A Healthy Dose of Competition Makes Olympic Game Design a Gold Medal Winner

The Center for Architecture Foundation hosted its first school break program of the season 02.18-20.14. The program, titled “Olympic Game Design, coincided perfectly with the 30th Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, allowing 3rd through 7th graders to learn from the Games in real time. With a focus on garnering inspiration from an Olympic event, students learned about the design of the event’s venues – think bobsled or luge course, ski jump, ice rink or swimming pool, from either the Winter or Summer Olympics. Students then designed a model that doubled as an arcade-style game. Part of our inspiration for the program came from Caine’s Arcade, a touching short documentary about an inventive boy in Los Angeles who builds his own arcade games out of discarded boxes from his father’s auto parts dealership.

This three-day program was led by Design Educator Jessica Castillo, who began the design process by having students envision their ideas through drawing. They learned about the architecture and design behind the Olympic Games, and developed their initial drawings into sketch models. Gravity, momentum, and centrifugal force worked their way into the models as marbles, string, and other moving parts were employed to make the games playable. At an open house at the end of the program, students and families tried out the projects and learned from one another. Our upcoming Studio@theCenter programs will focus on Skyscrapers! Space is still available for both digital design and physical model making classes – please visit Studio@theCenter to learn more.