2014 Architecture By Children Program

Ft. Washington Way is currently a high-speed canyon containing interstates I-71 and I-75, and State Route 50. This one city block deep by four city blocks wide expanse of sunken highway creates an uninhabitable gulf between the city core and the sports, entertainment, park and residential areas developing along our riverfront.

The Design Problem:
Students are challenged to design the activities and architectural features of the four ‘covers’ over Ft. Washington Way.  Through the design process, they will explore city streetscapes, urban living challenges and opportunities, and how cities grow over time to support the lives of their inhabitants.

2014 Learning Points:

Growth of a City – Examine how the Cincinnati of today evolved from early settlement.

Urban-Suburban-Rural   Understand the variety of development densities, and how distance between buildings, streets, and people affect how we operate every day.  What will fit and function on these four city blocks?

The Urban Experience   Discover the components of a city streetscape that support living, working, leisure, and people-moving.  What will your city streets look and feel like?

Sustainable City   Sustainable building and operating practices for urban buildings and city-dwellers.  How do we care for, conserve and generate resources like Water, Air, Energy, Daylight and People?

NEW:  Project Submission OPTIONS!
How do you eat an elephant? …   Due to the potentially overwhelming scope of this project, teachers may choose to approach the design response in several ways:

4-4-1 – 4-teams, 4-covers, 1-project to create a ‘set’ of covers as a comprehensive classroom-wide urban design solution.

Urban master planning – each student or group may program and design the entire project (all four city blocks) at a higher level, focusing on issues of urban master planning and urban design

Scale-to-fit – teachers may choose to break up the project in other ways, such as developing one cover per team of students in large classrooms, or by dividing each of the covers into separate sites, with teams developing individual sites in greater detail.

2014 BRIDGE BREAK Competition

Offered in collaboration with THP Engineering and other local engineering firms, the Bridge Break structural design competition is open to Jr. High and High School classes.  Students must construct a balsa wood bridge design following a prescribed set of dimensions and specifications including materials, span, vertical clearance and roadway.  Models will be loaded with weight until significant structural failure  (i.e., we load it until it breaks). The BRIDGE BREAK event will be held the morning of the ABC Design Awards festivities at the end of the program in April.  The top three bridges with the most efficient (lowest) bridge-weight to weight-held ratios will receive awards.  Awards will also be given this year for the most-weight-held, most well-constructed, and most innovative design.


Registration for ABC 2014 Urban Edge is now closed. Please contact info@architecturebychildren.org to be placed on our mailing list to receive future program and event announcements.

2014 Teacher Packet

Classroom Exercises & Resources
State of Ohio Academic Content Standards


ABC cannot happen without YOU!
Thank you to all of our volunteer architects, designers, interns and students who have been paired with ABC 2014 classrooms across the tri-state!

End-of-program volunteers will be needed:
Pre-register online to be on our list of volunteer teams for end-of-program events (see schedule).


Aug 1 – Oct 31, 2013


December 5, 2013

Architect Kick-Off Luncheon (location TBD)

December 12, 2013

Teacher-Architect Teams Notified

January, 2014

Architect Presentations begin

January 7 – April 25, 2014

Work Period

April 26, 2014

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

May 3, 2014

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

ABC is provided free of charge to area schools thanks to our generous sponsors!