Increasing awareness and promoting diversity in architecture

There is no question that the architecture profession struggles with diversity in race, ethnicity and gender. In the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) report on diversity, it points to a very direct solution to attract and retain more diverse populations: building the pipeline through schools. That's why we're passionate about exposing more students earlier to architecture through curricula, community outreach and extracurricular activities, as they are key factors to diversify and, ultimately, make our industry stronger.

What they do

The Buffalo Architecture Foundation began the Architecture + Education (A+E) program which brings local practicing professionals into the Buffalo public school classrooms — partnering with teachers to use architecture as a tool for multidisciplinary problem-solving and learning. The program has brought over a decade of successful outreach to a diverse population of students.

10

years of programming

+

25

Buffalo public schools involved

+

100+

Local Architects who have volunteered

+

3,500

Students impacted

How we're helping

We have donated hundreds of hours over the past decade so our architects are able to spend time with the teachers and students. Over two dozen of our architects and interior designers have volunteered over the years and we’ve had two architects co-chair the entire program for the past four years.

The program starts with the architect and teacher developing unique lesson plans that will be implemented in the classroom. During the 8-10 in-class sessions, the architects lead a short lesson, and the students complete an activity related to the lesson and overall project. Each lesson is built off of the last, so that in the end of the 8-10 weeks, the students have produced tangible projects that show their process and progress for learning.

The culmination of the program is a public exhibit of the students’ work held at the CEPA gallery, which has been a great source of pride for students, parents, teachers and architects alike.

Photos: Buffalo Architecture Foundation, buffaloarchitecture.org