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Youth Architecture Program Led by TXC Designer

Vermont Architecture 
TruexCullins designer Josh Chafe recently spent a week teaching an architecture course at Norwich Summer Design Academy (NSDA), a program he founded. The NSDA offers a rare introduction to architecture for Vermont high school juniors.

“I wanted to create an experience for young people to fall in love with architecture,” shared Josh “the kind of program I wish I had when I was in high school.”

NSDA was developed over the past two years. Josh constructed the curriculum and sought out the right partners and venue. At the time, he was the chair of the board of directors of the Emerging Professionals Network (EPN). While attending a board meeting of the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, he met Danny Sagan. In Danny, he found a like-minded collaborator. Danny is the program director at Norwich University’s School of Architecture and Art and is equally excited about engaging the next generation of architects.

Together they created Norwich Summer Design Academy (NSDA). This spring they recruited six students who attended the week-long course at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. As part of this course, the budding designers spent the morning at TruexCullins office in Burlington. They received a tour of the architecture and interior design departments. Among the many things they saw, were site plans, elevations, floor plans, and Revit drawings (3‐D computer renderings.) 

This was followed by a walking-architectural tour of Burlington’s historic waterfront district from TruexCullins Principal Rolf Kielman, AIA. They ended the day by drawing buildings selected for as excellent examples of architectural styles. The next day at Norwich, the students measured themselves and explored the human-scale relationship to buildings and places. They moved on to design and built their version of a cube shape. This challenged them to find new expressions for a traditional form. Nearing the end, the students worked as a team to construct a display out of bamboo for their drawings and cube models.  Their exhibition was held on the last day. They shared their work with family and friends. Judging by the interviews on WCAX, it looks like this program was a great success. 

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