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Students dive into design with Career Explorations in Architecture

August 21, 2017

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.