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Design Discovery workshops are for high school students interested in learning more about the city’s built environment and developing their architectural design skills. Offered on weekends during the school year, these workshops combine architectural exploration with hands-on design projects, nurturing the development of design thinking and providing students with instruction in architecture fundamentals such as architectural drawing, scale measurement, model building, site and precedent analysis.

Programs run 10am-3pm at the Center for Architecture unless noted otherwise. Lunch is provided. Tuition is $60/person.

Need-based scholarships are available. The 2020 Scholarship Information and Financial Need Form is available here. Scholarship applications and Financial Need Forms are due a minimum of 3 weeks prior to each program. You can apply for multiple programs using a single Financial Need Form.

For more information, contact Tim Hayduk, Lead Design Educator, at


The Design Discovery Spring 2020 series will focus on green architecture, an issue of utmost importance in our world today. Each workshop focuses on an aspect of sustainable design, familiarizing students with the impact the built environment has on our climate and resources, particularly in NYC, and ways we can reduce this through smart design choices and conscientious conservation of resources in our own lives.

Green Design Challenge January 18, 2020

Buildings are responsible for almost 70% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and their materials, construction and demolition also have significant impact on our resources and energy use. How can we make buildings more efficient to address the climate crisis we are facing? Learn more about these important issues and ways architects, landscape architects and urban designers are tackling these pressing challenges through smart design. Students will learn about LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and apply its concepts by designing a green building model of their own.

Aquatecture: Designing for Rising Seas February 15, 2020

Superstorm Sandy walloped the New York City region seven years ago and today we are still recovering from the immense damage caused by high winds and flooding. What is New York City doing to prepare for the next superstorm and the threat of ocean level rise caused by climate change? How do architects prepare for an uncertain future? Students will learn about resilient design strategies and see how architects can design to protect life and property. A hands-on workshop will challenge students to design and build a model of a structure that is resilient to storm surge and sea level rise.

Bioinspired Design March 7, 2020

Learn how nature can inform and inspire architectural innovation through biophilic, biomorphic and biomimetic design thinking. We’ll visit the architectural office of the internationally acclaimed sustainability and biophilic experts COOKFOX whose midtown Manhattan space features a rooftop ecosystem where fruits, vegetables and honey are cultivated. Drawing on these ideas and other architectural solutions inspired by nature, students will develop their own bioinspired designs for a healthier and more sustainable built environment.

Tree House Design April 4, 2020

Building a tree house in New York City is next to impossible, however, you can dream big and build small in this afternoon workshop focused on tree house design. Learn how the experts design treehouses that don’t harm the tree and design and build your own one-of-a-kind tree house model. Students will practice the skills of drawing, scale measurement, model making and presentation in this workshop.

Greening the City: Landscape Design May 2, 2020

The Center for Architecture is teaming up with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy to bring students to the water’s edge for a deep dive into park design. Once strictly industrial, New York City’s waterfront is now a complex environment for recreation and protection from future storms. The day will include learning about the park’s design, visiting and sketching key features of the park, and working in small groups to design, draw and present proposals for a new park on an unused pier along the city’s edge.


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