Every person follows their own educational journey that doesn’t end when they obtain a degree. The Center for Architecture Explorations believes that education occurs beyond the walls of a classroom and that the School of Architecture’s role is to help cultivate life-long learners working at the intersection of arts and technology.
The Center for Architecture Explorations (CAE) develops research, programs, and products that serve unique Kindergarten-professional architectural education paths. The CAE builds on our School’s experience with youth education, university service learning projects, engagement with the architectural practice, and academic research to explore ways we can support architectural education pedagogy and foster equity and diversity in building industry professions.
About the Center
The Center for Architecture Explorations (CAE) is managed by the Director of Outreach, Samantha Weaver, and Program Coordinator, Julie Kachniasz. The CAE oversees Pittsburgh's Architecture Learning Network (ALN), a collaboration between over 10 non-profits in the region, and is advised by an Education Committee comprised of architects, architecture students, parents, faculty, and educators. The ALN and Education Committee support architecture education with the goal of meeting the needs of learners at every stage of their life.
The CAE's mission is: 1) to expand our work managing the Architecture Learning Network to facilitate links between building industry organizations, K-12 educators, and K-12 students, particularly in underserved neighborhoods; 2) to provide scalable training courses, workshops, and mentorship opportunities for professionals and undergraduate/graduate students to better prepare them to teach in K-12 and higher education contexts as well as better communicate with the communities they serve as designers; and 3) to conduct research into STEM and design pedagogy to develop innovative educational materials and curricula for an entire architecture education pipeline.
Programs, Courses, & Workshops
The Center for Architecture Explorations offers K-12 and professional development workshops and synthesizes university service learning activities.
K-12 Youth Programs
The CAE youth programs is a collection of architecture-based extracurricular and academic enrichment programs for students in kindergarten through high school. The mission of CAE's youth programs is to provide an architectural foundation for children and youth which imparts a knowledge and appreciation of the built environmental, encourages creative expression and critical thought, and inspires civic responsibility. The CAE is an APOST Quality Campaign Member and all youth programs are part of the Architecture Learning Network.
Registration for the Fall K-12 Saturday Sequence session is NOW OPEN! The program is 9:30 - 12:30, Saturdays, October 13 - December 8 (skipping November 24), on CMU's campus in the College of Fine Arts building. The cost is currently $175 a student for the Earlybird rate that changes to $190 on September 15th. The cost is $150/child if a family is signing up more than 1 child - the coupon code is MULTIPLE. A Scholarship is also available on a financial need basis and families can apply by contacting Director, Samantha Weaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
soa service learning Projects & courses
The School of Architecture (SoA) offers undergraduate and graduate students many opportunities to work on projects that have real impact on communities and stakeholders. SoA also works with the Design Center and CMU's Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach to offer courses that support outreach, education, and non-profit work after graduation. We have highlighted several courses below. Please contact the CAE Director of Outreach, Samantha Weaver, for more information about all of our service learning courses.
Professional Development Workshops
The Center for Architectural Explorations offers professional development workshops for university students and building industry professionals. The workshops were developed and are implemented in partnership with CMU's Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation, Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST), and Pittsburgh's chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The workshops have two goals: 1) provide architects with knowledge and skills to teach and 2) provide knowledge and skills in emerging architectural technologies. Workshops take place in August, February, and May. You can also refer to the School of Architecture calendar and/or Architecture Learning Network calendar for a list of dates and links to register.
- Act 153 Clearances & Classroom Management
- Learning Styles & Active Learning
- Collaboration & Conflict Resolution
- Emerging Technologies: Drones & Point Cloud Scanning
- Emerging Technologies: AR/VR
- Emerging Technologies: Internet of Things
Architectural Education Research
The Center for Architecture Explorations focuses on research into equity and diversity in architectural education and professions, systems thinking and spatial intelligence, and design thinking and assessment.
Educational Resources & Products
The Center for Architecture Explorations would like to share links to resources and products that we use that support architecture education, from kindergarten through professional careers.
List for Youth
List for Professionals
List for Colleges
*We are currently working on making some of our CAE lesson plans and learning tools available for purchase. We look forward to making the announcement in the coming year.