Tree House Design Workshop

At the end of the Fall 2017 semester, graduate students from RISD's 2 year Master of Industrial Design program collaborated, planned and ran a workshop at Achievement First Iluminar Mayoral Academy Elementary. The intention of the workshop was introduce the breadth of design to young minds, and the students also learned a lot about the design interactions as well. 


The imaginative tree house design workshop involved working with and engaging elementary school participants, 1st to 3rd graders, aged between 8-10 years. During the workshop, the young participants were introduced to the designer’s mindset through a short presentation on how tree houses could be imagined and constructed, and what significant architectural elements holds structures up. Followed this, participants had a quick sketching session to roughly illustrate their ideas prior to building a physical model of their dream tree house. 

After finishing their modeling session each participant was asked to imagine where their tree house would exist. The post-documentation team worked in photoshop to place each tree house in their respective imagined places (as seen below).

Thank you to all 30 elementary school participants for the remarkable effort that they put into their work. Also a special thank you to Miss Luciano for giving us this opportunity to work with her students and to help us understand more about kid’s imaginations. 


Organizers: Tareq Alzawawi, Alan Aronica, Shreyans Bhandari, Tammu Do, Rebecca Erde, Carl-Gustaf Ewerbring, Yunyao Gu, Cheng-Hao Hsieh, Yu Mo, Shrikant Ramanathan, Sushant Shivaram, Kun Yin

Maureen Buttenheim