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”

Summer@theCenter Wraps Up

The Center for Architecture’s nine weeks of summer programs are wrapping up this week. Our students have explored topics ranging from skyscrapers to nomadic architecture and fairytale architecture.

Thanks to all of the students, families, educators, and architects who made our summer possible. We have selected some photos to highlight our summer activities. For more photos and updates on our programming, please visit our Facebook page. Continue reading “Summer@theCenter Wraps Up”

Youth Explore Architecture at K-12 Summer Design Programs

Each summer, thanks to a program launched in 2005 that continues to expand each year, the Center for Architecture offers an extensive slate of design programs for students entering grades 3-12. This season includes 19 individual, one-week- and two-week-long programs serving more than 290 students in elementary, middle, and high school. At each program, the Center for Architecture’s design educators lead students through the design process on a particular theme, encouraging a sense of curiosity towards observation, drawing, and modeling. Each week culminates with a final presentation for students to share their hard work and creative designs with parents, friends, and family. Continue reading “Youth Explore Architecture at K-12 Summer Design Programs”

Draw, Design, Build! NYU Teams Up with the Center for Architecture for Family Programming

The Center for Architecture’s K-12 Education Department recently collaborated with several NYU departments to host a playground design contest for NYU families called “Draw, Design, Build.” The collaboration involved NYU’s Faculty Housing Division; The LaGuardia Studio, NYU’s digital design workspace and printing facility; and the Kimmel Center for University Life.  This multi-faceted program began with a workshop about playground design at the Center for Architecture on 03.25.17. After being inspired by images of some of New York’s most unique playgrounds, children were asked to brainstorm and imagine what their dream playground would look like and then create a collage of their ideal play area. The artworks created by the children were then taken to the designers at LaGuardia Studio, where top projects were transformed into 3D-printed sculptures. The program culminated in an awards ceremony on 05.22.17, recognizing the children for their efforts, alongside an exhibition of their collages and the final 3D-printed sculptures of the winning designs at the Kimmel Center. The awards included categories such as “Best Theme,” which was awarded to a playground design with a sea life theme, realized in seashell-shaped swings, a dolphin fountain, and a slide with shark fins running down its length; and “Most Shovel-Ready” to a project that included instructions complete with materials and measurements.  Continue reading “Draw, Design, Build! NYU Teams Up with the Center for Architecture for Family Programming”

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”

Students Design Animal Architecture at Studio@theCenter

During one of our February Studio@theCenter programs, our three-day school vacation design camps, we investigated the structures animals create for themselves as well as the structures we create for them. Through this lens, we discovered our own approach to animal architecture! We began our studio with the quick charrette of designing a birdhouse. This was a great starting point because the birdhouse is based on a familiar structure that has been appropriated for a specific animal. Each camper had the opportunity to sand, paint, and design his or her own birdhouse. Continue reading “Students Design Animal Architecture at Studio@theCenter”

2016 Architecture and Design College Fair

During the annual 2016 Architecture and Design College Fair on 11.04.16, more than 175 students and family members came to the Center for Architecture to learn about different architecture and design school options. Throughout the evening and throughout the Center, high school students had the opportunity to speak with representatives from 28 different colleges and universities from around the country. Continue reading “2016 Architecture and Design College Fair”

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”

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?”