Women in Architecture Committee Reaches Out to the Next Generation

About 20 girls, ages 11-14, gathered at the Center for Architecture this past Saturday afternoon (10.22.16) to learn more about architecture, and create their own designs at the first-ever “Girls Build! Architecture Workshop,” developed and led by the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee (WIA) and the Center’s K-12 Education staff. As the staff representative, I welcomed the girls to the Center and asked if any of them knew an architect. Three girls raised their hands. When I asked: “Are any of them women?”– only one hand remained in the air. The women in the room shared a collective sigh – those were actually good odds. A 2014 report by the AIA found that only 15% of licensed AIA architects are women. Numerous other studies have found women underrepresented at all stages of an architectural career, though women represent 50% of the population. WIA works to address this inequality by providing avenues to develop and promote women leaders within the architecture profession, including mentoring and outreach opportunities such as this Saturday workshop. This is not at the expense of men, who already dominate the profession, but is rather an effort to try to rebalance this inequity. Continue reading “Women in Architecture Committee Reaches Out to the Next Generation”

Learning By Design:NY Students Visit SOM

The newly acquired model of One World Trade Center on display at SOM’s offices last week is a commendable replica of the real building. The sides tapered at just the right angle, the large truss at the bottom was clearly visible, and countless strips of windows culminated in the large spire on top. The only strange thing about it was the pink and orange tint of the exterior, as if the building was caught in a permanent reflection of the sunset. Continue reading “Learning By Design:NY Students Visit SOM”

Students Propose New Designs for Their School’s Journalism Lab

Dozens of students, parents, and visitors gathered in Room 422 of Intermediate School 392 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, last night for students’ presentations of their proposed redesign of the school’s journalism lab housed in that classroom. The design presentations were the culmination of a 15-week partnership between the school and the Center for Architecture’s Education Department funded through a grant from the Teach to Excel Foundation, a local non-profit focused on improving educational opportunities for underserved youth. Continue reading “Students Propose New Designs for Their School’s Journalism Lab”

Learning By Design:NY Wrap-up

As the school year draws to a close, students around the city are busily charretting to complete the structures they are designing in the Center for Architecture’s Learning By Design:NY program. Others are proudly displaying their completed work and sharing their design ideas with peers, parents, and teachers. Active in 26 schools this school year, the Center’s signature K-12 education program pairs a design educator with one or more classes at schools throughout the city. The courses provide weekly lessons on the structure, design, and history of the built environment, and develop students’ design skills through hands-on architecture projects. Teachers use this partnership to enrich and expand their curriculum, and to challenge students to think creatively and collaboratively. As a result of teachers’ involvement in the planning of each Learning By Design:NY program, topics and projects vary widely, tapping into school needs, teacher and student interest, and differing curricula. Continue reading “Learning By Design:NY Wrap-up”


The Center for Architecture is pleased to announce a new after-school program for elementary school-aged children interested in architecture. Beginning this March, the Center’s Education Department will offer a 10-week class for 3rd to 5th graders on Wednesday afternoons at the Center. The program, Exploring Architecture, will be led by the Center’s Education Assistant Hadley Beacham. Continue reading “AfterSchool@theCenter”

Building Connections at the Center for Architecture

A colorful collection of architectural models and drawings in the front window has been drawing passers-by into the Center for Architecture. The work stands out from the typical architectural projects on view because it was created by 1st- to 12th-grade students from the Center for Architecture’s school and summer design programs. This year’s “Building Connections 2015” exhibition showcases a small sampling of student design projects from the 80 citywide classrooms that participated in our in-school Learning By Design:NY residency programs and 15 weeks of Summer@theCenter design camps that filled the Center for Architecture in June, July, and August. Through these in-depth programs, led by Center for Architecture educators, young people learn about the process of design as they explore the city’s architecture and design and build their own structures. Accompanying the students’ models and drawings are examples of the writing activities that extended the design projects into other areas of the school curriculum, such as English Language Arts and Social Studies. Exhibition designer Manuel Miranda repurposed the students’ writing and drawings to create a lively wallpaper backdrop for the 3-D projects. Continue reading “Building Connections at the Center for Architecture”

Taking Better Pictures

Undeterred by the late November date, an intrepid group of amateur photographers convened at the Center for Architecture’s Seaport location on a cold Sunday morning to learn how to take better pictures of buildings. Starting with the premise that a photograph should tell a story, architectural photographer Matthew Carbone led the group through some fundamentals of composition and lighting, using examples from his own body of work as well as on-site demonstrations during the class. Continue reading “Taking Better Pictures”

Brick Building at the Center

Thanks to a partnership with LEGO this Archtober, the Center for Architecture hosted three sold-out youth and family programs focused on creating architecture with LEGO bricks. At our monthly FamilyDay@theCenter program on 10.17.15, 100 visitors spanning three generations worked together to create a LEGO city. An introductory slide talk got people thinking about the different types of buildings, structures, and spaces that make up a city. Families then got to work creating residential, commercial, industrial, and other types of buildings to populate an empty city map laid out at the back of Tafel Hall. An ample supply of LEGO bricks of all shapes, sizes, and colors fueled their imaginations and the final city boasted bioswales and park benches, a hockey arena, police station, bank, grout factory, floating concert venue, and many more key city components, contributed by both parents and kids. Continue reading “Brick Building at the Center”