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Learning By Design programs of the BSA Foundation draw on the power of architecture and design to build within each child an essential structure for learning and creating that will inform every endeavor in their lives. We bring design activities focusing on people, places and spaces into the heart of K-12 learning; enable children, parents and architects to learn and design together; and build a strong community dedicated to K-12 architecture and design education. 

BSA Foundation: Inspiring vision

BSA Foundation programs reach Boston’s children and families. Family Design Days inspire children and families through design thinking. This Foundation program allows children to explore and formulate ideas about their communities, architecture, and design as they build bridges, green buildings, and, during a special session called KidsBuild!, an entire city from the ground up.

Summer STEAM

During the summer of 2018, youth programs of the BSA Foundation will engage more than 150 5-8 grade students from underserved Boston neighborhoods in hands-on design activities at BSA Space, home to the BSA Foundation and the BSA. Summer STEAM is supported in part by a K-8 Learning By Design grant, a program developed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and funded by  the Armstrong World Industries (AWI) Foundation. In these workshops, led by professional Architects, students will apply academic content to real-world problems facing the city of Boston. 
The new program dovetails with the BSA Foundation’s ongoing goal of providing access to design education to all students in Greater Boston. 


We Design Together

In May 2017, youth programs at BSA Space received a generous award from The Architects Foundation and Armstrong World Industries Foundation to support We Design Together, an innovative partnership with Boston Public Schools. The goals of the program include: raising awareness and appreciation of architecture and design to children who may have never heard of it; allowing architects to teach their unique skill sets (design thinking and collaboration); and assisting the BPS with meeting its goal of introducing students at an early age to community members representing multiple life opportunities. 

By creating a curriculum for kindergarten students, We Design Together will serve students who may otherwise not have the opportunity for a design education experience, nor work with or hear from an architect.

During the 2017-2018 school year, the We Design Together program will be piloted in classrooms throughout Boston. 

Learn more about BSA Foundation initiatives

Family Design Days 

10:30 am–12:30 pm 
BSA Space (290 Congress Street, Boston)

Family Design Days encourage children and adults to observe, explore, and design together. In these two hour hands-on workshops, families are introduced to architecture and design through exhibition tours, walking tours, or slide shows, and then complete a hands-on design activity. Architects and Design Educators lead the activities focused on the built environment of Boston and the world. Family Design Days take place one Saturday a month at BSA Space (unless otherwise noted) and are designed for children ages five to 13 years old, accompanied by an adult—a maximum ratio of 3 children per 1 adult will be required. Registration strongly recommended.  

Student Design Days 

10:00 am–4:30 pm 
BSA Space (290 Congress Street, Boston)

Student Design Days are two hour workshops for Grade 3-8 groups visiting BSA Space on Atlantic Wharf. Programs enable students to work with professional architects on real world design projects. Programs begin with an exhibition tour, neighborhood walk, or interactive slide presentation and end with a hands-on design project for student teams. For Grades 3-8, maximum 25 students per visit.

Contact for more information.

Lead supporters of youth design education through Provoking Change Legacy Circle membership:

Boston Properties    HMFH Architects


Past Events

Family Design Day - Treehouses
May 18, 2019 | 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Kids building
April 7, 2019 (All day)