Fay Jones School's Summer Design Camp Sees Record Attendance in Four Locations

A Design Camp student sketches on the terrace of Vol Walker Hall during the June camp held on the University of Arkansas campus.
Photo by Chase Reavis

A Design Camp student sketches on the terrace of Vol Walker Hall during the June camp held on the University of Arkansas campus.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Each June, the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design hosts weeklong Design Camps in several cities across the state to engage youth in the design professions.

This year, 145 students attended the camps, the largest number of campers in the program's history. Of those students, 98 attended the Fayetteville camp on the University of Arkansas campus, which is up from about 80 students in 2017.

"We had an amazing turnout and very enthusiastic students in all of our locations," said Alison Turner, clinical assistant professor of architecture and the school's director of community education.

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.

"The camps have grown a little bit each year," Turner said. "When we first started, we had about 20 to 30 students in Fayetteville."

Over the years, the Fay Jones School started marketing the camp more aggressively and adding locations — first Hot Springs, then Little Rock, and finally Wilson in 2016. Turner said the camps grew steadily, especially as word about them spread.

Following the success of this year, the 2019 Design Camp will have even more changes. The Fayetteville camp will expand to two weeklong sessions, and another camp will be added at a fifth location.

"There is always something new for Design Camp," Turner said.

This summer's Design Camp provided students a chance to learn about architecture and design and to explore what those look like as potential future careers. Each session incorporated the three disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and interior design and offered projects that included all three design areas.

Turner and other Fay Jones School faculty members led Design Camp sessions with the help of teaching assistants who are current students in the Fay Jones School. Faculty members from all three departments collaborated to develop the curriculum and student projects.

In addition to learning the basic design principles, many of the camps incorporated their surroundings in the lessons. Students in the Hot Springs camp got a more detailed look at landscape architecture concepts because the camp was set in Garvan Woodland Gardens, the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas, which is also part of the Fay Jones School. The Little Rock camp provided an opportunity to look at urban design and the issues that come with being in a city, with students working from a space in the Arkansas Studies Institute in downtown Little Rock.

The students were also able to see the concepts they learned in camp applied to completed projects. One day of each camp week was reserved for field trips to visit architecture and design projects, as well as to meet local practitioners, many of whom are school alumni. The students also had to apply the concepts by designing a project and presenting it at the end of the week.

For some students, Design Camp helps them decide on a career path. Turner said there are about 26 current Fay Jones School students who have attended Design Camp, including 19 first-year design students who started this fall semester.

"We are starting to see a significant impact on our enrollment from Design Camp," Turner said.

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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