ArchiASM is a program being offered through After School Matters and Voice of the City called Architecture & Design: Learning through the Built Environment. The program began in 2007 and has been at Voice of the City since 2008. Voice of the City, founded in 1999, is an arts alliance that builds community through making art and teaching art. The alliance unites the finest Chicago artists with each other and the residents of Logan Square and adjacent communities, connecting quality arts experiences to community. The Architecture and Design program is an extension of that mission, with an emphasis on connecting teens to their communities by developing a better understanding of the design of the built environment.
The Architecture and Design program aims to develop a civic literacy with teens in order to empower them to have a stake in their surroundings. We do this by teaching them the tools that architects, designers, and planners utilize in everyday practices, demonstrating how those tools are used to shape their own environment, and how they can be used to effect positive change in their communities. We emphasize healthy, socially responsible, and environmentally conscious design practices/projects that utilize the reduction of waste, re-use of materials, and material innovation. The end goal is to complete a design and build project of a to-be-determined scale that embodies as many of these aspects as possible.