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Cityscapes: High School Kids Dream Big

Notes from Charles Linn, FAIA, Managing Senior Editor

When Mary Donovan, a teacher at the School For the Physical City, New York, told me that a group of students at the high school had built models of utopian cities, I knew I had to take a look. The young urban designers are students of Cesar Medina, who is a Spanish teacher at the school. Judith Scott is the principal.

"The assignment," he said, "was for each student to design their dream city, and to build a model of it. Then they had to write a description of it in English, and translate it into Spanish." Mr. Medina made the assignment because he has noted that when the students create something that is meaningful to them personally, the descriptions they write are much more rich and colorful than when they write descriptions of abstract objects.

The accompanying photographs and essays show these high school students have incorporated into their models many of the things that make cities interesting and livable. The descriptions they wrote are captivating.

When pouring over copies of Record, some students were amazed and delighted that there is actually is an occupation called editor, and that people like me earn our living writing about buildings that other people design. I was forced to admit that Record does not yet come in a Spanish edition, although I am convinced that one day there will be one. Perhaps one of Mr. Medina’s creative and articulate former pupils will run it!

Click the images below to see the students' projects and essays.

Alexander Sari
Joathan Chin
Jomathan Love
Joshua Gómez
Michael Hernández
Neha
Tyagi
Deric Brown

 

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