This course is intended to give middle school students a hands-on introduction to the field of architecture. Students will learn about the parts of a building, how to design spaces that meet people’s needs, how to document their designs and many other things related to architecture. In the middle school course, most work will be done by hand, rather than using sophisticated architectural software.
Students will learn about the field of architecture. They will spend several weeks exploring the different parts of a building (foundation, structure, walls, doors, etc.). They will learn about and practice creating the main types of architectural drawings (plans, sections, and elevations). They will learn about the importance of site analysis. They will learn to create a project that satisfies the program (i.e., meets the stated objectives and requirements).
Students will want to have a variety of drawing and craft supplies, such as:
Students will sometimes be tasked with making models; they will be able to make their own choices about materials that they want to use.
The class will guide students through the required textbook, with a different subtopic and related task each week. Class discussions will focus on these issues, and students will share their work with one another from week to week.
The last several weeks of the year will be spent helping students to create their own architectural project. They will be given several programs to choose from, and will be guided as they design, model, choose materials, and document their work.
Who should enroll?
Middle school students who have (or potentially have) an interest in architecture, building, drawing, tinkering, maps, and/or design.
- High speed, broadband internet
- Microphone and webcam (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Although the architectural field uses sophisticated software that requires modern, powerful computers, the work in this class will mostly be done on paper, so computer compatibility is not a concern for this class beyond what is listed above.
Evaluation and Feedback
Feedback will be supportive and encouraging. Students will often be asked to explain why they have designed things the way they have, and they will be encouraged to consider ways to further modify and improve their designs.