Dollar Academy unveils design for ‘Futures Institute’

PLANS have been unveiled to build a home for the Futures Institute at Dollar Academy (FIDA).

Andrew Whalley – a former pupils at the academy and the architect behind the Eden Project, the international terminal at London’s Waterloo train station, and the Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center in New York – has designed the building.

Since it opened in July 2021, more than 550 pupils and teachers from Scotland and further afield have taken part in workshops, courses, and competitions through FIDA, with 85% of participants coming from outside the academy.

The institute’s work is based around the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

Whalley said: “Dollar Academy has a long history of encouraging students to explore the arts, which – of course – fuels the imagination and creative problem solving.

“It’s now leading the way with a paradigm shift in learning, to be shared as an open platform resource.

“Such an initiative requires an equally fresh approach to its future centre, with an architecture that will support team working, collaboration and exploring new creative sustainable solutions that will empower and inspire the next generation to tackle the planetary problems we now all face.”

The building aims to be the first in Scotland to be accredited by the “Living Building Challenge”, which provides strict environmental standards.

Rector Ian Munro added: “FIDA’s free online provision and in-person workshops have allowed us to further develop our existing bursary provision in a modern and scalable way to children across the country, and beyond.

“The current UK education system has largely been inherited from the 18th century, and aspects of it have not changed since then.

“Recent global events have reminded us how complex the world can be, and it is imperative that we afford our pupils the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills needed to address social and global challenges in an increasingly interconnected world.”

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