Harvard University - GSD (Quilian)



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    Design Youth Initiative - Introducing Kids to Design

    Quilian Riano
    Dec 3, '07 8:40 PM EST

    It is the end of the semester crunch, but I am glad that this weekend I took some time to participate in the GSD's student-run Design Youth Initiative during their GSD Open House. The Design Youth Initiative is a student-run program here at the GSD in which a group of middle school students from and other involved in Citizen Schools, an after-school program. They come once a week mainly from communities like Roxbury and Dorchester, among the poorest in Boston, to learn from GSD students about design (I wasn't able to do it this semester but will be part of their crit on Saturday).

    This group of young students is usually small, but once a semester a much larger group comes (big enough to fill up Piper Auditorium) to spend an afternoon taking a tour of the trays and GSD facilities. This semester I had the true pleasure of leading a group through the tour and then helped them design a 20 minute paper skyscraper (as a competition against other teams). Our tower was not the tallest, we reached a good 12', but it stood and we were happy about that. Anyway, it was a nice afternoon and it was nice to get to talk to a lot of restless kids about design, one can only hope that through this interaction some kids become interested in joining our fields. That is specially my hope as the numbers of minorities in the design field is so, so low, and the need in their under served communities so high.

    Photos by John Werner from Citizen Schools

    Coming Up Tomorrow:
    -A recap of the Eisenman - Herzog debate Kipnis moderator, perhaps live blogging? Event starts at 6:00PM


    • even giving these kids just a GLIMPSE of what it means to really think about the built environment is a great way to introduce them to a lifetime of looking at the world around them.

      great program! congrats to all who organize these events and to you, quilian, for participating.

      Dec 4, 07 7:02 am  · 
      vado retro

      is that eisenman/herzog thing gonna be like the eisenman/prix thing that was posted recently? or maybe it's werner herzog that would much better.

      Dec 4, 07 8:58 am  · 

      At UNM there is a class called Architecture and Children taught by Ann Taylor who has created a program specifically for teaching kids concepts in design at an early age. Students in the class then pair with a school and teach a weekly class throughout the semester. It was great, the kids really enjoyed it.

      She published a book on the subject:

      Dec 5, 07 3:25 pm  · 

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