Exploring Architecture: After School at the Center

This spring, the Center for Architecture was pleased to announce the beginning of a new after-school program to take place twice a year for students in grades 3-5. Each week the students met to design and build.

During the first few weeks, we spent some time outside looking at different building parts, following clues about the purpose of various buildings, and sketching for inspiration.

Following our initial investigations, we then explored neighborhoods, and discussed what different types of spaces could make up a community that the students would like to live in. Many different types of spaces were mentioned, including ice cream shops, movie theaters, police and fire stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. The students were then able to design and build their own models of buildings to add to our mini neighborhood.

The program culminated in a final design challenge where the students brought in a figurine “client” to interview and design a home for. The designs included a reclusive mountaintop getaway for a famous pop star, a hurricane-proof beach house for a family of five, a cozy modern mansion for a king and queen, and a home for Dave, a Lego figurine who likes to work on cars.

The Center for Architecture loved having these kids visit each week to learn more about architecture and to build. “I think this is a really great opportunity for students to express their ideas through building and working with their hands; it is also a great chance to problem solve,” said educator Hadley Beacham. She noted that “one of the students wanted a curtain that could open and close and he found a solution using a straw and a wooden skewer. Another student wanted a sliding door and, together, we were able to design one.”

The Center for Architecture is excited for After School to begin again this fall. Registration will open on 08.01.16.