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An Urban Humanities Initiative

 

The Alberti Program: Architecture for Young People

The Alberti Program Architecture for Young People is devoting three summers to the core themes of the Divided City Initiative. It is a problem-solving studio workshop about architecture, community, and the environment run by the Sam Fox College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. Fourth through eleventh grade students from schools in the St. Louis Public School District do 2-D and 3-D hands-on problem solving, use the libraries and computer labs on campus, and are introduced to the field of architecture through lectures, discussions, and reviews about design projects. The first iteration of the program began in June 2016.

Graduate student in History, Taylor Desloge was hired as the Thematic Collaborator to work with Professor of Architecture, Gay Lorberbaum on incorporating a humanities perspective into the curriculum. As Taylor explained, “The Divided City has vastly expanded both the resources available to Alberti and the depth and breadth of its curriculum. My colleague…and I were the first teachers hired for the program without a background in architecture….The highlight of my time with the students was a week-long curriculum on a neighborhood in North St. Louis that is featured heavily in my dissertation. The neighborhood was devastated by a mid-century ‘slum clearance’ project, displacing thousands of mainly African American residents. Through a series of lectures and a guided tour of what remains of the neighborhood, I led the students through a history of the site—I then encouraged them to think about what a livable neighborhood needs and imagine their own possibilities for the future of DeSoto-Carr. The students responded eagerly. They designed a community center, sustainable housing, terrariums, and even drew up plans for converting an old school in the neighborhood into a farmer’s market.”

Visit the website here to learn more about the Alberti Program: http://samfoxschool.wustl.edu/alberti_program