An important part of our practice designing educational environments is to create spaces that inspire creativity and a passion for learning among students. Through a partnership with the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), Boston Public Schools and Cambridge Public Schools, we had the opportunity to share our passion for design with local K-3 classes and introduce them to the architecture profession.
As a part of the BSA’s Learning by Design program, HMFHers travelled to classes in Boston and Cambridge to give a short introduction to architecture and design thinking followed by an interactive activity where students were able to apply the knowledge learned to create their own designs.
Despite the complexity of designing a building, strong design relies on simple principles such as form, function and materiality. The presentation communicated these concepts with an emphasis on creativity and the user experience. Our designers gave students an overview of different building types such as houses, schools, stores and offices, highlighting how each space is typically used and identifying the different shapes and materials commonly found in the design of each building type.
After the presentation, students used a toolkit of shapes to build a design of their own. They were encouraged to think outside the box and arrange their set of shapes in multiple configurations to re-create the building types covered in the presentation. For example, a circle could be used as a unique door shape in a home or as a clock on a school building.
The activity was met with enthusiastic participation as students imagined their own spaces with the given shapes. As designers of learning environments, it was an especially rewarding experience to be able to share our passion for architecture and design thinking with the next generation of young designers.