This course will explore a unique model for community‐engaged architecture education while engaging the confluence of history, preservation, hands‐on skill building, design and construction.
We will use the building at 150 Edward Street in downtown Buffalo as a teaching tool and learning environment. The building—a former church, originally constructed around 1870 and altered several times—is a contributing structure to a historic district. It was vacant from 2002‐2014 and is now home to Assembly House 150, a not‐for‐profit art and architecture project space that specializes in the design and display of imaginative environments, furnishings, and aesthetic objects, while hosting public exhibitions, educational programs and events that enhance the sense of wonder within everyday surroundings.
The primary program of Assembly House 150 is the Society for the Advancement of Construction Related Arts (SACRA). SACRA is a 15‐week skill‐building initiative in carpentry and woodworking that has been developed in collaboration with the Albright‐Knox Art Gallery. SACRA teaches skills in craftsmanship and construction to unemployed city residents, providing career opportunities to members of under‐resourced communities while helping to shape a culture of excellence in craftsmanship, construction and design. Participants in this course will engage with the building—and with the community of builders—at Assembly House 150. We will collectively explore the totality of this environment as an assemblage of various social and material histories, in order to potential futures for the city and its inhabitants.