Thrilled to hear from Corey Wheat and the Huckabee team about the re-imagined high school design program (currently in its 4th year) which successfully launched this past week. Students from a variety of high schools in the Ft. Worth/Dallas/North Texas region are spending 10 days working closely with Huckabee professionals and students/mentors in the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture studios.
In the past, high school students explored architecture in a grand view sort of way, looking at the practical application of design principles in a professional office. This year, however, the Huckabee team has pushed the envelope by re-thinking the philosophical underpinnings of both architecture and their K-12 educational client community.
The results led to an extraordinary partnership between Huckabee and the UTArlington School of Architecture which kicked off with a 5 month graduate student internship that looked at the 'business of architecture' (beyond the classic window and toilet detail CAD work that most interns do at the beginning). The summer program, entitled N.A.L.E. (standing for "nomadic, adaptive learning environment"), offers high school students (and grad student and professional mentors) to explore the potential of providing innovative 'learning environment' designs for areas struck by man-made and natural disasters. Imagine a community that has lost everything and clings to a 'school' as a way to re-build, keep families nearby, and believe in the future again. No small feat. And a wonderful/extraordinary design project for high school kids to dive into at the very beginning of their future careers.
In any event, Corey keeps a blog (which I've mentioned a few times in the past) and has written up a wonderfully descriptive overview of what the kids and his team have already done in the last 6 days. He wrote:
The kids took a little pushing to get started, but once they began to relax and enjoy the designing process, the ball began rolling, and was difficult to stop.
On Monday the teams began the NALE project "with authority" (as Marv Albert would say). The design seed was definitely planted and the students were anxious to get started.
Their final project presentations will occur at the large lecture room at the UTArlington School of Architecture on Saturday night. A bold test of the work and passions of these kids. And a clear demonstration of the commitment and investment made by Corey and his colleagues at Huckabee and UTArlington.
Looking forward to participating as a review panel member this weekend. Great chance to offer some feedback and additional challenges to these young design students who are diving in full force. I have no doubt I'll be impressed by the caliber of their imagination. Anxious to see what they put forward in tangible terms once they stand in front of a live audience on their own.