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.

There are many people we want to thank for making this summer so special. Our design educators worked so hard to make the students’ experience meaningful. They provided the appropriate time and space for discovery. This involved great orchestration on their part, with the help of our incredible summer assistant Jenny Leiman and our incomparable volunteers.

We are truly grateful to the following professionals for generously giving us their time and expertise this summer:

Eric Ratkowski, designer and mountain climber, who shared his experience and critiqued the designs of students enrolled in the “Digital Design: Adventure Park” program.

Cody Barbour, Education Coordinator at Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, provided a stellar tour of space vehicles as part of the “Digital Design: Space Colony” program;

The Education Staff at the Whitney Museum of American Art welcomed us to look around the Renzo Piano-designed building in the two-week “Drawing Architecture” program;

Tomas Rossant, AIA, of Ennead Architects and 2015 AIANY President, who provided our students with an insider’s look at a large New York architectural firm in the “Architectural Design Studio”;

Adam Ward, Assistant Visit Coordinator and Admissions Representative at Pratt Institute, set up a great tour of the campus and architecture school for students enrolled in the “Architectural Design Studio”;

Rebecca Schosha, Children’s Librarian at Jefferson Market Branch Library, provided important historical background and a visit to the Jefferson Market tower for the “Neighborhood Design” program;

Caroline Otto and Matt Greer at Anderson Architects discussed their work as architects for retail spaces, including Hollister, for the “Store Design” program;

Robin Meyer at Architectural Playground Equipment, Inc., and Alexia Friend at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates gave our students a tour of the Pier 6 Playground in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a collaborative project that was most inspiring and fun for students in the “Playground Design” program;

Corrie Sharples and Cathy Jones at SHoP Architects shared their involvement in the design of the East River Esplanade and Seaport District during the “Seaport City- Future in the Making” program;

Jessica Scaperotti and Michael Samuelin at The Related Companies provided lunch and an incredible presentation and tour of Hudson Yards from the adjacent High Line for both “Skyscrapers from the Ground Up” and “21st Century Skyscrapers” programs;

Susannah Drake, AIA, FASLA, of dlandstudio, welcomed students to her home and studio to learn about being a landscape architect during the “Green Island Home” program;

Ada Tolla, Intl. Assoc. AIA, at LOT-EK gave a warm, enthusiastic discussion of the firm’s work as it relates to upcycling, finding innovative solutions using off-the-shelf materials, and other sustainable approaches. Ada also shared examples of work as precedents for students designing projects of their own in the “Pop-Up Shop Design” program.

The Education Staff at The River Project showed live fauna indigenous to the New York Harbor Estuary to prepare students for their ecological designs in the “Green Island Home” program;

Matt Carter, Brenda Sanabria, Clifford Bouchereau, Chris Donovan, Mahsa Azad, and Pouya Banibayat at Arup discussed bridge design with students enrolled in the “Digital Design: Bridges” program.Please join us on Friday, 11.13.15, 6 – 8 pm, at the Center for Architecture for the opening of “Building Connections 2015,” our annual exhibition of student design work. There will be select projects from the summer as well as from our Learning By Design:NY residency programs, which took place in classrooms citywide during the 2014-2015 school year.