YouthBuild Boston’s Designery Program, post 2

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Michael Joseph de St. Aubin, MDes in Risk & Resilience, 2018

Summer 2017

Organization: YouthBuild Boston, Designery Program, Boston, MA

Sponsor: Boston Community Service Fellowship

The summer design program for students officially kicked off during the first week of July. After a competitive game of Pictionary to break the ice, the students were divided into two tracks based on their level of experience. Track 1 students are new to the program and usually focus on developing basic hands-on modeling and drawing skills. Track 2 students are returning to the program for their second or third time and work on projects that develop their computer modeling and fabrication skills. I will be acting as one of the Lead Designers for Track 1 students.



The first assignment for Track 1 students was to build a geometric model out of 1 by 1 inch cardboard cubes. The next step was to hand draft orthogonal and axonometric drawings of their models. The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize students with basic modeling techniques and teach them drafting methods and tools. The exercise lays down the basis for the types of drawings students are expected to produce throughout the rest of the program (elevations, sections, plans, and 3d views).



For the second assignment, we divided Track I students into groups of two. Each duo was invited to choose different animals and to design interactive habitats for them. This second project acts as an introduction for students into the architecture and design process, and gets them used to working in teams. They are given a site, a client, programmatic requirements, design deliverables, and a deadline. At the end of the project students had their first ever design review in front of a jury. The projects ranged from a multi-story tank system for octopuses to an elevated walking path through a jungle like environment to view tropical snakes.

At the end of the second week, the instructors brought both Track 1 and 2 students on a field trip to the Boston Society of Architects space. They were able to view an inflatable art exhibition on display. The field trip then included a tour of Stantec’s architecture office in an old coffee roasting warehouse in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood.”