The Architect Studio
By John Palmasano
MYP Design Teacher
The Architect Studio is a student-led CASE activity which was founded in 2020 by Grade 12 students Sumin Lee and Chaewon Song. These young leaders operated under a shared vision of establishing a creative after-school activity for the exploration of skills and ideas drawn from Arts and Design. Along the way they helped younger students develop a practical application and extension for their Architecture, Product Design, and Art skills.
Starting in the Fall of 2020 the CASE group initially explored the core concepts of architectural design. The girls found early success drawing inspiration from video resources including “Grand Designs” and “Abstract: The Art of Design.” Once they established a shared language for the communication of ideas they moved the group into digital modeling and CAD design using Floorplanner.com. Later, the girls developed structural models of their designs using foamcore and other modeling materials which were used to display their work to the school community.
During the 2020/2021 academic year CASE leaders were challenged to maintain continuity with their participants due to COVID-related restrictions and hybrid learning. Both Chaewon and Sumin rose to the occasion by planning and leading CASE sessions online using Google Meet.
A major focus of the Architect Studio is the exploration of sustainable design concepts. These ideas are the basis of the Grade 8 Sustainable Housing unit which investigates how sustainable systems can contribute to aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly dwellings. Many student participants use the Architect Studio CASE activity to continue exploring the ideas they developed in the Grade 8 unit.
The Architect Studio will continue under the leadership of Grade 9 student Doyoon Kim. During her Grade 8 year Doyoon developed a passion for sustainability and human-centered architecture design while inquiring within the Sustainable Housing unit. Doyoon has already shown a desire to lead and mentor younger students new to architecture. We look forward to future exhibitions of student work.