Discover ARCHITECTURE

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Inspired to raise awareness of architecture to students, Art Instructor Phillip Alexander-Cox and Architect Melody L. Harclerode, AIA, LEED AP decided to develop a pilot program at E. Rivers Elementary School with a target start in Fall 2010. Existing programs, such as the highly successful Portland-Oregon based Architects in Schools, demonstrated to them that the desire for architecture education was strong for elementary schools children.

Ms. Harclerode and Mr. Alexander-Cox collaborated to create the curriculum and guidelines for the proposed program in consultation with design professionals, officials from the Atlanta chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Atlanta) , school administrators, parents and Ms. Jane Jarrett, the director of Architects In Schools. Weeks of meetings resulted in an exciting architecture-based after school program called Discover ARCHITECTURE.

The strong positive response to the program from students, parents, educators and AIA Atlanta encouraged Ms. Harclerode to expand Discover ARCHITECTURE to other schools. We are thrilled to be at two elementary schools and seek additional ones.

Our passion is ARCHITECTURE. This field refers to the art and science of designing buildings, open spaces and communities. Architecture touches numerous fields, including engineering, interior design, green design, land planning, construction, and lighting design. Whether a student in our program becomes an architect or enters another profession, our spaces, buildings, communities are enhanced when we help future leaders to appreciate architecture and, more broadly, the human-made our built environment. Reach the architects, engineers, contractors, designers, planners, developers, and community and business leaders of tomorrow and Discover ARCHITECTURE at an elementary school today. Our mission is to provide:

1.) Fun exploration of architecture and related fields, such as engineering, landscaping, interior design and green design

2.) Interesting curriculum that can be customized by the volunteer architects at an elementary school to take into account the architecture in the school’s neighborhood or city

3.) Engaging design activities which promote creativity and inquiry and encourage students to work individually and in teams

4.) Quality architects and volunteers who run the program in partnership or with the approval of elementary schools

5.) Dynamic guest speakers to enliven and enrich classroom activities

When you Discover ARCHITECTURE, you’re re-Discover YOUR WORLD.

In one class, the students of East Rivers learned how to draw buildings elevations. They analyzed the wondrously eclectic group of historical homes in Atlanta and along Peachtree Battle Avenue, the main road to their school. Many recognized the homes in the presentation, but they discovered that their school, their world, featured some of the most elegant architectural styles in the first half of the 20th century Gothic Revival, Georgian Colonial, Bungalow, and English Tudor.

Students proceeded into sketching a log cabin, simple building form, with the encouragement of the volunteer instructors. They recognized that elevations can often feature a medley of geometric shapes. Once they sketched this structure, students selected one of the historical architectural styles in their neighborhood and city to draw.

This one hour and a half long session of Discover ARCHITECTURE finished with a room full of smiles on the faces of the students and volunteer instructors as the students discovered a new skill and deeper appreciation about their world.

For more information about Discover ARCHITECTURE contact:

Melody L. Harclerode, AIA, LEED AP

(678) 642-0680