Design Apprenticeship Program
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The Design Apprenticeship Program offers previous National Building Museum outreach program participants or new particpants with a demonstrated interest in art or design the opportunity to get hands-on design and construction experience. In this short-term program, middle and high school students design and construct full-scale projects that they control from concept to completion.
- Develop advanced design and technical skills.
- Build essential personal and social skills by working as productive team members within defined time and project limitations.
- Learn from professionals who work with the built environment, including architects, designers, contractors, technicians, and visual artists.
How does the program work?
The Design Apprenticeship Program takes place on Saturdays during the fall and spring of the academic year. Up to 30 students participate in each round, attending the program’s eight design-intensive sessions. In a series of short projects, students are given a design challenge—for example, to create a piece of furniture—within a set of design criteria. Next, by collaborating with architects, contractors, electricians, interior designers, visual artists, and university architecture students, teams develop and construct their designs. Participants learn to work with different materials and are introduced to the design basics of a particular object. At the end of the program, design teams present their work in a formal presentation open to the public. Their work is then exhibited in the Museum and other venues.
Students are required to complete DAP I (only once) in order to participate in the spring DAP II program. In DAP I participants are introduced to the design process and learn basic construction skills. In DAP II the Museum partners with a community organization who acts as the client for the term's project. DAP II is an opportunity for participants to work on a more complex project that will benefit a real world client. DAP II is open to any student who has completed DAP I and returning participants can particiopate in DAP II as often as they would like. Throughout the year the Teen Advisory Council offers career and college based workshop opportunities for participants who have completed at least two outreach programs. Joining the Teen Advisory Council is one way our design students can continue to further their design knowledge and skills while waiting for DAP II to begin in the spring. The Teen Advisory Council is a part of the Museum’s effort to effectively teach design and technical skills and to develop challenging projects for our students who continue to advance their design skills.
- Trash and recycling receptacles that continue to be used in the Museum’s Great Hall today.
- Emergency relief shelters for natural disasters around the world, including tsunamis, earthquakes, drought and hurricanes.
- “Green” donation boxes for the Museum using sustainable design principles.
- Modern furniture for the Dinner Program for Homeless Women. The theme was inspired by the Museum's exhibition Marcel Breuer: Design and Architecture.
- Seating and storage solutions for a local D.C. middle school that was destroyed by a fire.
- Working prototypes of discovery carts for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History's new state-of-the-art education center. Cart prototypes were evaluated by NMNH staff and volunteers. The feedback will be used to inform the final design of the actual carts to be used in the space.
How can I get involved?
Middle and high school students between ages 12 (7th grade) and 18 (12th grade) are invited to apply for the Design Apprencticeship Program. Enrollment is limited to 30 students who have demonstrated interest or experience in architecture, design, and planning. The fall DAP I program is for new participants. The spring DAP II program is for returning participants only.
The application for new DAP I participants for fall 2013 will be availble in August. DAP I fall 2013 will meet 10 am-3 pm on Saturdays beginning September 21 and ending November 16, with no scheduled session on October 26. E-mail email@example.com or call 202.272.2448, x3301 for more information.
Volunteer recruitment for DAP II spring 2013 is now in CLOSED. Volunteer recruitment for DAP I fall 2013 begins in August. If you are a design professional or student in the fields of architecture, urban planning, or education and would be interested in helping inner-city youth learn about design and the built environment, please click here to learn more about volunteering at the Museum. Volunteers for teen programs must be 18 years of age or older.
Students or recent graduates who are interested in a greater commitment to DAP are invited to apply for an intern position in the outreach department. Interns act as volunteer instructors and assist with the administration of the program. Click here to learn more about internships at the Museum.
For more information, please contact the Outreach Programs Coordinator at 202.272.2448, ext. 3301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Design Apprenticeship Program is generously supported by McGraw Hill Financial and Prince Charitable Trusts. Additional support for teen outreach programs is provided by The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Bloomberg, Clark Charitable Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The Tower Companies, and an anonymous donor. Geppetto Catering, Inc. is the official Meal Provider for Teen Outreach Programs at the National Building Museum.