SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2013

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Elementary Studio Lesson tree houSe FlightsofFancy Catherine Teegarden M grams had the opportunity to create any kids dream of their own model trees and tree houses. designing and building their own tree house, but The Importance of Scale Models in New York City, where For more than twenty years, the Cenmost trees are in public parks or linter for Architecture Foundation has ing the street, turning this dream worked with K–12 students to explore into a reality becomes quite difficult. architecture That is why we decided to make Scale model building is an through hands-on tree houses the ideal way for young people projects that introduce them to the focus of the school to explore the structure, design process and break design proform, and function of help them better grams at the Center spaces simultaneously. understand how the for Architecture built environment in Manhattan this is created. We find that scale model spring. For three days during spring building is an ideal way for young peovacation, third, fourth, and fifth gradple to explore the structure, form, and ers in the Center for Architecture function of spaces simultaneously. Foundation's Studio@theCenter pro28 December2013 SchoolArts At this very manageable scale, students can bring the built environment into their own lives, recreating designs they have observed in the world and testing out their own design ideas. They are able to concretely investigate the connections between different spaces in both plan and section, study the relationship between inside and outside, and see how the size and placement of doors, windows, and walls affect this. Structural concepts are particularly immediate in model building—in the physical world, if a piece is too heavy or unbalanced, it won't stay up. By building it themselves, students discover where they need an extra column to properly support a floor, or

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