Fay Jones School's Design Camp Planned for Four Cities Across Arkansas this Summer

Design Camp students and instructors leave campus for a walking tour of downtown Fayetteville, city trails and the farmers' market during the 2017 summer camp.
Whit Pruitt

Design Camp students and instructors leave campus for a walking tour of downtown Fayetteville, city trails and the farmers' market during the 2017 summer camp.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design will host four Design Camp sessions this summer in four cities around the state. These weeklong sessions will take place in June in Fayetteville, Hot Springs, Little Rock and Wilson. The Fayetteville camp is already filled, and online registration for the other camps is available on the school's website.

Design Camp offers students a chance to learn about architecture and design and to explore what those look like as potential future careers. As the camp has gained popularity over the years, it has evolved in many ways — extending hours, adding locations, offering more challenging design projects for advanced students, and providing a residential option on the University of Arkansas campus.

Each Design Camp session incorporates the three disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and interior design and offers projects that include all three design areas, said Alison Turner, clinical assistant professor of architecture and Design Camp director. Students have the chance to learn new skills, including sketching and observation, how to analyze a site, and how to approach a design problem from conception and early ideation through completion, most often in the form of scale models and drawings.

The four camp sessions will be held from June 11-15 on the U of A campus in Fayetteville; from June 18-22 at Arkansas Studies Institute in Little Rock; and from June 25-29 at both Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs and The Delta School in Wilson.

The Fayetteville, Little Rock and Hot Springs camps are for students going into ninth through 12th grades, while the Wilson camp is for students going into third through 12th grades.

Each area of design has inspired a camp location: Hot Springs focuses more on landscape architecture, Little Rock focuses on the urban aspects of design, and Fayetteville offers the perspective of design on campus and in various areas of the community. The camp in Wilson is located at The Delta School, and it takes advantage of their curriculum and resources, which include a maker space.

"We tend to split our time between being in the studios in Vol Walker Hall (or our temporary studio spaces at other locations) and being out in the environment — whether we are on campus in Fayetteville, observing the urban landscape in downtown Little Rock, exploring Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs or taking advantage of the Delta School campus in Wilson," Turner said. "At each of our camps, we also take one day of the week for a field trip to visit architecture and design projects, as well as to meet local practitioners."

For the third year, the Fayetteville camp offers a residential option and an advanced level of instruction for returning students or those more experienced in art and design. Students choose to only attend the day camp, which will end each day at 4 p.m., or to also stay overnight in a residence hall on campus. The residential option gives students more time to work on projects and enables them to better balance the design work and activities of camp. Fay Jones School students will serve as counselors for the overnight campers, who will stay in a campus residence hall.

Last year, the Fayetteville camp had more than 80 students, with about half of them in the residential portion. The overnight option has allowed the Fayetteville camp to become a destination for students from a broader geographic area. This year, students from Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas plan to come to Fayetteville.

"The residential option allows students to be fully immersed in the campus experience," Turner said. "The students stay in the dorms and eat at the cafeteria on campus for most meals. They will have the chance to explore the campus after camp in the evenings with fun, supervised activities, which may include a movie night in the auditorium at Vol Walker Hall, rock climbing and the student recreation center, playing sports on the lawns on campus, or going to Dickson Street to get ice cream or explore the Dickson Street Bookshop."

Some students attend Design Camp for multiple years, so the school created an advanced track to give returning students, or those with more developed art and design skills, a slightly different experience that engages them on a deeper level.

"The advanced camp allows a more rigorous and in-depth look at architecture and design for those students who have attended our camp before, or students who have extensive experience with architecture and design through independent study or classes in school," Turner said. "The advanced camp also has more of a focus on what a career in these professions would be like, and the projects the students work on during the week are more complex and challenging." 

Design Camp is part of the school's community outreach, which aims to provide general design education to young students and other community members. Even if those who attend camp don't choose design as a career path, they will have a broader appreciation of it in their lives. Turner said one objective of the camp is to give students a sneak preview of what life is like as a student in the Fay Jones School or to have a career in one of these professions. However, it also introduces students to university life and shows them what it takes to prepare for and excel at the U of A.

Fay Jones School faculty members and students also help with Design Camp in various ways. Faculty members from all three departments develop the curriculum and lead projects and activities during the camp. They collaborate and plan all year to decide how the three design areas will be incorporated into the selected project. Fay Jones School student teaching assistants assist these faculty instructors. There is typically one faculty member for every 15 students, and one teaching assistant for every 10 students.

The camp is $350 for regular registration by May 25. A limited number of need-based full and partial scholarships are available. Details and registration links can be found on the Design Camp page on the school's website.

Design Camp is supported by a grant from the U of A Women's Giving Circle.

For more information, contact Judy Stone at jkstone@uark.edu or 479-575-2399.


Shawnya Meyers, digital media specialist
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4744, slmeyers@uark.edu

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4704, mparks17@uark.edu


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