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Designing the tool of education

January 3rd, 2013   •   No Comments   

Abby Gordon, the Director of UNDA reflects on teaching and learning via design.

My career as an aspiring architect has also become one of an educator. The experience of teaching architecture to Boston youth triggered a reevaluation of how design thinking has impacted the way I learn. Design education relies heavily on critical and creative thinking. It hones the skill set that help us to adapt quickly and stresses the importance of the ability to self evaluate and analyze decisions.  These skills are important for the 21st century student and are vital tools for the future whether one chooses to pursue a career in design or elsewhere.

In 2008, during the midst of the recession I had become another BAC student who was laid off from their job. With a move on the horizon, school about to start and the impending boredom of being unemployed, I sought alternative measures of employment. Through a CommCorp grant I was able to work at YouthBuild Boston’s Designery, an incredible program that teaches design thinking through hands on projects as an afterschool job to Boston high school students. The staff was all recently hired architecture students from various Boston area schools. No one had familiarity teaching and our only education expertise was our own experience as students. To help strengthen the program, we turned to what we knew, and adapted our school studio projects for high school aged students. This provided a medium for them to approach problems creatively and analytically as well as develop tools for attacking future hurdles.

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City/Build is awarded a 2013 BFA Grant!

January 3rd, 2013   •   No Comments   

We are excited to share with you that we have received a grant from the Boston Foundation for Architecture (BFA). The BFA is run through the Boston Society of Architects(BSA) and they award grants to public education programs throughout the state of Massachusetts. The continued support of the BFA will allow us to serve Boston High School students through our City/Build program. To learn more about City/Build click here!

Dan Cuddy a Senior Career Specialist with the Private Industry Council at Brighton High School said,  “I have been coordinating workforce development programs in Boston Public Schools as a PIC employee for 15 years. The City Build Program beautifully combined professional engineers providing hands on project based learning with classroom instruction for our high school students. They were able to learn about an ongoing construction project from the design phase to walking the beginning stages of the construction site. The overall learning experience was one of the best I have ever been a part of during my career in job training education. The field trip was an awesome day for everyone involved from support staff, to teachers and especially our students! The day will have a lasting affect on our students who have immediately reached out to me to inquire about summer engineering internships.”

We look forward to our spring 2013 City/Build class!

2012 Urban Forum: Downtown

June 14th, 2012   •   No Comments   

2012 Urban Forum, Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Downtown Crossing Neighborhood Tour: 5:30 PM
Reception: 6:30 – 7 PM
Forum: 7 – 8:30 PM

Tour starts at the intersection of Summer and Washington
Streets. Reception and Forum will be held at the Hyatt
Regency Boston, 1 Ave de Lafayette

Joe Larkin, principal, Millennium Partners;
Rosemarie E. Sansome, president, Downtown
Boston Business Improvement District Corp.;
Ed Kane, principal, Big Night Entertainment Group
Amy Grier, a downtown resident.
Nancy Ludwig FAIA, Icon Architecture.

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UNDA receives 2012 BFA Grant!

January 24th, 2012   •   No Comments   

UNDA is pleased to announce that we received a 2012 Boston Foundation for Architecture (BFA) grant. The BFA is run through the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and they award grants to public education programs throughout the state of Massachusetts.

UNDA is thrilled that the BFA has chosen to support our City/Build program. City/Build brings design, construction, engineering and architecture to Boston public high school students. Through a series of hands on activities students learn real world application for their studies. Many thanks to the BFA and BSA for allowing us to help educate the next generation of architects and builders.

Wanny Pimental a 10th Grade Student  and a City/Build participant in 2010 said, “I sometimes wonder why I have to take geometry class, when my future does not involve anything with shapes or formulas. Nor did I think my future career would have anything to do with geometry. As I observed the Genzyme building during the presentation by the architect and general contractor who are working on it, I saw that geometry was written all over it. Each window is parallel to one another and it is the same exact shape. The building facing the water displays a pattern, and to be able to do that you need to use formulas and geometry. I realized that engineers have to know their geometry very well in order to be successful when they are designing a building. I am glad geometry is a required course because many professions, especially engineers and architects, use it daily.”

UNDA has reached over 60 students through the City/Build program and looks forward to engaging more students this spring.

Desginery Open House

December 9th, 2011   •   No Comments   

Come support our friends at YouthBuild Boston on December 15th!

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