In its fourth year, Design Workshop is an exciting four-week program that combines design, mapping, architecture, and hands on building experience. It inspires high school and college students to see that they have a real, tangible role to play in transforming communities. Participants will view the world in a holistic way and experience how art, architecture, culture, design, and place come together in the practice of designing with community. How can youth engage with their communities in a thoughtful and creative manner? How can creativity, building skills, and design thinking be seen as an instrument for social change? How can we teach an active form of empathy to our next generation? Design Workshop addresses these critical questions through applied design.
In 2017, we focused on art and mobility. With an increasing number of people on the move, both by choice and necessity, designing flexible and multi-functional structures has become a paramount concern for many architects. Mobile, temporary, and environmentally-responsive structures have existed since humans began constructing settlements and many of these vernaculars (the yurt, tipi, tent, thatch hut, wigwam, etc.) have influenced contemporary exploration of mobile forms. With the advent of the machine age and pre-fab technology in the mid-twentieth century, designers gained a plethora of tools to develop new prototypes that addressed the needs and challenges of our ever-changing world. This course explored the process of designing temporary, multi-purpose architecture and outfited students with a wide range of tools to address themes of mobility and impermanence in the future. During this course students worked collaboratively to design, iterate, and fabricate a mobile listening station that brings art and design into the community context of Silar District in Santa Fe, NM.
From 2014 - 2016, we focused on placemaking in Santo Domingo Pueblo. Students explored the nature and creation of space within a community setting in both the real-world environment and its representation. They were tasked with designing and using affordable digital tools to fabricate furniture for the Santo Domingo Trading Post. The Trading Post sits adjacent to the platform for New Mexico’s commuter train, which runs between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. When completed, it will serve as a venue for craftsman and artists from Santo Domingo to sell their work and generate sustainable livelihood. Students designed furniture that would both display artist’s work and reflect motifs of pueblo culture.