“LBD:NY has been a wonderful program for the students and staff alike because of the connections between different parts of our New York State Curriculum… but even more so because of the connections the students themselves have been able to forge with the community around them.”
– Patrick Hess, PS /MS 161
This year, the Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF) celebrates 20 years of its K-12 in-school residency program, Learning By Design:NY (LBD:NY). Co-founded by current CFAF Board Member Linda Yowell in 1991, a committee of architects and educators began to work with NYC schools to enrich curriculum and educate young people to take an active role as citizens and future designers. Over the next few years, LBD:NY had volunteer architects working with teachers in several elementary schools, including current Board Members Jerry Maltz, AIA, and Joe Tortorella, and current CFAF Staff Tim Hayduk and Catherine Teegarden. By 2000, CFAF had an administrative staff of three, with trained design educators and programs in 20 schools.
Seeking to make architecture an intrinsic part of the K-12 curriculum of NYC public schools, LBD:NY has served more than 30,000 youth. Drawing on community resources — local landmarks, cultural institutions, and city development projects — professional design educators present architecture through the lens of social engagement. Working on real-world projects, K-12 students explore the history, social context, and impact of design as it connects to their own lives and communities. Materials and activities vary, from making scale Native American longhouse models with bamboo, clay, and fabric, to creating cell phone tours of Chinatown landmarks, to designing and constructing a rooftop greenhouse.
In any given year, CFAF reaches an average of 2000 students in approximately 80 classrooms throughout the city. CFAF has been awarded the American Architectural Foundation’s K-12 Architectural Education Award of Merit and was recently nominated for the International Architecture and Children Golden Cubes Award.
The annual exhibition, which showcases student work created during LBD:NY residencies, will also be celebrating a major milestone this year. 2011 marks the 15th anniversary of “Building Connections,” which opens on Saturday, 10.01.11 at the Center for Architecture. Educators and the public are invited to the Foundation’s Architecture Education Open House from 3:00-5:00pm to learn more about LBD:NY and be the first to view the exhibition. The Open House coincides with the launch of Archtober, a month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions around the city.