2011 Summer@theCenter Begins

Rachel Miller with the Mobile Architecture class (left); Mobile Architecture visits Governors Island.

Catherine Teegarden

Summer@theCenter has finally arrived! The Center for Architecture Foundation’s summer studios offer NYC youth in 3rd-12th grades the opportunity to learn about architecture and design and explore some of the city’s best kept secrets.

The 2011 series began on 06.20.11 with Design Educator Rachel Miller’s Mobile Architecture class, a course designed for students in grades 6-12. Students explored the possibilities for “architecture on the move”: how mobile structures can be multifunctional, convertible, and adapted to various types of habitats. Ben Manley, a trailer hobbyist currently building a sustainable trailer of his own, stopped by to give a special lecture about sustainable structures and hosted a trailer demonstration. The class also took a field trip to Governors Island, where there are a number of temporary public exhibitions on display, including sculptures by Mark di Suvero, the FIGMENT 2011 mini-golf course inspired by “bugs and features,” and the Burble Bup Pavilion, designed by Bittertang, the winner of the second annual City of Dreams pavilion competition sponsored by FIGMENT, the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY).

After learning about the sustainable uses of mobile dwellings and working together as a group to build a geodesic dome, the class spent a couple days building their own mobile structures. Students worked from small to large scales, constructing life-size tents, including one that rolled on wheels and another that could be transformed into a walking stick.

The Foundation extends a special thanks to Miller and Manley for hosting the course. There are a few spaces left in the Summer Studio programs for middle school students (07.18-22.11) Store Design and Sustainable Cities (07.25-29.11) as well as in Water Citiesfor elementary school students (08.15-19.11). For more information visit the Foundation’s website: www.cfafoundation.org. To join the mailing list for updates on future programs, send an e-mail to info@cfafoundation.org.