FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Carlo Caccavale AIA|Los Angeles Tel: 213.639.

0763 Email: carlo@aialosangeles.org www.aialosangeles.org AIA|LA & Para Los Niños Wrap Up Semester-Long Partnership with “Playgrounds of the Future” Los Angeles, CA – (May 24, 2012) The last Para Los Niños and AIA|LA Mentors class was held on May 11, 2012. Back in November AIA Los Angeles (AIA|LA) and Para Los Niños (PLN) announced a call for architects to help at-risk innercity children better understand their urban environment through architecture and design. The proponent of the partnership, AIA|LA Associate Director, Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIA|LA, said that the union seemed more than natural, “When I met with the PLN Director of Foundation Relations, Yoon S. Choi, last year, it was obvious to us that AIA|LA and PLN should team up to help underprivileged children learn about architecture and urban design.” Titus Campos, Superintendent of Education for Para Los Niños, couldn’t agree more: “This partnership between AIA|LA and PLN is a powerful example of the benefit for working professionals collaborating with educators in order to prepare our students for the 21st Century.” After an overwhelming response from AIA|LA

membership, 24 mentors were locked in to lead 2 classes of 16 sixth graders (32 total). The Mentors designed a curriculum that introduced students to the concept of architecture and the profession. Students were asked to measure and draw their own bedrooms or sleeping areas, and then design their own "fantasy bedrooms" to scale. For their final project, students designed a new playground for the school. The final session included an exhibit displaying student's "playgrounds of the future" projects, ending with students’ acceptance of certificates for the semester’s course. It is safe to say that the interchange was very rewarding for the mentors, but it also proved just as important for the students. After a few class sessions, students began to make connections to lessons learned in other classes such as geometry. Students also gained an enhanced vocabulary while learning new architecture terminology And not surprisingly, the more the teachers dedicated to the courses, the more the students’ behavior and attention improved. Imre Takacs, a 35-year veteran of Gensler and very enthusiastic mentor (pictured left) sadly passed away this past weekend. Expressing the sense of personal fulfillment he received while teaching at PLN, he shared “Hopefully all these beautiful children gained another perspective in life and saw new opportunities which are waiting for them out there in the big world. For me personally the beauty and bottom line of these past few months of experience is that I also learned a lot.” It is AIA|LA’s hope that more members take on the role that Imre and the architects listed below took, to help provide underprivileged children with a chance to see how architecture and design can change and improve lives. Participating AIA|LA Members included:  Fred Case - Clark Construction Group  Lee Brennan - Cunningham Group Architecture  Ellen Lanet - Ellen Lanet, Architect  Imre Takacs - Gensler  Sevan Benlian - Gensler  Nick Christopher - Gensler  Dara Douraghi - Gensler

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Charrisse Johnston - Gensler Angelica Marquez - IBI Group Monica Rodriquez - Killefer Flammang Architects Lydia Vilppu - Lydia Vilppu Architecture Jodie Mendelson - Puchlik Design Associates Bamik Pegahi - RBB Architects Kevin Boots - RBB Architects Hilary Babcock - Richard Meier & Partners Rick Leslie - Rick Leslie Architects Andre Krause - Shimoda Design Group Jhiah Chang - ZGF Architects Kristi Litton - ZGF Architects Terri Moore - ZGF Architects Kate Moxham Zoe Post Norah MacLeod Kevin Wronske Patrick Fromm

If you would like to be a part of this fantastic team, please contact Carlo Caccavale at mailto:carlo@aialosangeles.org for more information. ###

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