The Center for Architecture and Design Looks to Expand Design Education Curriculum to Reach More Students in Philadelphia
The Center for Architecture and Design (Center) is pleased to welcome Michael Spain, Associate AIA, NOMA, as the new Director of Design Education. In this role, Michael will be responsible for expanding and implementing the K-12 student design education programming throughout Philadelphia. The Center has a 40-year history of offering design education in various forms. Still, in the last three years, the organization's focus shifted to providing underserved youth in Philadelphia classrooms with access to design education. Michael's day to day activities will include curriculum development, program design, volunteer outreach, donor cultivation, and stakeholder engagement. The position allows Michael to combine his experience as a designer with his passion for education and his commitment to strengthening the industry pipeline for black, Indigenous, and people of color.
Michael Spain is an architectural designer with experience working for some of Philadelphia's most prestigious architecture firms, most recently as Design Director at D2, a firm noted for their work on projects such as Five Below Headquarters, the Wills Eye Hospital Most Lab, and The Lycra Company. His 16 years of teaching as an adjunct professor of architectural design at Jefferson University's College of Architecture and the Built Environment garnered him the Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award. He is a key contributor for several industry organizations, including serving as co-chair of the Center's Architecture in Education program; director of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (PhilaNOMA); and as the program and curriculum developer for PhilaNOMA's CAMP Sustain-Ability – a 5-6-week summer program focusing on exposing students to the field of architecture and the built environment.
Rebecca Johnson, the Center's executive director, expressed her excitement over the vital addition to her staff, "Michael's expertise, passion, and relationships within the architectural community here in Philadelphia will expand the Center's opportunities exponentially," she said. "His presence here will rapidly push the needle towards realizing our goal of providing design education to every student in Philadelphia. I'm humbled and honored that Michael decided to join us in this vital work."
Michael's dedication to the design and architectural communities is exhibited through his volunteerism on several boards and committees, including AIA Philadelphia's Design Committee and Associate Committee; founding Board Member of Philadelphia's Charter High School for Architecture and Design, and the Community Design Collaborative's Advisory Council. He is also the 2019 recipient of the Thomas U Walter Award given by AIA Philadelphia in recognition of his contributions to the architectural community.