This year’s International Youth Day theme — solidarity across generations — shines a spotlight on the fostering of successful intergenerational relations so that “no one is left behind.” The Daniels Faculty’s summer outreach programs — Minecraft and Design Discovery— were created with just such a mandate in mind, aiming to teach kids, youths and young adults the design skills they’ll need to pursue careers in creative fields.
The summer programs began on June 27 and will be concluding on August 19. Daniels Design Discovery has been held online and, for the first time this year, also in person. During a four-week intensive program based in the Daniels Building, participants are working in a simulated studio environment on an architectural proposal for the Toronto Islands, producing a finished design for their portfolios by the end.
The on-site experience is beneficial for many reasons, say Lara Hassani and Erik Roberson, the Daniels Faculty alumni co-directing the in-person component. In addition to exposing them to a bona fide design school atmosphere, it is also easier to guide the students in physical model making and to demonstrate techniques. By being in the Daniels Building, they can also see firsthand many of the projects and models made by both undergraduate and graduate students, gaining a sense of the work involved.
A pin-up board in the graduate studio of the Daniels Building showcases work created by students in this summer's Daniels Design Discovery program.
“We are also able to organize trips to different places,” Hassani and Roberson add, “including building tours, campus tours, a visit to the Toronto Islands and tours of architectural offices in the city.”
The Daniels Minecraft program, meanwhile, uses the participants’ love of the classic video game to explore the fundamentals of design and architecture while building teamwork and communication skills.
This year, says student lead Jason Zhang, “we have the campers learning about architecture and its applications through three different levels: Foundations of Architecture, Cityscapes and World Building/Game Design.”
The campers are trained in basic concepts and topics related to architecture in the Foundations of Architecture level, which they can then apply in the next two levels. Those specialize in urban design (infrastructure, sustainable architecture, etc.) and world building (immersion, storytelling, etc.).
One of the many cityscapes built by students on the Minecraft server as part the Faculty's Minecraft summer camp.
Observed annually by the United Nations, International Youth Day seeks to foster youth development in numerous areas in every corner of the globe. This year’s focus on intergenerational solidarity is somewhat unique, emphasizing the benefits of collaboration.
“I think it is very fulfilling to watch the campers grow and improve as the session progresses, as it shows everyone that what we do together can produce great results,” says Zhang of the Faculty’s efforts.
“I especially enjoy seeing campers come back from previous terms or years and it is always nice to see a familiar face join the camp again.”
To learn more about the Faculty’s summer programs, visit the individual program pages on the Daniels Faculty website.