Design LAB (Learn And Build) is a program of project-based education presented by the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati (AFC).  The program partners volunteer design professionals with students in classrooms from Kindergarten through 12th grade in the Cincinnati area to deliver an educational exploration of the built environment.  Featuring learning modules about the design process, structures, sustainability, and spatial awareness, Design LAB offers children a valuable opportunity to think critically about the world around them and the built environment they inhabit every day.  Hixson volunteers have participated in the program since 2007 as part of our commitment to Contribute Creatively to our Community.

For Design LAB 2018, Hixson volunteers facilitated this experience for nearly 100 students at multiple grade, middle, and high schools as part of the city-wide program.  This year’s challenge, “Food for Thought,” asked students to consider food origins, procurement, and the places where it is consumed. The program highlighted significant building typologies from everyday living while offering opportunities for fresh ideas about food quality, as well as how to best ensure that everyone has access to proper nutrition.  The students’ exploration culminated with the creation of a scale model to translate their ideas into built form, highlighting the vast creative capacity that children possess.

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