Design Apprenticeship Program Interview

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Sanaa L. began participating in the Museum’s Teen Programs in fall 2017. Through the Design Apprenticeship Program, she designed and built seating for our museum visitors, improvements for DC Public Library’s Mt. Pleasant branch’s teen space, and murals for the basketball courts at Oxon Run Park this spring. We interviewed Sanaa to find out more about how she got involved in the Design Apprenticeship Program and her role in this spring’s project, for which she created a video.

National Building Museum: How did you get involved in the Design Apprenticeship Program?

Sanaa: I got involved with the Design Apprenticeship Program through family. I am the youngest of four and all my siblings went through [it] as well as Investigating Where We Live. This was my third Design Apprenticeship Program and I also participated in Investigating Where We Live this past summer.

National Building Museum: Why did you want to participate in this spring’s project?

Sanaa: I wanted to participate in this spring’s project because I felt that this project would have a strong impact on the community. This project differed from any other Design Apprenticeship Program projects. While designing, brainstorming, and creating I was always thinking about how this would stay with the community forever. A stamp of ownership of their own home and the environment made me feel really happy about the overall outcome that the project would come to be.

National Building Museum: What was your role?

Sanaa: My role this spring was to design the half-court. I specifically worked on the label “Southeast” with my fellow teammate. We chose “Southeast” to be on the court because it represents that it [is] the community’s.

National Building Museum: Tell us more about the process, what was it like?

Sanaa: The process honestly was stressful and timely. It went from a change of sites, to altering ideas and views, and new concepts. We began with a chalk sketch of what we believed the design would look like on the court. Measurements and dimensions came along with this as well. Overall, the process was hard but worth it. It all came out to be a great outcome and addition to the community.

National Building Museum: What was it like seeing your court mural on Community Design Day?

Sanaa: To see my court on Community Design Day was very meaningful. Knowing that this would be a staple of the community forever made me happy. Seeing the young members of the community using it and enjoying it was amazing.

National Building Museum: Why did you choose this experience for your portfolio?

Sanaa: I chose this experience for my portfolio because this whole project was a working effort. For 7 [Saturdays] we worked and worked to get the right design while still having coordination. Then in just [a few] days, we finished the court. We did all this with passion, so why not capture it?