TSA + OAA Host Big Think with K-12 Educational Organizations
On July 11, the Toronto Society of Architects (TSA), together with the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), hosted a Big Think roundtable session online, the culmination of a joint project to better understand the landscape of K–12 extra-curricular architectural education in Ontario and Canada.
With the goal of identifying and understanding the kinds of programs being offered and challenges being faced by the organizations doing this work, we reached out to 19 organizations across Ontario, and beyond, with a survey to learn more about their programs. The survey revealed over 50+ unique architectural education programs, events and initiatives for K-12 students in Ontario hosted by a variety of organizations including community groups, incorporated non-profits, registered charities and post-secondary educational institutions. The survey also made evident a number of shared challenges including limited and unreliable resources (both financial and people) and a need for more robust communication and collaboration among organizations carrying out this work.
To learn more about the results of our survey of K-12 architectural education programs, you can review the full survey and scan results here.
The discussions continued during a virtual Big Think roundtable where 12 participating organizations were invited to review the results of the survey and discuss some of the big picture questions facing architectural education opportunities for K-12 students. Together we had insightful conversations around collaboration between organizations, cross-communication, and the role different organizations can play in improving access to architectural education in the province.
A report summarizing the findings and discussions will be released later this year.
Expanding our youth outreach initiatives—and amplifying the work being done by others in this area—has been a priority for the TSA over the past several years. We hope to continue these conversations as we strengthen existing partnerships and form new ones.
We want to give a special shout to the TSA and OAA teams that were involved in organizing this project, and of course the programs and organizations that participated in this Big Think with us—we couldn’t have done it without you!
- 1UP Youth City Builders Program (Urban Minds)
- Archi·North Summer Camp (McEwen School of Architecture, Laurentian University)
- Architecture Playshop (McGill University)
- Black Architects and Interior Designers Association
- Department of Architectural Science, Toronto Metropolitan University
- Dual Credit Architecture Bootcamp (RAIC Centre for Architecture, Athabasca University)
- Imagine Architecture (Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, Carleton University)
- Imagining My Sustainable Community (No.9)
- Youth Architects Program (North York Community House/Lawrence Heights Art Centre)
- Windsor Region Society of Architects
Looking to see what events are coming up soon with the above organizations? Check out the TSA’s Events Calendar—we now have a filter that’s just for K-12 events and programs!
ABOUT THE TORONTO SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTS
Established in 1887, the Toronto Society of Architects (TSA) is a non-profit, volunteer-led organization dedicated to bringing people together to discuss, learn, and explore around our shared passion for the built environment.
We are committed to the betterment of our city and have played an important advocacy role throughout Toronto’s history. We do this through a wide range of programs that foster welcoming and inclusive forums for debate and the exchange of ideas, stimulating critical thinking about the design and building issues of our time.
Our public programming is complemented by initiatives supporting the personal growth and professional development of more than 2,500 TSA Members. Membership is open to everyone and welcomes design professionals, students, and the general public.
ABOUT THE ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS
Founded in 1889, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) is a self-regulating organization governed by the Architects Act, a statute of the Government of Ontario. It is dedicated to promoting and increasing the knowledge, skill and proficiency of its members, and administering the Act, to serve and protect the public interest. Last year, the OAA defined a new five-year Strategic Plan to guide the Association’s actions and initiatives. Visit www.oaa.on.ca to learn more.