September 24, 2019

Project Pipeline Recap: What Project Pipeline Means to Our Volunteers

We are so pleased to have hosted our 2-day Project Pipeline Architecture Camp this summer for the second time! The camp was a huge success and the students really enjoyed themselves and learned a lot; but we couldn’t have done it without our volunteers. We were able to talk with some of our Platinum and Gold Sponsors’ employees who volunteered to see what they enjoyed about the camp and what it meant to them.

Victoria Acevedo, NOMA, Associate AIA
BCJ Architects

1. Why did you choose to volunteer for the 2019 Project Pipeline Camp?

I chose to volunteer for Project Pipeline this year to help support the chapter in this very important education initiative in teaching local youths about architecture and design. Education is a important link in diversifying the architecture and design professions.

2. What do you think was the most impactful part of the camp for the students?

I think one of the most impactful part of the camp is learning in depth about the design process and how meticulous designing can be. Good design takes time, and curiosity and patience is needed at every step of the way.

3. What was your most memorable moment from the two-day camp?

My most memorable moment of the camp was when the parents came together at the end of the camp to see the final group presentations. Parents came all dressed up to our weekend camp (full suits even!) beaming with pride at the hard work displayed. It was apparent that this camp was very important to the participants and their parents.

4. How do you feel the Project Pipeline Camp promotes equity in architecture?

Everyone experiences architecture, but not everyone has a say in what goes in the architecture. I hope Project Pipeline Camp inspires individuals to believe that they can one day be involved in designing and creating buildings that impact others in a positive way.

5. Would you volunteer for Project Pipeline again? Why or why not?

Of course! It is great to share something we are all very interested and passionate about with the camp participants. I always feel energized and rewarded after a long Project Pipeline weekend.

6. Please briefly share your thoughts on the event overall.

This year’s Project Pipeline Camp was a great success for the chapter, and we couldn’t have done it without our sponsors, venue, and volunteers. All time used for the planning and execution of the camp is volunteer time!! This is a huge ask, and it is amazing that individuals in the NOMA PGH chapter have shown this amount of dedication (and more!) for the second time! Thank you all!

Michael Larche, NOMA
DRS Architects

1. Why did you choose to volunteer for the 2019 Project Pipeline Camp?

I chose to volunteer for the 2019 Project Pipeline Camp because I’ve always enjoyed the task of passing knowledge that I’ve acquired to another person. Plus, this experience this experience gave me the chance to pass what I’ve gained so far to various children of color to expose them to architecture.

2. What do you think was the most impactful part of the camp for the students?

Aside from learning how to work together to build a model in record time, I would have to say the most impactful portion of the camp on the students would have been the space adjacency process. It gave them a chance to show us and explain what spaces should go next to each other and why. Some of the students presented great reasons for the placement of certain spaces.

3. What was your most memorable moment from the two-day camp?

One of the most memorable moments from the camp was when two of my students started drawing up floor plans in their sketchbooks. They were detailed floor plans. One of them forgot the bathroom, but at that age I didn’t even know what a floor plan was.

4. How do you feel the Project Pipeline Camp promotes equity in architecture?

The camp provides the opportunity for equity in architecture in a way that we’re currently creating an interest for future people of color to enter the field. By piquing their interest early, we can cultivate it further by hosting more camps for the students to attend and therefore root their need to want to pursue a career in architecture when they start searching for colleges.

5. Would you volunteer for Project Pipeline again? Why or why not?

I would love volunteer again! The camp was a fun experience, and I would get the chance to expose more of the younger generations of color to the field of architecture.

6. Please briefly share your thoughts on the event overall.

I believe the event was great from beginning to end. All the volunteers were actively involved in teaching the students, and the students were eager to learn. You could tell they were into the design/creative process by the time we arrived at their final presentations. They told detailed stories related to their clients and the floor plans and even how they came about their building forms

Sneha Mansukhani, NOMA
DRS Architects

1. Why did you choose to volunteer for the 2019 Project Pipeline Camp?

It was an experience to see the knowledge that we have gained over the architecture coursework translating into the knowledge we are able to share. Especially with school kids who have limited insights into the field.

