ABC 2013: The Design Problem:

What’s in your MUSEUM?

A museum is defined by the objects and information that are collected and displayed inside (and/or outside). The purpose of a museum is to collect, preserve and exhibit objects pertaining to a similar interest for the study, education and enjoyment of the public. Museums are often works of art in themselves providing a framework for viewing the items on display as well as serving as an architectural icon in the community it serves.

Students will be given a specific site and a set building program. The site is located at the northeast corner of Vine and 12th Streets at the hub of Downtown Cincinnati’s Gateway District. This roughly 100′ x 75′ lot will be transformed by students into a museum around the theme of their choice. Learning objectives include scale-of-space, lighting, scale, site design, urban context, form and meaning, and much more.


2013 BRIDGE BREAK Competition (for grades 7 – 12)
As a separate project altogether, AIA Cincinnati and the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati in collaboration with THP Engineering are offering an opportunity for Jr. High and High School classes to participate in a structural bridge break competition. Students must construct a balsa wood bridge design with a prescribed set of dimensions and specifications that will be tested using weights for its load bearing capacity to failure. (i.e., we weigh it down until it fails) The BREAK event will be held the morning of the ABC Design Awards festivities at the end of the program. The top three bridges with the most efficient bridge-weight to weight-held ratios will receive awards and prizes.


Contact for late registration information.
Printable Registration Form—(must have AdobePDF reader)
2013 Teacher Packet—available September 1
Classroom Exercises & Resources
State of Ohio Academic Content Standards


Architect Online Registration
Friday, December 7, 2012, 11:30am – 2:00pm
Plan to attend one of two orientation sessions and enjoy lunch on us.
11:30am    12:30pm
Hosted by GBBN Architects, 332 E. 8th Street, Cincinnati, 45202
RSVP by December 5


Aug 1 – Oct 31, 2012


November 2, 2012

Teacher / Architect Mixer
5:30pm – 7:30pm at AFC Gallery, 811 Race Street

December 7, 2012

Architect Kick-Off Luncheon @ GBBN Architects

December 10, 2012

Teacher-Architect Teams Notified

January, 2013

Architect Presentations

January 2 – April 12, 2013

Work Period

April 13, 2013

Design Competition Entries Due:
Hamilton County Public Library
Main Branch: 800 Vine St., 45202
Drop off: 10:00am – Noon

April 20, 2013

Bridge Break—9:00am check-in & break start
Awards Reception at Downtown Public Library (first floor, garden area)

AIA Cincinnati and the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati provide the Architecture By Children program to local educators free of charge. In order to make this happen, we ask for local firms and associated businesses to become sponsors each year. For more information about sponsorships, please contact or click HERE to make an online donation.