In a recent blog post, I questioned where can children learn about Historic Preservation, Architecture and all those neat related areas-if they are not getting this knowledge in their school classrooms? My response to that question simply is: lots of places. However, to keep things to a organized “roar”, so to speak, only 5 organizations will be mentioned. So, lets start with:
1-The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the premier organization of the field in America. This organization has suggestions for parents on how to expose their children to the wonders of architecture such as giving them “an architecture-themed birthday party” and “building a play fort”, as well as, to “take them on an architecture walk”. Links to such sites as the National Building Muse and the Center for Architecture (which does celebrate a “Family Day”) are also provided. (ref.: “How to Explore , Architecture with Kids” toolkit, 2014)
2-If you love “all things Frank Lloyd Wright and happen to live in the Chicago area-do explore and take your children to see Design Lab at the Robie House, which is a joint program between the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust and the University of Chicago Laboratory School. This program-which is free-is offered on Saturday mornings once-a-month and involves a different design program where “families can share in the creative process through active investigations. Hands-on exploration and art-making.
3-If you and your children or students live in NYC and want to focus one of the most unique areas of Manhattan, check out the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation's education program called “Greenwich Village-History and Historic Preservation”-a three-part session program which focuses on an activity to learn more about Greenwich Village's history, a walking tour and participating in an art activity that allows them to apply historical, as well as, architectural knowledge learned in the prior two sessions.
4-In Washington, DC, do check out the National Building Museum. Parents and teachers-teens in the age range from 13-18 can participate in the Museum's Design Apprenticeship Program. Students can learn about using hand tools, how to turn their design ideas into reality and talk to a wide variety of professionals in the field of architecture and construction. This program meets on Saturday for five hours (10am to 3pm) during the school year-both Fall and Spring seasons. And finally:
5-If you have a daughter who has a creative imagination and desires to use her brains and hands at the same time, where she can learn about architecture and design at the same time-Berkeley, CA is the site of the Young Women's Building Institute and Design Build Transform boot camp-sponsored by Girls Garage. Both programs are a week-long, in duration, with an age range of 13-17 for the Institute and an age range of 9-13 for the Design-Build-Transform. Here is a place where your daughter can learn to weld, do carpentry and draft in all one time period, thus developing skills needed for architecture and/or construction.
Michael H. Gelman