Glenda Reed, operations manager at the Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF), caught up with Kimani Reid, a former CFAF after-school program participant and summer studio intern. Reid is now 18-years-old and currently attends NYC College of Technology. He plans to transfer to Parsons The New School for Design within a year, where he wants to major in illustration with a concentration in animation. In the future, Kimani would like to start his own animation company.
Glenda Reed: How did you first get involved with CFAF programs?
Kimani Reid: I first came in contact with the CFAF at my old school, P.S. 9. I was volunteering for Park Day — a CFAF program where kids created their own designs for their ideal park. Then, I joined the after-school program, where we created our own designs for South Street Seaport.
GR: Was it the high school after-school program that focused on the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee’s 2008 design competition to re-envision the South Street Seaport?
KR: Yes. We visited the empty buildings at the seaport and then created our own designs for how the site could be used in the future.
After that, I became an intern for the Summer Studio programs. I participated in one that used Google SketchUp to redesign the subway entrance for the South Ferry terminal.
I joined the after-school program because I wanted to see how architecture can go hand-in-hand with illustration and 3-D animation. When we used SketchUp in the studio, it reminded me of how animators design — starting in clay and working up to a 3-D digital model. Architects have an even tougher time than animators, though, because they actually have to build their designs.
GR: Now that a few years have passed, is there anything particularly memorable about your CFAF experiences?
KR: I gained an appreciation for architecture. During one Summer Studio about waterfront design, we took students to a naval architect’s office. Before that visit I just thought people bought boats. Now I think about a boat’s design. I can see how architecture plays a role in practically everything, from building yachts to constructing subway entrances.
For more information about CFAF programs, visit www.cfafoundation.org.