Saturday, September 29, 2012

Children Programs in Architecture

When my son was 3, I asked him what he wanted to be. "A builder," said he, "but not the guy who hammers the nails. I want to be the guy who makes up the plans that the hammerers follow." I taught him the word ARCHITECT and since then, he's been following a career of Legos, CitiBlocks, Jenga Sticks, Erector sets, Minecraft and LegoRobotics.  Probably helps that we live a block from the WTC site and his whole neighborhood has been under construction for all of his 10 years.

I'm writing to you to ask if you think that enrolling him in some kind of architecture summer program would be a huge help or just a way to pass the time. Thing is, I live in NYC where the more money you have, the better your advertising, and that doesn't necessarily correlate with the quality of the programming. I suspect that a lot of the "architecture summer camps" out here are just art school with day trips to skyscrapers. We live right in manhattan and the kid already has favorite buildings (the Chrysler tops his list). He says he wants to take beautiful old buildings and repurpose them into useful space, like taking lovely government buildings or museums and turning them into hotels with concert halls. When he was four, he wanted to make a mile high building with a monorail that only tenants could use that went straight to JFK. Not a bad plan for a little tot; maybe a little hard to push through the City ordinances. :-)

anyway - my main question is - at this terribly young age, does it make sense for him to go to specialized camp or should he continue to explore everything at the general camps he already attends? Is there any benefit to these architecture camps, for instance on a college application - or is vast curiosity and general knowledge of many things more highly valued. (seems stupid to be talking about college while he's not even in middle school, but there it is, the world is darn crowded.) 

So I reach out to your expertise.  Anyone in the office from NYC? Or have you heard of any particularly great summer programs in or near Manhattan for kids age 9-12? or should we just continue to let him play Minecraft and do Lego Robotics and whatever else satisfies his building urge and stop worrying about it until high school?

thanks for your help,

First, congrats on having a son who at an early age is excited about design and architecture. 

Clearly, involving him in activities related will be helpful assuming they are age appropriate. 

I have attached the list of summer programs (high school) for you but the more appropriate one given your location is as follows:
Center for Architecture - New York, NY
June 25 – 29, 2012 (1 week); July 2 – 13, 2012 (2 weeks)

As your son is such a young age, I would suggest exploring any and all programs to encourage his interest in architecture.  Being in NYC, he is in one of the best cities architecturally - as you state, just walk outside. 

Aside from programs like the one listed above, encourage him to draw and see.  As well, develop his spatial abilities - legos, blocks, lincoln logs -- one software to consider is sketchup, a free download from Google.  Encourage him to keep a sketchbook -- have him draw for a time each day much list you would practice piano.

One toy to explore used by Frank Lloyd Wright is Froebel Blocks -

You may also consider contacting a local architect to have visit a office, talk with architects, etc.  Of course, you have time for all of this.  Ironically, many entering college architecture students indicate an interest in the discipline at an early age. 

Do keep in touch if you have any further questions.

1 comment:

kendallseo said...

Good program of Children Architecture!

Miami Chrysler