Interior Design Magazine Donates to Para Los Niños
Thank you to Interior Design Magazine for their generous donation to the Para Los Niños Architectural Mentoring Program of the KITS of IMAGINATION by Urban Conga. The Architectural Mentoring Program began several years ago as a shared vision by AIA/LA and the non-profit inner-city Charter School Para Los Ninos (PLN) to prepare disadvantaged students for the 21st Century by working professionals collaborating with educators. Volunteer design professionals expose 6th grade students to a variety of creative problem solving opportunities to make connections between their class-work and future professional options. The program encourages the students to look beyond their daily school life adjacent to skid row, to widen their experiences using innovative design and increase their visual acuity.
The photos convey the students’ curiosity and creative process. The KITS were integrated into the mentoring program in two different lessons to explore structural systems. The first project was to build TOWERS. Then the students spent 2 weeks designing, building and testing model bridges out of straws, sticks and string in their classroom. The following lesson the students were to integrate their structural knowledge and design SUNSHADES using the KITS of IMAGINATION.
The TOWER lesson took place on April 2nd and the objective was to have the students work in 3 groups of 8-10 students. Each group was to build the tallest self-supporting TOWER. The students learned they needed to build a sturdy foundation first. The Towers were limited by the reach of the tallest person in a group. Everyone had a great time.
The SUNSHADE lesson took place on April 30th and the objective was for the same groups to build a horizontal sunshade to shade their group. The SUNSHADE could be held up by the students &/or rope they were given to span between existing post on site approximately 25 feet apart. This was a much more complicated assignment. It made team work and planning crucial elements of the process, resulting in both frustrations and excitement.
In both lessons there were lots of opportunities to realize creative explorations, group cooperation and testing structural concepts. Best of all, the students were able to get out of their classrooms and participate in a playful learning process. This interactive process and the students’ smiles were priceless. We are appreciative to Ryan Swanson’s recommendation to the Interior Design Magazine to donate the KITS to our architectural mentoring program after their use at the Interior Design Magazine’s Giants of Design event in Palm Springs earlier this year. Thanks to Sara Anthony for all of your coordination. This delightful KIT of IMAGINATION contribution has allowed us to expand PLN students’ architectural and design awareness experiences.