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Community | Omar Bailey, AIA at Briargate Elementary School


On January 6th, Omar Bailey, AIA, LEED AP visited Briargate Elementary School to teach first grade students what it is like to be an architect. Since the visit was part of Community Week, Omar discussed how architects must work with the client, users of the building, and surrounding community to understand the needs and functionality of the building. The ultimate design of the building is directly affected by our ability to communicate effectively and help people reach consensus.

To show students that designs will change according to the needs of the client, Omar led students through an activity to design their own home. Each child was given some graph paper and room cut outs. Each child was told to provide a layout of their rooms and discuss what influenced their layout designs. In addition, each child was given two blank rooms to design for their own needs. No two layouts were the same, but toy rooms are very popular among first graders in 2016!

At the end of the exercise, the students were shown 3-D design models. The models help the client visualize the design with greater ease and showcase the evolution of the design.

Finally, throughout the design and construction of the building, Omar explained it is the architect that must lead the team of engineers, interior designers, and landscape architects to complete the building to the satisfaction of the client. Not only must the design be creative, beautiful and address the client’s needs, but it must also be safe and function properly. Students appreciated the architect’s role as the design leader. Hopefully, we have a new classroom of students interested in STEM careers and, in particular, architecture!

Contact Omar Bailey, AIA, LEED AP to discuss the importance of architects being involved in the design and construction of our school environments.

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