Nigel Frost 1951 - 2000
A Leading Light In Built Environment Education
Nigel Frost practised as an interior designer for several years before entering into teaching, firstly as a lecturer in further education, then as a secondary school teacher of design at Comberton Village College, Cambridge. He had gained his B.A in Three Dimensional Design from Kingston University in 1972 and then on to a PGCE in 1976 at Keele University. Whilst teaching Nigel carried out his research MA in Design Education at Loughborough University.
He developed courses using architecture as an integrated learning experience for pupils, based on further research he conducted in Scandinavia and North America. He went on to establish the first school based 'Architecture Workshop' at his school in Cambridge. Through his work at the secondary school, Nigel was instrumental in the implementation of the first 'Architects In Schools' programme for the Royal Institute of British Architects, where he was the first none architect Deputy Director Of Education in 1985. This programme was short lived, as the direction of RIBA education refocused on higher education, where it has remained.
In 1989, together with his wife, Elaine and architect Lord Richard Rogers, Nigel founded 'The Building Experience Trust' in order to develop his ideas further. The Trustees at various times, included Lord Palumbo, Martin Laing and Ted Cullinan, with Nigel as Consultant Director. The work Nigel developed as a teacher and as consultant director to The Building Experiences Trust was to become the basis of many of the workshops on this website. Most of the workshops Nigel conducted through the Building Experiences Trust took place in 3rd party environments. After publishing a report for the Arts Council entitled "Architecture in the Curriculm" Nigel saw the wider potential and need for his work by taking it directly into UK Schools as an external resource. In 1996 he and Elaine founded The Architecture Workshops Association.
Elaine Frost 1951 - 2019
Elaine was by Nigels side from their early days together in Stoke-On-Trent, supporting him and their child, while Nigel chased his dreams. Elaine worked at Keale University while Nigel undertook his Interior Design degree and continued to do so while Nigel was instrumental in starting up the Hartshill Festival in Stoke, which is still going. When They moved down to Cambridge Elaine worked for NALGO and was always very vocal in her views on womens rights and the campaign for neuclear disarmament. Taking her toddler along to demonstrations at Greenham Common. She once got herself arrested for throwing a tomato at Maragret Thacher (which unfortunatley failed to connect). Elaine was ever present and highly involved in everything Nigel undertook. Without her, Nigels passions would have lacked for organisation, for it was Elaine that was the backbone of very endeavour. She was essentail during the formation of the Building Experiences Trust and The Architects In Schools Conference held in Cambridge in 1996.
When Nigel died in Novemebr 2000, Elaine was obviously devastated, but vowed to continue with the work Nigel's work. With the support of all the presenters and in particular Martin, Elaine was able to take Architecture Workshop into more schools than ever, increasing the number of workshops each year. Shadowing the excentricities of the national curriculum, Elaine & Martin sought to add a new workshops to the rosta every year. There was an connection between Elaine and Martin the day they met and not aknowledged until they had been together for six months after Nigels death. In December 2014, Elaine was diagnosed with breast cancer. The following February Martin proposed and in 2016 they were married. The goal was to get Architecture Workshops into a position, where both Martin and Elaine could be at home togther more, but in December 2017 Elaine was diagnosed with a second primary cancer in her lung. She died March 23rd 2019 and was burried together with Nigels ashes. Martin Jennings is now runs Architecture Workshops and intends to continue the running the workshops Nigel and Elaine started in 1996, with the help of the long serving Bob Bower, who works out of Sheffield and has been a close friend to both Elaine and Martin
Meet the Team
Owner / Director
BA (Hons) Interior Design Manchester Metropolitan University
Joined Architecture workshops May 2000
Joined Architecture Workshops in September 2000