Engaging the Community through Design Learning

The Center for Architecture’s K-12 Education Department takes great joy in partnering with cultural institutions both near and far as a way to deepen our engagement with communities throughout the city. This summer, we worked with two new audiences, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Women in Need (Win), facilitating hands-on building workshops to introduce design ideas to new audiences and foster lasting partnerships. Continue reading “Engaging the Community through Design Learning”

Store Design Program Engages Students in Real-World Design Problems

The Center for Architecture’s Education Department had the opportunity to work with numerous audiences to explore the complexities of store design. Whether a student’s interest in the design of a retail space is determined by addressing real needs or entertaining the idea of a new shopping concept, the young designer will need to address many design challenges along the way. IS 234 in Sheepshead Bay was interested in engaging their 6th through 8th grade math classes in real-world design problems. Students began by attending the Scale Model Building Student Day at the Center for Architecture, a crash course in architectural scale and why it is an important tool to learn. Architectural plan graphics were introduced by looking at former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s micro-unit proposal, a 300-square-foot residence laid out as a full-scale plan on the floor of the Center for Architecture several summers ago. Students developed their own micro-units in plan, including door and window openings, and translated their plans into three-dimensional models at ½” = 1’-0” scale. Continue reading “Store Design Program Engages Students in Real-World Design Problems”

When Does the Education of an Architect Begin?

Most professionals can look back to find the moment when a particular person, place, or thing sparked their interest in pursuing their career of choice. Many an architect played with LEGO blocks, drew pictures, and made forts out of blankets and cushions. These callings often went unrequited until one apprenticed, interned, or attended college. Today, summer programs like the two-week intensive Architectural Design Studio at the Center for Architecture give prospective students of architecture a chance to test the design studio waters. Continue reading “When Does the Education of an Architect Begin?”

Our Visual Language of Architecture

The Center for Architecture hosts StudentDay@theCenter workshops where K-12 audiences explore the built environment and its past, present, and future. Each year, we reach close to 3,000 students and teachers through these hands-on workshops introducing students to key topics in architecture. In “The Language of Architecture” workshop, kindergarten to 2nd-grade students acquire the tools they need to explore the built world around them. Continue reading “Our Visual Language of Architecture”

At the Seaport

With the support of the Howard Hughes Corporation, the Center for Architecture participated in the Seaport Culture District this fall, setting up a gallery and event space at 181 Front Street. The location was originally conceived as a series of counting houses by Peter Schermerhorn and George Codwise in 1811, buildings which would later become New York City’s first World Trade Center. Over 200 years, these robust load-bearing brick and timber buildings defined adaptive reuse long before the neighborhood was landmarked and became a festival marketplace. The purpose-built buildings became dormitories and hotels for sailors, restaurants serving the Fulton fishmongers, and are now home to the South Street Seaport Museum and several retailers. The Center for Architecture lucked out in being able to add to the their history by providing space for two exhibitions, lectures, events, and educational programs in these flexible spaces built for commerce. Continue reading “At the Seaport”

Center for Architecture, the Epicenter of Fun and Learning

We would like to take this opportunity to express our immense gratitude to all who made our Summer@theCenter programs a resounding success. The Center for Architecture hosted 15 individually themed summer camp programs. Each year, we reach out to professionals from all corners of the design world and request your precious time for our students to interface with you in the atelier, studio, job site, or place of business. There is nothing more valuable than showing young people how dynamic the design workplace is. Many of the 3rd-12th-grade students are self-selecting – they are very curious about the built environment. Opening your doors to the next generation of designers is something that we are very serious about, and this can only happen by bringing our students to see what professionals like yourselves are up to. Beyond those open doors, we found the principals of firms enthusiastically discussing their projects, sharing what they loved about being an architect or designer, and demonstrating the diverse and wonderful skills required to keep an office running and the creative juices flowing. These open doors are not only a gift to our school-aged students – our volunteers and design educators have also learned so much and been inspired by hearing from you directly and experiencing the culture of your studio. Continue reading “Center for Architecture, the Epicenter of Fun and Learning”

Home School Students Study Classical Greek and Roman Architecture and its Influence on Neoclassicism

The Center for Architecture has partnered for the past five years with a local group of home-school families to provide them with a location for hands-on, project-based learning while building a small community of learners. Thirty-two students were divided between 3rd- through 5th-grade students and the older 6th- through 8th-grade to focus on Greek and Roman architecture. Both groups explored the origins and history of classical buildings to create age-appropriate final projects. Continue reading “Home School Students Study Classical Greek and Roman Architecture and its Influence on Neoclassicism”

CFAF Hosts Architecture and Design College Fair

The Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF) hosted the annual Architecture and Design College Fair on 11.21.14.  The event serves to connect high school students with architecture and design schools, scholarships, and mentoring opportunities.  This year the fair featured 18 colleges and several other institutions. With more than 150 students and parents attending, the Center for Architecture’s street-level galleries were abuzz with the exchange of questions and answers as students collected brochures from colleges as close as Harlem’s CUNY and as far away as New Orleans’ Tulane University.

We want to thank all of the schools in attendance: Boston Architectural College; City College of New York – The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; College for Creative Studies; Cooper Union – The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture; Cornell AAP Architecture Art Planning; Drexel University; Fashion Institute of Technology; New York Institute of Technology; The New School; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Roger Williams University; Pratt Institute; Tulane University; University of Buffalo, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Representatives from these schools joined a panel to discuss applying to school, portfolio development, studio culture, and other topics, followed by questions from the audience. Continue reading “CFAF Hosts Architecture and Design College Fair”

High School Students Plant the Seeds for Change in a Local Playground and Garden

Juniors and seniors at the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction (UASDC) presented their playground and garden design projects at a Clinton Housing and Development Company (CHDC) building on 10.16.14. Earlier this year, Ashleigh Eubanks from CHDC approached Yves Roger, AIA, an architect and Center for Architecture Foundation Design Educator who leads architecture classes at UASDC, to invite his students to develop garden designs for a vacant lot adjacent to the CHDC site on West 52nd Street. After visiting the site, students were given six weeks to understand and develop the design problem through drawing and model making. Continue reading “High School Students Plant the Seeds for Change in a Local Playground and Garden”

Streetscapes in the Seaport

On a Saturday in mid-September, a group of architecture and history enthusiasts joined the Lead Design Educator of the Center for Architecture Foundation on a walk through portions of the South Street Seaport Historic District. The ramble introduced the group to ways of “reading the streetscape” through conversation and a guided look at the mercantile structures in this once vital waterfront. The district preserves early building practices including the handsome Schermerhorn Row, a warehouse that was essentially the World Trade Center of 1811. Constructed of robust load-bearing brick walls, closely spaced wooden floor joists, and relatively small windows, the structure was not terribly sophisticated considering what the rest of that century would bring regarding architectural technology. Built on trash and soil excavated from hills further upland, Peter Schermerhorn hastily built the Row on landfill as a speculative development. The crooked lintels over the windows are the result of his haste – he did not allow the landfill to settle properly. The elements of a storyline began to appear in the details that the group was discovering and reading together. Continue reading “Streetscapes in the Seaport”