CityVision uses design as a framework to teach D.C. public school students how to become active participants in shaping their communities. Through extensive fieldwork and mentoring at the National Building Museum, students identify needs and propose solutions designed to help local neighborhoods.

How does the program work?

During the fall and spring of each academic year, partner middle schools integrate CityVision as part of their curriculum and offer participating students academic credit for completing the program. Up to 15 students are selected from each school and meet for a full school day once per week for 12 weeks. Students work with Museum staff, educators, and design professionals, on fun, challenging, hands-on activities.

Students learn the basic elements of the design process and work in studio teams to explore neighborhoods where they observe and collect information about the community’s needs. Each studio team develops a creative solution that addresses those needs and produces architectural drawings and models of their design. The program culminates in a final public presentation when studios defend their work to a panel of professionals.

How can I get involved in CityVision?

Design professionals or university students in architecture, urban planning, or education can volunteer to help youth learn about design and the built environment. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and be able to commit to a minimum of two Thursdays per month.

Become a school partner
School partners must be a part of the D.C. Public Schools system or D.C. Charter Schools System and must also recruit a staff member to accompany the students to the program each week.


For more information, please contact the Education Department at 202.272.2448 or email