Design LAB

(Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati)

Design LAB is a FREE, hands-on K-8 education program offered to teachers in the Cincinnati area that is focused on building awareness, knowledge, and community.

Contact Info


Educator: Christen Lubbers, Executive Director

Phone: (513) 421-4469


Organization Offerings

Design LAB is tailored to broaden and deepen student awareness, appreciation, and active participation in our natural and built environments. Local professionals team with educators to guide students through a real-world, themed design problem, emphasizing the development of: research, critical thinking, financial literacy, problem solving, verbal and visual communication, creative expression, collaborative team-building, STEM and presentation skills.

This year, we have altered the program to fit current needs. It is usually a 16-week, in-class program. To better accommodate classrooms this year, we are shortening the program – it will include 4 virtual lessons that can be done in a classroom setting or at home on your own time. They will be available through YouTube. Starting at the beginning of March, volunteers will be available to help with the building process of the program. Each classroom will be matched with a volunteer and students who sign up as individuals will sign up for a day/time where they can meet with a volunteer and other students via a virtual platform. Each classroom session is approximately 45-60 minutes, and is assisted in partnership with the lead educator. Essential materials including the Educator & Volunteer Resource Guide, PowerPoint kick-off presentation and tri-folds are provided by Design LAB.

Students will be challenged to research, design and build models of dwellings. As in previous years, students will have the opportunity to create a 24″x 24″ three-dimensional model and tri-fold panels for students to describe and document their creative process including: concept images, sketches/drawings, vocabulary, budgeting, written data, planning, etc. At the end of the work period, submitted projects will be displayed during Design LAB Exhibit Week where students may present their ideas, methodology, and solutions. For 2021, this exhibit may be on Facebook as it was in 2020 or, if safe by that time, could be held at the Cincinnati Library’s Downtown Branch.

Grades, Ages Served

  • Elementary

  • Middle School

  • Home School K-8th

Counties Served

  • Hamilton

  • Butler

  • Warren

  • Clinton

  • Brown

  • Clermont

  • Boone

  • Kenton

  • Campbell