The Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia (CHAD) has an innovative way to approach Education through a curriculum that emphasizes the design process.
What's really interesting is that objective is not to offer professional architectural education. Rather, the design process is used as a vehicle for instilling creative and analytical thinking and to engage students who are more visually-oriented.
Important to this process are studio activities that involve structured investigation, self-reflection, critique, aesthetics, historical context, and multiculturalism. Students also take a very hands on approach to learning. For example, in geometry they might make physical models. In Environmental studies they will go out and observe what they are discussing.
CHAD opened in 1999 and serves approximately 400 students in grades 9-12. The school has partnered with the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA) and over 80 architectural firms. The Industrial Designers Society of America and The American Institute of Arts have also officially endorsed the school.
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