SCI-Arc has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support Design Immersion Days (DID), a summer program for high school students designed to educate and inspire the next generation of architects and designers, and to encourage students to pursue higher education and design careers.
“Support for young designers means support for new and experimental work at SCI-Arc,” says Director Eric Owen Moss. “Design Immersion Days extends the school’s discourse to high school students, and thanks to the generous support from the NEA, the work produced by these students, we believe, will ratify this confidence in SCI-Arc.”
An immersive four-week, full-day, non-residential program, DID guides high school sophomores and juniors through a process of discovery, cultivating a lifelong appreciation for design. The program offers a mix of visual coursework taught by practicing architects and designers, including hand drawing, computer design, and 3D modelling techniques, along with college readiness workshops, lectures, and field trips.
The program’s curriculum explores how products, buildings, and environments are imagined and made. It is enriched by tours of Los Angeles museums, design firms and galleries, which further inspire students to experience the city through the lens of a designer.
Entering its fifth year, DID runs from June 22 to July 18, enrolling approximately 40 students. The first three weeks of the program focus on studio activities and field trips. Students receive feedback from faculty, teaching assistants, and college counselors and are exposed to software such as AutoCAD, Rhino 2D and 3D, Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.
Beginning this summer, students will gain access to SCI-Arc’s Magic Box, a new state-of-the-art digital fabrication facility that augments the school’s platform for experimentation and prototyping. The program culminates in a final review and exhibition on July 17 for family, friends, teachers, and the community.
SCI-Arc launched DID in 2011 with seed funding from The Ahmanson Foundation. In 2012, following two successful sessions, the program was awarded a Citation of Merit by the American Architectural Foundation. DID has since received significant support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Green Foundation, The Eisner Foundation, Ace Mentor Program, US Bank, Douglas and Lauri Freedman, and SCI-Arc alumni Stephanie Bowling Zeigler (M.Arch '95), David Hertz (B.Arch '83) and Laura Doss, and Carol-Hove Ahmanson (M.Arch '88).
SCI-Arc is one of 138 organizations in California to receive a 2015 NEA Art Works grant in the spring round of awards. This is the school’s second NEA grant received in support of DID.