Our mission is to empower youth to affect change in their community through design. Using the city as the classroom and connecting youth to real projects in the community and connecting and working with architects and planners, we foster the next generation of design professionals, civic leaders, and change-makers. We advocate for increased inclusiveness, diversity, fellowship, equity, and excellence in design.
Project Pipeline Director*
Camp Planning & Logistics
Camp Recruitment & Registration
Bootcamp Program Director*
Project Pipeline is a national initiative of the National Organization of Minority Architects. The Pipeline was created to serve as a solution to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities, pursuing careers in architecture. With a focus on youth, it was created to equip, empower and educate through architectural design and engineering techniques. The pipeline allows us the ability to establish and cultivate youth on a unique platform that fosters community awareness, creates mentorship and exposes youth to the built environment. The Pipeline started in 2005 with one camp in Cincinnati, Ohio and has grown to over twenty camps across the nation. It is made up of architectural middle school camps, high school boot camps, college campus chapters, and professional licensing workshops.
In 2010 SoCal NOMA had its first camp and has continued for the last 10 years. From 2010 to 2019 the summer camp has inspired and mentored over 600 students through the Camp! In 2010 with a staff of Architects, Designers, and leading Professionals we engaged 21 students in geometry, model building and a walking tour of the neighborhood to identify architectural elements. In 2011 with 40 campers & 2012 with 53 campers, the camp expanded to include sponsors which gave way to field trips and sponsored lunched. In 2013 & 2014 with 50 campers the camp introduced campers to design with computers, CAD and Sketch-up class was experienced by the campers.
In 2015 with 72 campers, the camp introduced engineering into the curriculum and renamed to SoCal NOMA Architecture & Engineering Summer Camp. The camp moved to LA Southwest College. In 2016 with continued growth the camp evolved into a proven efficient program with returning campers – 86 strong. In 2017 with 115 campers & 2018 with 125 campers the camp experienced exponential growth. The camp’s growth leads to the development of a second level of learning with experienced campers and highly gifted students developing projects using CAD. The curriculum expansion included Urban Planning and Engineering activities, homework challenges and year-round camp sessions. In 2019 we reach our 10th year and have taken the summer camp from VISION TO REALITY! To facilitate growth and the development of our next-level programming the camp moved to its new home at East Los Angeles College (ELAC). With this move, we were able to expand our program to include the Architectural Boot Camp a year-round intensive architectural program for high school students.
The program is designed to expose youth to the built environment. Students are introduced to the people, professions, and ideas that make up the design profession. We guide students through all stages of design using provoking and fun exercises. Students investigate through drawing and model building, analyze through diagramming and research, and engage through interviews and site visits. By the program’s conclusion, students present a fully essential project that addresses an issue in their city.
SoCal NOMA’s primary partnership is with the communities it serves. Community leaders including civic organizations, government officials, business owners, designers, artists, and residents are all encouraged to participate throughout the development of SoCal NOMA’s projects and initiatives. The Project Pipeline programs are focused on local community-based issues and opportunities. The program is built to provide students with a platform to discuss, analyze, and interpret the impact of design, art, and architecture in the built environment through a focused curriculum and creative outcomes. We believe that architecture is personal and collaborative, logical and creative, and it is the relationship between these modalities that defines design thinking and in turn, defines the Project Pipeline workshops.
SoCal NOMA believes that early and sustained architectural educational programs are vital to building strong and vibrant communities. SoCal NOMA is dedicated to encouraging interested high school students in career path opportunities within architecture, supporting the efforts of college students already enrolled in architectural education programs, provide sustained engagement recent grads and interns in the profession, and to educating the public at large about the career possibilities provided by our field.
Project Pipeline serves a diverse population of students, all of whom are underrepresented in the design field. Our program better prepares students for college and life beyond. Through project pipeline, youth grasp the significance of architecture in their daily lives, as well as the broader cultural, social, and historical implications. They develop skills and tools to contribute to their community critically and constructively. Project Pipeline has served more than 10,000 students over the last decade.
A SoCal NOMA camp volunteer is an important part of the success of the camp as they serve as role models and knowledgeable ambassadors for the industry. Willing to serve? Add your name to the list!
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