March 27, 2024
by Lisa Mazzola, Director of Education
Two student seated at a table drawing cut up peppers
Photo: Architectural Research Office.
Students gathered around a table talking about illustrations
Photo: Architecture Research Office.
A student working alone at a high table with architectural drawings in the foreground
Photo: Architecture Outfit.
Two students carrying hard hats and standing inside a tall ceilinged interior with a concrete column
Photo: COOKFOX Architects.
Students with laptops sit at a conference table and reference a larger screen with various images on it
Photo: Dattner Architects.
Students and architects gather around a model and discuss animatedly
Photo: DLR Group.
Students at a conference table in discussion
Photo: GLUCK+.
A student wearing AR googles interacts with several computer monitors
Photo: Marble Fairbanks Architects.
Students gather around a large architectural model with instruction from an adult
Photo: SOM.
A student sits at a conference table surrounded by architectural drawings and smiles
Photo: Spacesmith.

The Center for Architecture and AIA New York joined forces once again to host the sixth annual Discover Architecture Career Exploration program for New York City high school students. In 2024, the Center for Architecture saw increased interest in the program, with over 100 applications resulting in 38 New York City high school sophomores and juniors, from 27 schools, being placed in 22 architecture firms across Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Past AIANY President Hayes Slade, AIA, led the launch Discover Architecture in 2019 as a three-day immersive career exploration experience for high schoolers interested in architecture and design. The 2024 program consisted of a three-day externship at an architecture office followed by a culminating design charrette at the Center for Architecture, led by Design Educators Breanna Katsman and Tim Hayduk. The program also included a virtual student and firm orientation session to address questions and prepare everyone for the experience.

Although many of the students are able to cement their interest in the field because of the experience, the program’s goal is not only to expose students to the profession of architecture and design, but also to allow them the opportunity to see the types of activities that take place and the skillsets that are called upon by firm staff. For many students, the exposure to friendly professionals who were eager to share their professional path was just as valuable:

 “It was amazing working with all the talented architects. The experience was so much fun and so fulfilling.”

 “I had no idea how much communication played a part in the work that architects and designers do.”

“I am grateful for the help in understanding the work that goes into architecture. It really helped me think about my future.”

 “I learned so much about the career, from software to site visits and more. I am truly grateful to have had this opportunity to learn more about architecture and to have met so many talented people.”

“Thank you for being so transparent with me about your job.”

Many thanks to the firms and their colleagues who participated in the program. Your energy and enthusiasm are what makes this program a success!


Architecture in Formation

Architecture Outfit

Architecture Research Office (ARO)

COOKFOX Architects

Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

Dattner Architects

DLR Group





HLW International LLP

Marble Fairbanks Architects

Matiz Architecture & Design

MBB Architects

Mitchell Giurgola

Rice+Lipka Architects

Sage and Coombe Architects

Shakespeare, Gordon, Vlado: Architects

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill












Bard High School Early College Queens

Brooklyn Technical High School

Business Technology Early College HS

Columbia Secondary School

Fordham Preparatory School

Forest Hills High School

Frank McCourt High School

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School

High School of American Studies at Lehman College

High School of Art & Design

High School of Math Science and Engineering at City College

Hunter College High School

Institute for Collaborative Education

LaGuardia High School

Midwood High School

New Utrecht High School

Notre Dame Academy High School

Quad Preparatory School

Queen’s HS for the Sciences at York College

Queen’s Technical High School

School of the Future

St. Mary’s High School

Staten Island Technical High School

Stuyvesant High School

The Beacon School

The Bronx High School of Science

United Nations International School


If you’re interested in participating in the 2025 Discover Architecture program, contact us at