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Open Up! New Ways Through Architecture — An Initiative From The LSA To Widen Access To The Architecture Profession

Graphics created by BOB

The London School of Architecture is on a mission to build a more inclusive profession. To help us achieve this we’re launching a major student bursary fundraising campaign — Open Up! New Ways Through Architecture.

Our collaborative mission

With the government considering plans to limit places on creative degrees, social mobility experts have warned of a disproportionate effect on students from underprivileged backgrounds.

To design more equitable spaces and places, the architecture profession needs to draw on more voices – not fewer – and to learn from a wider range of experiences. Now is the time to act to ensure the architects of tomorrow come from a greater diversity of backgrounds.

The LSA is tackling barriers to participation in architectural education head-on, and we continue to explore long-term models for making architectural education more affordable. But there’s also an urgent need for financial support now to help current students as they prepare to enter the industry.

What is Open Up!?

Open Up! is a bursary fundraising campaign set up with the aim of encouraging and supporting prospective LSA students from underrepresented groups. On a wider level Open Up! is a call to action and a demand for radical change in the built environment professions.

We want as many voices as possible to be part of this conversation. If you have something to say or would like to contribute your ideas, please get in touch on the email below.


Left to right: Elise Owusu, Neal Shasore and Baroness Doreen Lawrence. Credit: Henry J. Kamara

What has Open Up! achieved so far?

A £30,000 donation from the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation (SLDF) means we can now provide:

  • Two SLDF Bursaries covering first year tuition fees for current LSA students
  • A one-year SLDF Fellowship to promote the visibility of practitioners and educators from underrepresented groups. The Fellowship’s focus is developing LSA’s outreach, access and participation and initiating conversations around curriculum reform.

Next steps: help us reach £80,000

Our goal is to raise £80,000 by the end of the academic year 2021/22. This would fund:

  • Two bursaries covering Second Year tuition fees for current LSA students
  • An extension of the Fellowship enabling the LSA to widen its message and outreach activities
  • Full two-year bursaries for three students for from disadvantaged and underrepresented demographics

All donations of whatever size will be a step towards our ambition for more diverse representation in architectural education – kick-starting meaningful change across the industry.

Get in touch

To get in touch, learn more, donate, or let us know how you think you might be able to help, please email the LSA’s Head of School Neal Shasore neal@the-LSA.org.