High School Students Explore Architecture and Design Careers at Workshop/Camp

High School Students Explore Architecture and Design Careers at Workshop/Camp

By Kerry McCulloug...

June 3, 2016

High School Workshop

Summer camps and workshops are known for giving youth an opportunity for exploration and self-discovery. This summer the College of Architecture is giving high school students an opportunity to explore their future. The College annually hosts a summer high school workshop and camp entitled "Career Explorations in Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture." This camp offers high school students a unique experience to investigate issues surrounding design, learn more about the design professions and what it's like to be a college student. The camp will be held June 5-June 11, 2016, with the students staying in Neihardt Residence Hall for a more collegiate experience.

The annual workshop provides learning opportunities in the form of design studio explorations, seminars and discussions, field trips and video presentations. As part of the workshop, students visit professional offices, learn about various career opportunities and develop fundamental skills necessary for the study of design.

“We have an exciting line-up of engaging activities and events for the students this coming week,” commented Lindsey Bahe, workshop instructor and interim program director of interior design.

On Monday the class will be focusing on Design Principles, learning how to look for the “rules of design” by sketching and doing gesture drawings of the Sheldon sculptures around campus. Later, students will design and construct a paper tower using fifty 11x17 sheets of paper and a roll of tape. 

These towers will need to stand on their own and have structural stability, while also utilizing design principles to consider the aesthetics and expression of the elements that make up the tower itself. Awards will include: “tallest structure,” “most intriguing/innovative structure,” “best crafted structure,” “structure using the least amount of tape” and “most visually appealing/beautiful structure.”

Tuesday’s focus will be the “Design: Meanings and Intentions.” Students will first visit the State Capitol and be given a tour by Capitol Administrator and Architect, Bob Ripley. The tour will give insight to the process, symbolism and the variety expressions of intentions and meaning embedded in the fabric of the capitol itself. Students will then construct an image depicting and representing “The House of Self.” They will be introduced to basic Adobe Photoshop software to create and collage an image, or representation of a structure that is filled with symbolisms of who they are.

Wednesday’s lesson will feature “Design Professions: Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Interior Design. Students will be touring Clark Enersen and BVH and later kick off their final project “Designing and Making a Space within a Space.” For this team project, students will design and construct a spatial intervention using string, tape and/or butcher paper in Architecture Hall.

These workshops can be a real eye-opener for some students.

"I came here to learn more about interior design because I'm really interested in it," commented Hannah Scherr, workshop alum, from Peak to Peak Charter School in Erie, Colorado. "I've learned a lot about all the details and work that goes into interior design. Our instructor said 99% of what goes into design you're not supposed to notice." So Scherr was surprised at the amount of work and fine detail required to produce her final project. Scherr said she never thought about interior design that way.

"I thought it was like building codes, elevations and picking pillows. There's a lot more behind interior design than I realized. It really furthered my passion for interior design."

Jackson Meyer from Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri, was another high school student who came to the 2015 workshop to explore his interest in design and architecture. Whether the workshop swayed Meyer toward the architectural career field is yet to be determined. When asked if he made a decision, he said with jest, "I'll let you know on Friday." He’s still undecided.
However, Meyer and Scherr both agreed they loved the workshop and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in design and architecture.

"I didn't expect the workshop to have as many fieldtrips as what we had, and I was surprised at the passion each of the instructors had for their field of study," Scherr commented.

"I just expected to be setting at my desk for 5 days drawing, so I was pleasantly surprised with all the fieldtrips and activities,” Meyer said. “It was a great time."

This year, 21 high school students have enrolled from locations as far away as Pacifica, California, and as close as Lincoln, Nebraska.