2. What do you think was the most impactful part of the camp for the students?

It was the teamwork that was most impactful, not just within the volunteers to organize the event, but mainly the school kids working on their group designs and building team skills to showcase their work. It was a pleasure to see such small kids work so well in groups.

3. What was your most memorable moment from the two-day camp?

Every moment was memorable, but I think when the kids finally presented their designs in front of everyone, especially with their parents around was one of the most proudest and memorable moments.

4. How do you feel the Project Pipeline Camp promotes equity in architecture?

Project pipeline is very transparent in what it does to achieve equity in the field of architecture and projects like these make kids realize their self-worth.

5. Would you volunteer for Project Pipeline again? Why or why not?

Definitely yes. We need projects like these to be out there for the people to experience, because only then will they can see ways in which architecture goes beyond and above just building blocks.

6. Please briefly share your thoughts on the event overall.

It was a very well organized and well constructed session, where the kids got to explore all the major aspects of architecture, as taught in the schools. I wouldn’t want to change a thing. It was a very humbling experience.

Warren Blackmon, NOMA, Associate AIA
Desmone Architects

1. Why did you choose to volunteer for the 2019 Project Pipeline Camp?

I believe it is important to invest in the future through mentorship. Specifically for Black children who might otherwise not see people who look like them in a professional setting.

2. What do you think was the most impactful part of the camp for the students?

The students being able to have a complete thought and seeing their project all the way through from beginning to end was the most impactful part. I feel like it empowered the students and allowed them to see if this profession is for them. Additionally, giving them agency over this project gave them a chance to cultivate life skills that will translate to different aspects of their life.

3. What was your most memorable moment from the two-day camp?

Connecting with the young boys about stuff outside of architecture was most memorable. For example we talked about shoes or music. I think it allowed them to see even though I am a working professional I still have other interests and that you can have hobbies and still get the job done.

4. How do you feel the Project Pipeline Camp promotes equity in architecture?

It demonstrates that the design world has People of Color and Women in it at ALL levels. Additionally it allows us to champion current young black working professionals to the youth and their parents and to our peers. So that we can all look back and see we’re not the only one in this environment.

5. Would you volunteer for Project Pipeline again? Why or why not?

Yes I would volunteer again. It is a great way to mentor the black youth. And I believe it provides them role models and connections they might not otherwise get for their future.

5. Please briefly share your thoughts on the event overall.

I think the event went well. As an organization we remained flexible so when small issues did arise we could adapt and move on. For the most part the pacing was good and the topics we covered went just as smooth as last year if not better than last year. The kids that I witnessed were well mannered and receptive to being taught. I am encouraged for next year.

Ashleigh Walton, NOMA, AIA, LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE, RA
UDA

1. Why did you choose to volunteer for the 2019 Project Pipeline Camp?

I believe mentorship is the most crucial component of the architecture profession. Showing kids that the profession exists broadens their world view and options. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll become an architect, but it puts the option on the table. Seeing people of color in the role of the architect, of design lead, it really changes the perspective for the kids and I want to be part of that.

2. What do you think was the most impactful part of the camp for the students?

I think it’s presenting their work. They build and get hands-on, which I think is the most engaging part for them, but then, having people recognize and celebrate their work, I believe that is truly impactful

3. What was your most memorable moment from the two-day camp?

Helping one of the students’ design a pergola for the terrace of the house they were designing. He had been losing interest in the project, but when I suggested he lead the design of that element, he really lit up and had a lot of fun with it.

4. How do you feel the Project Pipeline Camp promotes equity in architecture?

It’s really the reason I love to volunteer with Project Pipeline. It promotes equity by providing visibility to designers of color, giving kids role models and mentors that look like them. That visibility causes a worldview shift that opens doors.

5. Would you volunteer for Project Pipeline again? Why or why not?

I hope to every year. It’s a reminder of why I do what I do, and why I believe mentorship is so vital to the profession.

6. Please briefly share your thoughts on the event overall.

The event keeps growing and evolving every year, which is so exciting. We grew in numbers, in space, and in focus, and I think that can only continue. The kids were excited and engaged, which was the best part. We continued to have amazing sponsors to make the event successful.

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