Project Pipeline 2017, Mentorship by Design

The 7th annual architecture camp for middle school students was hosted at the iconic S.R. Crown Hall on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Boasting a wide array of historically significant and interesting architecture itself, IIT was the perfect location for exposing students to the field. The camp maxed out its capacity with 150 students registered and almost as many in attendance each day.

The program was jam-packed this year consisting of campus tours, keynote speakers, a field trip to Willis Tower and an open house day for parents and industry professionals. The five-day model building camp kicked off with some inspiration from Doug Farr, Founding Principal of Farr Associates. After sharing his holistically sustainable projects and getting the kids to think about urban planning, every student was talking about Butterfly Roofs and water collection tanks. One group of students even made their neighborhood space into a sustainable community.

By the last build day, the students models were towering over the space, clearly labelled with programmatic elements and floors to scale. With more strict parameters this year, the students had to get creative with how they articulated the functions of their buildings. The camp ended with a second incredibly inspiring keynote Dina Griffin, presentations by each team, and an award ceremony complete with prizes and caramel-coated cake. Award recipients went home with copies of No Small Plans, free tickets to the Architecture boat tour, and shadow day opportunities. 

What was most exciting to see this year were all the opportunities for parents and the larger ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) community to get involved with the organization. From orientation night activities where parents collaborated with their students on a site measuring exercise, to the Open House on the last day - Project Pipeline became a conduit to bring the community together in an exciting new way.

Take a look at some of the amazing models that were built and activities that took place this year!

FeatureLorin Jackson