Encounters with Architecture

If architecture is to matter in the world, then we need clear information and many more outlets to learn about architecture and design. We need life-shaping experiences and conversations to reach young people.

In partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, join this virtual symposium sharing recently completed and still emerging education projects with the power to change architecture field. This free, three-hour program includes projects and perspectives contributed by architects, artists, educators, and writers imagining and making new forms of design education.

Sessions: Maya Bird-Murphy, Mobile Makers and the Chicago Architecture Biennial Youth Council / Frédéric Chartier, School Building as Pedagogy / Amanda Williams, Redefining Redlining / Sanjive Vaidya, The Case for a Public Design Education

Encounters with Architecture is part of the Association of Architecture Organizations’ broader efforts to connect, support, and advocate for organizations and individuals around the world devoted to advancing the role of architecture, planning, and design in service to society.

Who should attend? Design educators (MS, HS, College) / school teachers / school administrators / out-of-school time educators and program facilitators / curators / architecture organization staff / grantmakers and program officers / design professionals / program volunteers / individuals curious about the subject

What will you learn? The case studies explored in this session range from student build projects to civic conversations to issues of pipeline development and diversity within architecture and allied fields. This content is geared to those seeking program inspiration, as well as an overriding interest in the strategy, argumentation, and learning to be found in new forms of practice.

Event sponsor: National Endowment for the Arts

Register at aaonetwork.org or directly via Zoom.

More session information:

Student Build at the Chicago Architecture Biennial
Presenter: Maya Bird-Murphy, Founder and Executive Director, Mobile Makers
Mobile Makers and the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) Youth Council Mobile Makers is serving as the official Education Partner for the fifth edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, entitled This is a Rehearsal. In this work, they are facilitating the CAB Youth Council, a cohort of teens from all sides of Chicago who spent three months exploring public space together and collaboratively designing an installation for the Biennial. The result, “One Bench, One Love,” is a response to the lack of youth-specific third spaces and policing of teens across Chicago.

School Building as Pedagogy
Presenter: Frédéric Chartier, Partner and Co-Founder, ChartierDalix
The construction of a school is an opportunity to rethink the connections between education and nature, as evidenced by the School of Science and Biodiversity designed by ChartierDalix. With an ecosystem on the structure’s roof that extends into the walls, the omnipresence of vegetation increases quality of life, aids with learning, and helps the children to find their way around easily. The school is every inch an educational tool. 

Redefining Redlining
Presenter: Amanda Williams, Artist, aw | studio
Based on the 2022 living installation Redefining Redlining, Amanda Williams is piloting an educational curriculum that introduces high school students to the idea of making visible the detrimental impact of redlining while simultaneously inspiring ideas about who and what can reinfuse joy, beauty, and value into Black neighborhoods.

The Case for a Public Design Education
Presenter: Sanjive Vaidya, Chair, Department of Architectural Technology, City Tech, CUNY
Sanjive Vaidya believes that public design programs function as incubators for positive action on behalf of the displaced and underserved. He’ll share thoughts ranging from the cost and complexity of higher education, to sputtering municipal management, to employment for designers, and even a call to us all to improve our moral imagination for design’s place in our world.


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