Keeping Kids Entertained: Architecture Edition

Design-Related Ideas for Your Kid-Friendly Quarantine

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on April 2, 2020

Courtesy Learn to Play at Home There are a lot of suggestions out there for how to entertain kids while they are staying home during the COVID-19 crisis. Here we’ve rounded up some of our favorites that have an architecture focus. While it doesn’t mean your kids will leave you alone entirely while you attempt to work from home, our hope is that these ideas will provide some new entertainment and help you share your craft with your children. PRESCHOOL Create a box city and practice cutting, painting and building with this activity from Learn With Play at Home. Learn the concepts behind design thinking with this activity from Left Brain, Craft Brain. Craft an Egyptian pyramid with The Pinterested...

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My Day at McMurray Elementary School

Presenting to Elementary Students on the Practice of Architecture

By Jennifer Beck, AIA Posted on April 12, 2018

New Peters Township High School Rendering, Hayes Design Group Architects Jennifer Beck, AIA, Project Architect at Hayes Design Group Architects, recently attended Career Day at Peters Township School District’s McMurray Elementary School. She, along with a number of other special guests, presented to fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade students about different careers to consider. Jennifer shared information about the field of architecture and all that goes into designing buildings. She also showed the students some examples of HDG’s recent projects, including the design of the new Peters Township High School (which recently went out to bid). After Career Day, Jennifer received a number of very creative and thoughtful thank you notes from the students! Peters Township’s McMurray Elementary School holds a...

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What Happens After School?

Emerging Designers Transitioning from School to Work

By Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on March 19, 2018

Recently, the Carnegie Mellon University’s AIAS chapter invited the Young Architects Forum to discuss ‘the aftermath’ of studying architecture. What happens once University is over? Should you accept your first offer or keep searching for the perfect job? What about teaching and researching? Eight panelists, with different backgrounds and work experiences, gave thoughtful answers to the good questions the students asked. Pursuing licensure is a fundamental step for people wanting to practice architecture. Getting registered involves studying with dedication, patience in gaining AXP hours, and a substantial budget. Students that find themselves unsure about what to do after earning their degree in architecture might postpone becoming licensed until they feel sure about their choice. After all, almost every architecture school...

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#IMadeThat, From Youth to Professionals

Pittsburgh's Architecture Learning Network

By Samantha Weaver Posted on November 18, 2017

Images of the ACE Mentorship Program, photo credit Anastasia Dubnicay.  Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation Architecture Design Challenge, photo credit Louise Sturgess.  CMU Saturday Sequence Program, photo credit Paul Moscoso Pittsburgh is a city that embodies an interconnected web of makers and learners of all ages, truly living up to its title as one of America’s City of Learning. No matter your age, each citizen of the world has knowledge and expertise about their environment and can have agency to effect change in their communities. Pittsburgh’s Architecture Learning Network is one partnership in the city where eight non-profits have joined forces to support architecture educational programs in the region. The result is an architecture-learning pathway that helps youth prepare for...

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June @ the AIA

Summer starts with a few tours and a few free webinars, Join YAF to visit The River House, or attend the next AIA+2030 session and tour Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus, a 2015 Design Pittsburgh award-winning project. Looking forward, stay tuned for Design Pittsburgh related announcements in the upcoming weeks and months, including submission categories and the Young Architects Studio Competition. Finally, do you have a new project or interest to share? Consider submitting to present at PechaKucha Night Pittsburgh, Vol. 24 on July 14. Proposals are due on July 6.  Free membership for New Grads! Are you a recent graduate of a NAAB-Accredited architecture program? Than you are eligible for up to 18 months of free membership with the...

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15+ Years of Build Pittsburgh

A Look Back at Graphic Materials

By Becky Spevack Posted on April 12, 2016

This year marks the 15th anniversary of AIA Pittsburgh’s continuing education conference. What began as Tri AIA morphed into Build Pittsburgh within the first few years, and has been growing and evolving ever since. In 2007, the conference moved to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, giving sponsors and attendees alike more space to spend the day learning and networking. The first “themed” conference emerged at Build Pittsburgh 2005 with “A Blueprint for the Region” where then Iowa Governor Thomas Vilsack (a Pittsburgh native) delivered the keynote address – Renaissance and Renewal: Pittsburgh’s Heritage and Future. The importance of branding each conference with an annual theme was set permanently in 2009. Facing a severe downturn in the economy that was...

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Taking Time to Read

Great Books to Introduce Kids to Architecture

By Becky Spevack Posted on July 16, 2015

The school year may be over, but reading is a year-round activity. Take some time this summer to introduce your kiddo, or grandchild, or even a neighborhood youngster to the world of architecture via one of these lovely little books about what’s involved in being an architect. IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts Iggy Peck loves architecture, loves to build. But his second grade teacher has a differing opinion and insists on no architecture in her classroom! A field trip into the woods and a collapsed footbridge lead young Iggy to imagine and then construct a solution that has his teacher giving the built environment a second chance. (Also by Andrea Beaty, check out Rosie Revere,...

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Build YOUR Burgh

Bringing the Idea of Design to the Masses

By Becky Spevack Posted on March 12, 2015

Design Pittsburgh. It’s a design competition. An awards ceremony. A gala. The one time each year you catch up with some of your colleagues. But it’s also something more. It is AIA Pittsburgh’s yearly opportunity to expose architects’ work to a wide variety of audiences, to raise the profile of architects in the public’s eye. How to fill such a tall order? Nine years ago, AIA Pittsburgh moved the Design Pittsburgh exhibit to downtown and became a stop on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl, exposing hundreds of ‘crawlers’ to the array of architectural designs submitted for the competition. A few years later, the entries were made available for viewing (and voting) online, bringing in thousands of unique page views...

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Georgia On My Mind

Pittsburgh Architect Gets Ready for AIA Convention

While it is still a few months away, most of the planning for AIA Convention has already happened, including the schedule of workshops, seminars, and events. Speakers have been lined up, and among those is one of AIA Pittsburgh’s own who will be traveling down to Atlanta this May to lend their voice and expertise. Nicole Graycar, AIA, of IDC Architects | CH2M Hill, will be part of the team to present “Equity by Design: Knowledge, Discussion, Action!” An invited guest at last year’s AIA Emerging Professionals Summit, and Vice Chair of YAF, Graycar’s engagement in both the profession and the community makes her a great choice for this workshop. “Equity by Design” will look at how to advance the...

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The Unbeaten Path


By Christian J. Hughes, Assoc. AIA Posted on February 15, 2015

Can you name 28 architects? The average young to intermediate architecture professional probably could not. Though 28 is an arbitrary number, I am using it as a unit of measure as there are 28 days in the month of February, also known as African-American History Month. I have created a series, #28BlackArchitectsIn28Days, with the intent to identify 28 African-American architects, one for each day. The series covers historic firsts, such as Dr. Robert Robinson Taylor, the first registered African-American Architect, and present-day game changers, such as Saundra Little, AIA, founding principal of Centric Design Studio in Detroit, Michigan and AIA Detroit’s Chapter Director, also known as an “Eco-Architect.” (It should be noted that both of the terms “Black” and “African-American”...

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