Architects in Schools Applications are Live!

Teachers, School Principals, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, and Architecture Students, this is a call to you! Every school year, The Architecture Foundation of Oregon’s Architects in Schools program places design professionals in 3-5th grade classrooms around Oregon for a six-week residency. Offered free of charge to schools, AiS teaches students about the influence of the built environment and empowers students to take on the role of a designer. They learn concepts through project-based learning, learn real-life skills such as team-work and communication, and are introduced to multiple career paths. None of this would be possible without the time dedicated by our volunteer design professionals.

Architects in Schools reached 4,500 students around Oregon last season, and we expect to receive even more requests from teachers this season. Help us meet the ever increasing demand by applying or sharing the application today!


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About Architects in Schools
This statewide six-week residency program for elementary schools is afo’s longest-running, signature program. Practicing architects and other design professionals volunteer to partner with classroom teachers. In 2003, afo assumed administration of the program from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Under afo, the program has grown from annually serving 800 to more than 4,500 students in the Portland metropolitan area, Central Oregon, Salem, Eugene, Medford and Ashland. Our updated curriculum guide supports Oregon’s learning goals and includes environmental sustainability content.

Inspired by the first Earth Day, a team led by Oregon architect Marjorie Wintermute FAIA created the program over a five-year period with the goal of developing awareness and understanding of the designed and built environment and our responsibility for it among third through fifth grade students. Architects in Schools delivers arts programming, environmental understanding, awareness of cultural links to history, understanding responsibility to the natural environment, career awareness, and communication skills – all through the principles and practices of architecture and design. It addresses both understanding of design’s potential for achieving excellence in the continued development of our state, and standard-rich content for increasingly stretched teachers and systems in Oregon’s schools.


About the Architecture Foundation of Oregon
The Architecture Foundation of Oregon supports Oregon’s quality of life and creates awareness of our designed environments through education, engagement, philanthropy & inspiration.

Design can be nearly invisible yet it has considerable impact on our everyday lives. afo helps people connect to design and the ways in which it shapes their lives and their communities.

As populations continue to grow and the natural environment is increasingly built upon, afo works to foster thoughtful, considered decisions about the buildings and infrastructure that are placed in our world. Oregon, in particular, is a very special, almost sacred place. With its rugged Pacific coastline, its pristine mountain ranges, sumptuous river valleys, vast high deserts and fertile agricultural lands, it reminds us of why our predecessors faced arduous journeys to reside here.

Putting a shovel in that land, felling a tree, pouring a foundation, erecting or altering a structure, neighborhood or community are privileges that come with a deep responsibility to step lightly on the earth. We share responsibility, not only in terms of ecological consciousness, but also with regard to the visual, spatial and tactile impact that the built environment has on our daily lives. We must pay attention to the shadows that are cast, the pathways that might be blocked, and the connections that may be broken as changes are made.

Thoughtful, considered design enhances our relationship to the natural environment and to humanity. afo works to help Oregonians understand this and to learn how they can contribute to preserving our very special sense of place even as our numbers increase and our presence expands.


Images, video, and text courtesy Architecture Foundation of Oregon.