Yale Day of Service Recap: The Architect is IN

2018 Yale Day of Service: The Architect is IN 

Multiple Sites Yale School of Architecture article

The Architect Is IN is a project held in conjunction with the annual Yale Day of Service. It was first conceived from a desire to connect Yale architectural alumni with other alumni in the Yale community who could benefit from a day of donated professional architecture, planning, and design services.

This volunteer workshop service event—first held in 2014 in New York, Washington DC, and Boston—was created to serve local non-profit organizations who are affiliated with Yale or Yale alumni in some way, and it occurs at various locations and at different scales across the globe. Last year it was opened up to serve any and all non-profit organizations, with or without a Yale alumni affiliation.

The skills and talents of volunteer architects (of all ages and backgrounds) are matched with local community service and non-profit organizations who are most in need of assistance. The resulting service opportunities are likely to be very diverse and unique.

The service workshops aim to be rewarding to all participants wanting one day of volunteer service. Beyond that, they educate all of the participants in a more meaningful and long-term way about what the architectural profession can provide, and who can positively be affected by them on a daily basis.

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Recap from Bob Tucker (M.Arch ’89) & Celia Imrey (M.Arch ’93):

The Architect is IN 2018, had sites in 9 cities this year with 20 non-profits receiving pro-bono design expertise. Volunteers from a wide range of Yale classes helped organizations with projects scaling from Master Plans for new campuses to landscape design to interior renovations. New York City had a large turnout this year, as did New Haven, Lexington KY, Hudson Valley NY, and Chapel Hill NC- and Singapore! Some of the projects were: a new native American museum building, a school campus in Nicaragua, an equestrian therapy barn, various office renovations, and garden improvements at a senior housing building. They also helped a group trying to establish a historical marker about the slave trade in Newport RI. The Hudson Valley site had a small group of volunteers planning Main Street in Beacon, NY. Lexington KY volunteers worked on office space for a non-profit that focuses on poverty in Appalachia. The Chapel Hill group worked on projects for a farmers market and an eco-village. In Singapore, volunteers were able to work with 7 non-profits that came with a wide range of projects.

During these sessions, the non-profits bring photos, plans, briefs of their projects in need of design assistance, as much information as possible. They meet with small groups of architects who then brainstorm the project, creating drawings, sketches, and often helping the non-profits with important feasibility information about budgets, schedules, contractors and specifications. Often longer-term relationships are formed.

We are proud the Architect is IN is a Yale success story. Next year also hope to add a few more cities, and to keep the ones we had this year and help them grow.