computer aided design and manufacture (CADCAM).

Windows were designed with integral perforated metal screens to provide security and reduce glare and solar gain, which allows views through at right angles but not obliquely, thus reducing distraction, and avoids the need for roller shutters or obvious security grilles. Dado trunking is transparent so that students can understand cabling, and extract ventilation and cabling is marked up with logos so that students can understand how the rooms are serviced.  The original dirty parquet floor was revived, as an ideal hard wearing and attractive sustainable finish. Three outside canopies with integrated photo‐voltaic cells, part‐funded by a government grant scheme, provide shelter for waiting students and allow electricity to be sold back to the national grid enabling students to monitor energy use through computer programmes, so that the building provides teaching material as part of the curriculum, and introduces basic ideas about sustainability.

We worked with local artist Anita Rivera and SNS students to design an art installation for one of the disused car inspection pits in the resistant material room floors, using discarded tools and text designed by students, etched into the surface and lit from below.