Inspired in part by the exciting construction of the Hajjar STEM Center, the Young Visionaries architecture course this spring provided hands-on learning opportunities that involved students’ innovative and purposeful responses to real-world challenges and concepts in architecture and design. The course also covered how architecture and design affect our communities and world. During the course, students created a portfolio of drawings, mixed-media works, and architectural models as a way of developing an understanding of various concepts in art, architecture, and design. They also had a chance to tour the STEM Center construction site.
In addition to enjoying hours of hands-on work in D-E’s Swartley Gallery, during one of the sessions, the students heard from three guest speakers including Head of School Dr. De Jarnett, a STEM building architect from international firm Gensler, Inc., and a representative of the STEM building construction company, Gilbane.
“Through this course, students were challenged to discuss key concepts in architecture and design (’form follows function’); 1- and 2-point perspective (a drawing project); how architecture relates to its environment, including how buildings have been inspired by different aspects of nature; green architecture and a sustainability overview; and city planning,” notes Dr. Sherronda Brown, DE 360 ̊ director. “This was quite a lot of content to cover, but the students were extremely engaged at every step of the way, as was evidenced by the beautiful showcase during the final session of the course.”
The course was led by D-E Visual Arts Department faculty member Rachel Brusky, who is the director of visual arts for the D-E Summer Connections program and a private art teacher and workshop instructor for students from kindergarten to adults. In addition to teaching, Brusky has exhibited her artwork around the United States, receiving awards and recognition for her work. Prior to joining the D-E faculty, Brusky worked as an art director and graphic designer at SoHo Publishing Company in New York City, and as an artist-in-residence in the pediatric oncology and neurology clinics at New York Presbyterian Hospital.