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September 29, 2021
by cschaulsohn
Photo of two students testing the strength of bridges they constructed during one of the Center for Architecture's Summer Programs.
Elementary school students tested the strength of their arch bridges in the in-person Building Bridges program. Photo: Courtesy of Center for architecture.
Photo of two students holding up their handmade models inspired by the Colosseum.
Elementary school students in our in-person Architectural Wonders class learned about all sorts of famous architecture and built their own interpretations. Photo: Courtesy of Center for Architecture.
Photo of a student building a model during one of the Center for Architecture's Summer Programs.
Elementary school student in our in-person House of the Future program assembling his green design model. Photo: Courtesy of Center for Architecture.
Photo of elementary school students sketching on the stoop of a building in the Greenwich Village.
Elementary school students in our in-person Neighborhood Design class spend time sketching rowhouses in Greenwich Village. Photo: Courtesy of Center for Architecture.
Photo of a student making a model during one of the Center for Architecture's Summer Programs.
Our in-person Summer Programs focused on model-making. For middle school students in our Apartment Design program, this included learning scale and building models from a detailed floor plan. Photo: Courtesy of Center for Architecture.
Photo of a hand-made model made by a student during a Center for Architecture Summer Program.
Final model of a library design created by a high school student in our two-week online Architectural Design Studio. Photo: Courtesy of Center for Architecture.
A rendering of a tiny house raised on pilotis designed by a student on SketchUp for one of the Center for Architecture's Summer Programs.
Middle school students in our online Digital Design: Tiny Houses program learned about tiny house design and the basics of the design program SketchUp to design their final models. Rendering: Courtesy of Center for Architecture.
Photo of a hand-made model of a subway station.
Elementary school students in our online Subway Architecture class presented their final models to family and friends via Zoom on the final day of the program. Photo: Courtesy of Center for Architecture.
Photo of a hand-made model of a section of a city created during one of the Center for Architecture's Summer Programs.
In the online Neighborhood Design class, middle school students designed their own portion of a city. Photo: Courtesy of Center for Architecture.
Photo of a student's pencil drawing of the interior of an architectural space.
High school student’s sketch from our online Drawing Architecture program. Photo: Courtesy of Center for Architecture.

This summer, the Center for Architecture’s Education Department was thrilled to welcome students back to our space for in-person Summer Programs, while still offering virtual opportunities to reach even broader audiences. Over eight weeks of programming, we welcomed 325 virtual and in-person students entering grades 3 to 12, leading them in courses included Playground Design to Architectural Design Studio. 

158 students attended programs in-person at the Center for Architecture. While some things looked a little different—such as masking and field trips closer to the Center—the core of our model-making programs remained unchanged. Our local field trips included a walk with architects and a construction firm to a local building site, a tour of Greenwich Village architecture, a trip to analyze playground designs, and even a trip to Little Island.  

One parent said of our return to in-person Summer Programs, “This has by far been the most positive week of educational growth our child has had after a year and a half of remote learning. We can’t thank the educators enough!” 

While delighted to welcome our students back to our space, we were also pleased to build on the success of our online programs from last year, welcoming 167 students from 23 different states and even some international students. Some programs, such as Neighborhood Design for middle and high school students really benefited from the experiences of geographically diverse students. Programs such as Museum Design and Subway Architecture allowed students to virtually explore sites from around the globe to gain inspiration for their own designs. 

Each program, both in-person and online, focused on a specific topic such as bridges, apartment design, or green buildings. Students began the week by learning about the topic through discussions, presentations, and fun design challenges such as using pennies to test the difference in strength between beam and suspension bridges of their own construction. Students then took field trips and spoke to some guest experts on the topics they were learning about. Our neighborhood design classes even had an opportunity to speak with representatives from the NYC Department of City Planning. The main focus each week was on the students’ final project, based on the program’s theme. Students developed drawings, mood boards, and sketch models throughout the week to help them think through their final designs. These amazing final models included treehouses, island oases with sustainably designed buildings, and tiny houses and apartments that optimized space without sacrificing design. 

Below is a selection of reviews from our successful summer: 

“[My child] was engaged and learned a lot of new building skills and new terminology. The best part is the smile at the end of the camp day. Thank you!” 

“[Center for Architecture] is amazing and the kids programs look so much fun that I wish I could also attend!” 

“[My child] loved it and said, ‘Nicely done, Mom!’”  

This summer, we were able to offer over $20,000 in scholarship funds for both in-person and online programs. We are very grateful to the supporters of our Annual Education Fund, along with  attendees to our Guess-A-Sketch and Annual Golf Classic fundraisers, which help provide these need-based scholarships. Grant support was also provided by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. 

We would like to thank the following people who served as guest speakers in our programs, sharing their expertise with our students and introducing them to the design profession: 
Daisy Houang and Sandra Berdick, Davis Brody Bond)
Janice Haughton,Turner Construction
Hilda Cohen, Matiz Architecture & Design
Eugenia Di Girolamo, Erick Gregory and Lucien Snell, NYC Department of City Planning
Michael Woods, Perkins Will
Grazyna Pilatowicz, FIT
Ben Granlund and Francesca Bastianini, The New School 

Thanks also to our four wonderful Summer Assistants who helped students and staff throughout the summer. Additional photos are available on our Facebook page

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