BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With the assistance of Buffalo-area
professional architects, their teachers and University at Buffalo
architecture and planning students, elementary school children in
several City of Buffalo schools have worked all semester to come up
with a treat for you.
On Friday they opened the 2011 Architecture + Education
exhibition of colorful, functional environments and infrastructures
the kids designed and a wide variety of animals. The work was
produced during 10-week hands-on classroom projects that employed
architectural principles along with lessons in math, earth
sciences, geography, physics and animal behavior.
This colorful exhibition will open with a public reception 5-8
p.m. at the CEPA Gallery, 617 Main Street, Buffalo, in the Market
Arcade, and will run through Jan. 18.
In attendance will be special guest Amber Dixon, acting
superintendant of Buffalo Schools.
The child-architects, who attend Discovery School #67, Frederick
Law Olmsted School #64, Buffalo Academy for the Visual and
Performing Arts, the Architecture and Design Academy, and Community
School #53, will be on hand to explain and demonstrate their
projects. They will be joined by their teachers, the UB student
architects and the professional architects who assisted them,
parents and other interested visitors.
Some projects required students to research climatic contexts to
insure the proper function of their structures and then to design
and construct buildings, pathways and entrance areas, circulation
patterns, green spaces, and outdoor rooms appropriate to that
First-graders designed and tested methods of shading classroom
windows using three-dimensional shapes in various configurations.
Fourth graders built bridges out of sticks and tested them to see
how many bricks they would support before they collapsed (seven in
one case, one in another), then analyzed the results to understand
Some children studied the geography, life cycle and behaviors of
several polar animals (including the elusive arctic fox), then
constructed built environments to accommodate them and the humans
who live among them. Others designed and built a miniature nature
park with homes-away-from-home for snakes and bears, lions, frogs
and other wildlife. The youngest participants -- kindergarteners at
the Olmsted School -- selected letters of the alphabet to serve as
the basis for multi-purpose functional spaces they then designed
All will be on display during the exhibition along with
diagrams, maps and photos that illustrate projects from inception
Architecture + Education is a decades-old program of the
Buffalo Architecture Foundation. The fall 2011 projects were
coordinated by Beth Tauke, associate professor of architecture at
UB. Partners included the American Institute of Architects Western
New York Chapter and the Buffalo Public Schools. This year's
sponsors were Cannon Design, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Watts
Architecture & Engineering, PC.