My interest in architecture started before I even knew what architecture was. My parents bought be 3 set of LEGO on my 5th birthday and ever since then, I’ve loved buildings and design. As years went on, I collected K’Nex sets and drew plans of paper towel roll ramps for my Hot Wheels and building them with tape, LEGO, and furniture. Since architecture is a profession that has one of the hardest-earned degrees and licensure processes that recommends that suitors show early signs of intense commitment. While few resources are openly available to secondary school students who have a passion for the profession, the Chicago Architecture Foundation found a way to close that gap.
The CAF’ recently launched DiscoverDesign.org, a website that guides students through the design process with a step-by-step formula and provides them the opportunity to exchange ideas with a range of other students, educators, and professionals. Consider it that necessary (and welcome) bridge to provide for youngsters to cross from baby block-building to potential architecture students. DiscoverDesign.org features a gallery of student work and submissions available for users to view and comment on the work of their peers, creating a thriving and active community of like-minded members, including professional architects working in the field (to close another gap of working in a classroom to working in a firm). The site offers small, medium, and large-scaled project ideas, ranging from designing a new school locker to designing a school cafeteria. DiscoverDesign.org also breaks down the big ideas into the seven S’s along with visual examples of each: Society, Site, Spaces, Systems, Structure, Skin, and Stuff.
DiscoverDesign.org’s main goal is to provide and encourage familiarity with design project-based learning in a variety of fields. The site’s founder, Jean Linsner, hopes that it will “bring in a whole set of designers that don’t think of themselves as architects in that traditional area.” Sometimes, all you need to provide the perfect transition for students to ease them into the real-life application of their career goal; that can save a WHOLE lot of major changes and headaches.