On April 2nd, the New York City Department of Design and Construction’s STEAM Initiatives division participated in the Young Designers Conference sponsored by the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture.
High school and college students heard the panelists speak about the importance of social media and building a network, and also about the legal implications of sharing intellectual property from ArchDaily editor Diego Hernandez, and attorney Cheryl Davis. Built environment professionals gave the aspiring architects advice on career paths, portfolio design, and varied design approaches for their current projects.
Students participated in a group design challenge that allowed college and high school students to collaborate while working with an architect through the design process. The challenge was to design an African American museum and community center in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The students had two hours to design a museum that would emphasize history, culture, pride and portray a great sense of community to this thriving cultural African American neighborhood.
DDC Deputy Director of Public Buildings, Oral Selkridge, was a design coach for one of the teams and helped the students see their design ideas come to fruition. Team DDC won the design competition by combining the many innovative ideas of the college and high school design students. Team DDC also delivered an impressive presentation of their proposed museum and community center design to a panel of distinguished judges.
Ifeoma Ebo, a Strategic Initiative Specialist at DDC was one of several judges who encouraged student to critically consider how their designs were relevant to the larger community and how they might utilize innovative design techniques. All of the teams were impressive and the professionals and college students were able to work with and mentor the high school students to promote opportunities in architecture, design and built environment professions.