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ARCH | Architecture Creation Club, bridging design and the environment

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Diversity and inclusion in the architecture profession begins with innovating the access to education. Imagine, Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts for designers: ARCH | Architecture Creation Club is a proposed after-school enrichment program for students interested in architecture, engineering, and planning. The program is envisioned to bridge the gap between varying economic classes and supplement school curriculums by leveling access to architecture, engineering, and urban planning education. In efforts to cultivate the relationship of the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center with the surrounding community in the city of Alexandria, this program will offer annual programming for high school students to earn 'design experience badges’ as they learn real design skills and work with higher education mentors. The launching of an annual program establishes a standing commitment to local youth education. A partnership with Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) offers an opportunity to leverage Virginia Tech’s resources and invest in the local culturally diverse community of Alexandria. The club will meet during the school year for six lesson/workshop sessions run by the team leadership and graduate student volunteers. The sessions can either be hosted at the WAAC or virtually if needed due to pandemic precautions. The program will be structured around a year-long project addressing a design prompt centering social justice issues and design equity with each session focusing on a stage of the design process. Students will work in a collaborative experiential learning environment with higher education mentors and peers. The program will culminate in a final project presentation where local industry professionals will be invited to attend as guest critics. Upon completion of the program students will earn their design experience ‘badges’, school externship credits, and genuine career experience.

Exemplary project

Exemplary project winner


  • Brittney Sooksengdao
  • Shelby Pollack
  • Melody Brown
  • Sarah Handelsman


ARCH | Architecture Creation Club


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