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Students dive into design with Career Explorations in Architecture

Photo: 2017 Career Explorations in Architecture students on a tour of Grow Dat Youth Farm in City Park.

Sketching, model-making, lectures and expert critiques; sounds like an average day at summer camp? Career Explorations in Architecture, no ordinary summer program, offers high school students the chance to experience life as an architecture student at Tulane.

In July, 20 participants from across the United States came together in New Orleans for an engaging, three-week introduction to the field. During the intensive curriculum, students are led by Tulane professors and local architects in an exploration of architecture education fundamentals. Learning goes beyond the classroom, with trips to local landmarks and community organizations such as City Park, Grow Dat Youth Farm, New Orleans Museum of Art, Make it Right Houses, Global Green, Crescent Park, the Garden District and French Quarter.

The program mirrors a first-year design studio, something Teaching Assistant and current architecture student Harrison Sturner considers a major benefit. “A lot of what we do in this program is exactly what we do as a first-year project…we do drawing, we do model-making,” he noted. “It’s all in a series which correlates to the curriculum of the first year and is really helpful."

Sturner and fellow student TA Maria Espinoza, both Career Explorations alumni, came back to help facilitate a program that shaped their college experience. “It [Career Explorations] solidified the idea that architecture was the right choice for me,” Espinoza said.

The best part of working with these motivated high school students? For Espinoza it was, “Seeing their progress from day one to now and being able to talk to them about their models in more architectural terms, as they start to understand these ideas like space and scale. Also, seeing their individual styles come out in the more creative pieces that they do.”

Career Explorations in Architecture was recently featured in the Moneyish article, Kids are training to be CEOs and spies at these specialized summer camps. For more information on the program, visit architecture.tulane.edu/prospective-students/admissions/career-explorations.

Archinect Features - Deans List: Kenneth Schwartz of Tulane School of Architecture

Archinect
 

The Deans List is an interview series with the leaders of architecture schools, worldwide. The series profiles the school’s programming, as defined by the head honcho – giving an invaluable perspective into the institution’s unique curriculum, faculty and academic environment. For this issue, we spoke with Kenneth Schwartz, the Dean at Tulane University's School of Architecture.

Before Hurricane Katrina, the 100+-year old Tulane School of Architecture was primarily concerned with architectural design with an emphasis on historical preservation at various times during this history. The school did not focus as much on progressive community-oriented design projects as they do today. Since the 2005 disaster, the school has changed its focus to encourage its approximately 300 students to become actively involved in the design issues of the surrounding community, resulting in a hands-on approach that immerses students in the often thorny problems of the wider world. In New Orleans’ case, architectural students must grapple with building in historically impoverished neighborhoods that have also not fully recovered from the effects of Katrina. Kenneth Schwartz, who has been at the school’s helm since 2008, has made Tulane synonymous with a pedagogy that integrates the theoretical and the pragmatic... Full interview HERE

2015 Tulane School of Architecture Summer Newsletter

Registration for Career Exploration is now open!

Architecture is a discipline and a career that requires professional training. High school students considering career options may have had little opportunity to become acquainted with the unique blend of visual orientation, creative process, academic investigation and professional training that forms an architectural education. Career Explorations in Architecture is designed to offer students a short, intensive introduction to architecture to help them make informed decisions about their direction in post-secondary education and beyond.

Students will spend their three weeks in the School of Architecture exploring the ideas, methods, and issues of architecture. Lectures, field trips, discussions, critiques, and other activities during the four-hour daily class session will be supplemented by regular design exercises to be completed outside class time. Students will sample the intensity as well as the subjects of a collegiate architecture curriculum. 

More Information

 

Career Explorations in Architecture Summer Program

Architecture is a discipline within the liberal arts and a career requiring professional training. High school students considering career options may have had little opportunity to become acquainted with the unique blend of visual orientation, creative process, academic investigation and professional training that forms an architectural education. Career Explorations in Architecture is designed to offer students a short intensive introduction to architecture to help them make informed decisions about their direction in post-secondary education and beyond.

Students will spend their three weeks in the School of Architecture exploring the ideas, methods, and issues of architecture. Lectures, field trips, discussions, critiques, and other activities during the four-hour daily class session will be supplemented by regular design exercises to be completed outside class time. Students will sample the intensity as well as the subjects of a collegiate architecture curriculum.

Architecture Billings on the Rise - By Greig O'Brien

Architecture Billings Pick Back Up After a month of contraction, the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index shows growth again in the design and construction industry.

In May, the American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index marked a return to growth in the demand for architectural design services. April saw the first dip into negative territory for the index in nine months, which appears for now to have been an outlier. With a national score of 52.9, up more than four full points from March’s score of 48.6, the architecture industry saw a significant reversal of fortune. (A score above 50.0 in the index means that demand is increasing; below 50.0 means that demand is contracting.)

The score for project inquiries came in at 59.1, up from April’s revised figure of 58.5. Inquiries are still growing, and have been each month since the design and construction industry bottomed out after the 2008 financial crisis. This score is also inching its way back toward 60.

For May, the ABI’s data tracks well with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent employment report. The BLS reported 175,000 jobs added to the economy in May, which was slightly better than expected, with the architectural and engineering services sector of the economy adding a sizable 4,900 jobs in May. This was the best result in all of 2013, almost twice the 2,700 architectural and engineering services jobs initially reported by the BLS in April. And prior to April, the industry had seen average growth of more than 2,000 jobs per month during each month except January.

Three each of the nation’s four regions and the industry’s four sectors showed growth in May. Only the Midwest and the Commercial sector continued to show contraction. All of the other sectors and half of the regions showed improved scores. (Remember, also, that the regional and sector scores are three-month moving averages, unlike the national score which is monthly—so these are going to show more gradual changes month to month.)

National Highlights 
National: At 52.9, up from 48.6, the national billings score returns to growth after a month of contraction. For nine of the last 10 months, this score has been above 50. 
Inquiries: At 59.1, this score is up from April’s 58.5. Inquiries into new projects continue to be strong, and have shown growth for more than four years.

 

 

 

 

Regional Highlights
Northeast: At 53.7, up from 52.3, this is the ninth straight month for the region above 50. 
Midwest: At 47.5, down from 49.0, the Midwest region continued to contract. 
South: At 50.9, down from 52.2, this was the 11th-straight month for the region above 50. 
West: At 52.1, up from 51.7, this was the 10th-straight month for the region above 50.

 

 

 

 

Sector Highlights
Multifamily Residential: At 52.8, up from 52.6, this was the 13th-straight month for the sector above 50. The Multifamily Residential sector continues to be the consistent workhorse for the profession during the recovery. May’s score put the sector above 50 for 27 out of the last 36 months. 
Commercial: At 47.5, down from an even-steven 50.0, this sector contracted for the first time in eight months. 
Institutional: At 52.2, up from 51.3, this is the 10th-straight month above 50, a pretty remarkable feat given federal, state, and local budget cuts over the past year. 
Mixed Practice: At 51.0, up from 50.4, this is the ninth-straight month for the sector above 50.