Design LAB 2019: PUSH PLAY

Design LAB is an exciting, FREE, hands-on K-8 education program offered to teachers in the Cincinnati area that is focused on building awareness, knowledge and community. This year’s theme is PUSH PLAY.

We will be challenging students to push the limits of where and how we play. When we think of the spaces we use to play, we often think of a playground in a park, made for kids to play in, while their parents look on. We may think of a baseball field, a basketball arena, or a performance stage. This year in Design LAB, we are going to challenge that idea. What can a play space be? Who can it be made for? Where can it be located? What needs can it meet? Join us as we investigate the power innovation has to change the way we play!


Educator Registration Opens                 August 1, 2018

Volunteer Registration Opens                August 15, 2018

Orientation Workshop                             November 19, 2018

Orientation Workshop                             November 20, 2018

Educator-Volunteer Teams Assigned   November 30, 2018

First Classroom Visit                                December, 2018

Program Kick-off                                       January 7, 2019

**Dates below are tentative**

Program Conclusion                                 April 26, 2019

Project Drop-off                                         April 27, 2019

Design LAB Exhibit Week                       April 28 – May 4, 2019

Design LAB Exhibit Jury Review           April 30, 2019

Design LAB Exhibit Reception               May 4, 2019

Learn about Design LAB from our Volunteers & Educators:

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We are very pleased to present Design LAB: Learn And Build, the next generation of Architecture By Children (ABC)!  The Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati, in association with AIA Cincinnati, is pleased to offer this FREE, hands-on, project-based learning experience to our community’s schools, educators and students, grades K-12.

Design LAB is a project-based K-12 education program tailored to broaden and deepen student awareness, appreciation, and active participation in our natural and built environments.  Local professionals team with educators to guide students through a real-world, themed design problem, emphasizing the development of: research, critical thinking, problem solving, verbal and visual communication, creative expression, collaborative team-building, STEM and presentation skills.

This 16-week program engages a minimum of once per month classroom visits by professionals in the built environment. Each classroom session is approximately 45-60 minutes, and is assisted in partnership with the lead educator. Essential materials including the Educator & Volunteer Resource Guide, PowerPoint kick-off presentation and tri-folds are provided by Design LAB.

This year’s project theme is ‘PUSH PLAY’. Students will be challenged to research, design and build models of play spaces. As in previous years, students will have the opportunity to create a 24″x 24″ three-dimensional model and tri-fold panels for students to describe and document their creative process including:  concept images, sketches/drawings, vocabulary, written data, planning, etc. At the end of the work period, submitted projects will be displayed during Design LAB Exhibit Week  where students may present their ideas, methodology and solutions.

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We look forward to working with you to engage and inspire students in exploring, designing, and building their environments!

If you have any questions, please contact Christen Lubbers, Executive Director

(513) 421-4469

“Working with the kids gave me new energy and enthusiasm for my work. Seeing it all through their eyes was really fun and inspiring.”  – Classroom Volunteer

“I learned all about teamwork. You’ve got to trust your team, especially when building.” – 4th Grade Student

Design LAB 2018: Food For Thought Winning Projects

Design LAB 2017: BRIDGE Winning Projects

Design LAB 2016: Learning Spaces Winning Projects