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Architecture for Play: Engaging the Next Generation at the AIA National Convention

Why did Houzz and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) put a playhouse at the center of this year’s AIA National Convention in Philadelphia? To inspire the next generation of professionals to appreciate the power of great architecture, and provide happy, playful moments to children in need.

The inaugural PlayHouzz 2016 charitable design competition challenged architects, students and design enthusiasts to create playhouses with a sense of adventure. Submissions were showcased to the Houzz community of more than 40 million monthly unique users, who voted for their favorites among over 400 entries from around the world. The winning playhouses will be built and donated to charitable organizations serving underprivileged kids.

This year’s top winner, “Explore Adventure,” was designed by Edgardo Jorge-Ortiz, AIA, NCARB, LEED. His playhouse will allow children to jump, climb, crawl and slide, all while exploring different colors, patterns and textures. Sustainable design-build firm Kole Made LLC brought Edgardo’s design to life. The playhouse will be donated to Families Forward Philadelphia, the largest emergency shelter for families in the city.


Edgaro joined PlayHouzz runner-up Adam Weintraub, AIA (co-owner of Koko Architecture + Design and designer of the “Hachi House” playhouse) and Bob Borson, AIA, LEED, AP (creator of Life of an Architect) on a panel moderated by Houzz’s Liza Hausman on how architecture impacts children at an early age, how to approach design when your client is a child, and what the architecture community can do to foster the next generation of architects.


Check out the entire PlayHouzz 2016 showcase here.

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