March 6, 2018
The ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc. (ACE) partners built environment professionals with high school students. Over the course of the school year, Architects, Engineers, and other construction professionals work with students as mentors to inspire young people to consider pursuing careers in design and construction. ACE not only engages sponsors and volunteer mentors to expose students to real-world opportunities, ACE also financially supports student's continued success by providing them with scholarships and grant opportunities.
DDC ACE Team 8 consists of twelve high school students from Brooklyn and Queens, and twelve mentors from DDC, the School Construction Authority, and Structure Tone. Over the course of the fall semester students learned how to read blueprints, take measurements, use a scale ruler, and sketch diagrams in preparation for the Construction Industry Round Table Design Competition (CIRT).
The team chose to participate in the CIRTDC “Design a Flexible Home” challenge. The process began with students researching how families use the space in their homes. They measured key living spaces in their homes and spoke to family members about their current and previous living arrangements. Afterwards, the team consolidated their collective data and ideas and came up with three key areas they felt were important in every home, along with their respective measurements. Figuring out the ideal size of certain spaces in a home like the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen allowed students to generate rough models of a living space with just the necessities. Students put forth the pros and cons of their peers’ designs and they voted on what they believed to be the best solutions.
Students defined what a flexible home meant to them and they found inspiration researching similar projects like the DDC Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype in Brooklyn. Students used shipping container homes as starting point, but they wanted to create something unique so they chose to design a model modular system home that expands and contracts without the use of heavy machinery. Their purposed modular system would allow for and a very fast build time of between 25-30 days.
DDC ACE Team 8 submitted their entry to the CIRT Competition. If selected as finalists, ACE Team 8 will have the opportunity to present their project to a CIRT panel of judges in Washington, D.C. For the remainder of the school year ACE Team 8 will visit DDC construction works sites and continue to develop their concepts, along with their critical thinking, and design skills.