18:30 PM

Thom Mayne Young Architects Program Is Extended For Third Semester


Unique mentoring initiative by Pritzker Prize-winning architect provides elementary school students access to free design classes

Unique mentoring initiative by Pritzker Prize-winning architect provides elementary school students access to free design classes

Morphosis has announced that the educational initiative led by the firm’s Pritzker Prize-winning founder, Thom Mayne Young Architects has been extended through the remainder of the 2017-2018 academic year in partnership with Hall Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT. Created with the aim of inspiring and enabling children with limited design experience to engage with the field, the Young Architects program will allow sixth grade students who participated last semester to continue developing their design skills and education in after-school classes led Pratt Institute architecture students. Tasked with creating a beautification proposal for their classroom, the students will demonstrate their grasp of architectural concepts and their mastery of design software in mid-term and final presentations, as well as exhibit their final projects from last semester in a special showcase at the Pratt School for Architecture (February 12 – 17).

Launched in 2017, the Young Architects program grew out of Mayne’s role in President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH), where he was involved in TurnAround Arts, a national program initiated in 2012 by Michelle Obama and PCAH that provided arts education to the nation’s bottom five percent performing public schools, including Hall Elementary School. TurnAround Arts is now led by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

“The Young Architects program demonstrates that classes driven by creativity and design thinking have a significant impact in expanding the minds of young students,” said Thom Mayne, Founder and Design Director of Morphosis. “The program we’ve built doesn’t just give them an introduction to architecture; it helps them hone their problem-solving skills and apply them in all areas of their education. I’m so impressed to see the projects that these students have created, and I hope to reach even more students in the future.”

The Young Architects program is a 12-week course intended to teach sixth grade students real-world skills that will foster a passion and ethic for lifelong learning, as well as enable the development of practical computer design skills. Each student received a new Pixelbook laptop donated by Google with state-of-the-art design software through which they learn how to incorporate architectural vocabulary such as line weight, site analysis, and installation modeling into their proposals, as well as use professional photo editing and drafting software, branding and marketing techniques, and budgeting skills to execute and present their designs.

Thom Mayne and the Pratt School for Architecture are celebrating the achievements of the students with a special exhibition of their final projects from last semester. On view in Higgins Hall, Brooklyn, at the Pratt School for Architecture from February 12 – 17, Mayne will host a closing reception for the showcase on February 16 at 6pm to mark the successes of both the students and the program.