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June 3, 2015
by Martta Sareva
High school senior sharing his final design for a tangram house, which uses only seven shapes in its design. Credit: Center for Architecture
Volunteer architect and design professionals offered students feedback on their designs for a new high school being built by the High Line. Credit: Center for Architecture
Darlene Duran, former Center for Architecture intern, showing off her design for a museum exhibit at MoMA.Credit: Center for Architecture

High school students from the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction (UASDC) presented their final projects at the Center for Architecture on 06.01.15. The group of sophomores, juniors, and seniors all participate in our Learning By Design:NY residency, taught by Center for Architecture Design Educator Yves Roger.

Learning By Design:NY provides school-based K-12 residency programs and professional development workshops to students and teachers in schools across New York City. UASDC is a longtime partner school, and Roger has been teaching in the program for eight years. For the spring semester, he wanted to challenge students in a new way and get them to think about history as well. Darlene Duran, a junior and former Center for Architecture intern, was tasked with designing a MoMA exhibition on Art Nouveau. According to Duran, the project was challenging and research-intensive.

Other student projects included a design for a high school near the High Line, a beach house with moveable sections, treehouses, and a tangram house made up of only seven shapes. According to students, the most challenging aspect of designing the high school was deciding where to place all of the various classrooms – there was a lot to fit in! For the treehouse project, created for an artist, one high school junior based his design on the concept of “function follows form,” and was shaped like a compass rose.

A group of design and architecture professionals volunteered to review the projects and talk to students. In an informal critique, students got the chance to present their ideas, ask questions, and receive feedback about their work. Students received valuable comments, and many were going to make revisions to their models and designs based on what they learned.

The Center for Architecture offers programming for high school students over the summer as well. There are still spaces available in the 08.17-21.15 Pop-Up Shop Design program, which will give teens a chance to act as curator, architect, and brand designer as they create drawings and models of their own pop-up shops. More information and registration is available at


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