The American Institute of Architects believes that art and science of architecture, when integrated into K-12 core curricula and community college course offerings, enhances the students’ understanding of the built environment, encourages them to think creatively and critically about livable communities, and appreciate the impact on the quality of life. To implement this policy at a level, AIA CKC AIE works collaboratively with teachers, students, architects and the community at large in the Louisville Metro area. The Architects in Education draws on national best practice models and provides support to local civic and school (K-12) educational resources in its effort to create an awareness and appreciation for architecture.
The CKC Architects in Education Committee précis:
The Architects in Education Committee (AIE) formally started in 2003 with their first session at Brooks Elementary in Bullitt County, KY. The pedagogical approach of the AIE is to heighten the awareness and purpose of architecture in the local surroundings. Broken into two didactic courses, one focusing on the urban environment and the other on building design, the AIE covers important areas of a broad subject.
The AIE composes of AIA and Associate AIA members that selflessly volunteer to administer the one day per week six week course. Majority of the AIA and Associate AIA members do not have a teaching background and therefore rely on teachers to help administer session data and homework. The curriculum in both sessions are structured to foster interaction, team work, leadership, empathy, verbal and visual presentation skills, and listening skills that help improve a child’s social dexterity. Each session produces a final product in which each child attains pride, knowledge, and accomplishment. The sessions are designed for elementary to high school students. Though there are two curricula, each curriculum can be adapted to an existing school’s curriculum.
Cities: Macro to Micro
In this course we begin by looking at three cities and their buildings; Florence, Italy, New York, NY, and Louisville, KY. We first look at their overall plans and then begin to discuss the historical events that created them. Concurrent with the cities presentation we have the children work in groups to produce their own city based on topographical plans we provide. We then follow by discussing the forms of cities’ buildings and why the buildings may have taken those forms. At the end of the session we hand out materials that each student is required to research and in the end produce a verbal and visual presentation. Following the overall view of cities we then tackle the infrastructure (sewers, power, movement, etc.) and issues concerning Historical Preservation. We discuss the importance of preserving our cultural heritage and ways to advocate for preservation. Next are two sessions focusing in on materials, asphalt, concrete, brick, etc,, and the environmental impact of cities. A week after the last session, the students have a verbal and visual presentation to the audience of teachers, parents, and members of the AIA regarding their maps and materials.
Studio: Intro to Architectural Studio
In this course we begin by having the students take pictures of buildings and their details in and around Louisville, KY. The pictures are developed and the students begin creating collages from the pictures in an attempt to create form, space, and texture. The students then create a series of 3D models out of cardboard interpolated from their collages. The model that best summarizes the student’s collage is selected and the student begins drawing elevations, one section, and plans of their model. On the last week the students present their work orally and visually to the teachers, other students, parents, and the AIA members.