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SFAI Design Workshop

By July 1, 2017 January 10th, 2020 No Comments

SFAI is happy to announce a hugely successful Design Workshop this summer! Design Workshop is an immersive, one-month, introductory design and building workshop for high school and early college age students. Participating students learned new skills such as sketching, model making, mapping, interviewing, critique and reflection exercises, and designing for social justice.


They worked closely with faculty from SFAI and the Sustainable Native Communities, SFAI artists in residence, MAKE Santa Fe, and the Academy for the Love of Learning to build a mobile art pod, which was displayed at the AHA Art of the Machine Festival on July 1!

Check out this video to see the students and faculty hard at work at the amazing MAKE Santa Fe workshop.


Thanks to participating students Haven Sandoval, Josh Wertheim, Leina Gries, Pearl Spear, and Avinash DeGiulio; faculty Joseph Kunkel, Nathaniel Corum and Jamie Blosser; Mayrah Udvardi, TA; Franco Andres, Kourtney Andar, and Isaac Watts of SFAI; Zane Fischer and Ginger Richardson of MAKE Santa Fe; Aaron Stern and Randle Charles from the Academy for the Love of Learning; Shannon Murphy and Daniel Werwath from AHA! and all participating SFAI residents and Siler Road neighbors.




Design Workshop is an exciting four-week program that combines design, mapping, architecture, and hands on building experience. Students have the opportunity to design and build a mobile art project at MAKE Santa Fe at the end of the program, that will debut at the Art of the Machine this summer. Workshops run from June 5-30, 9AM-4PM Monday through Thursdays. SFAI offers both full and partial scholarships.  Design Workshop is open to high school  and college age students. Students earn dual high school and college credit through Santa Fe Community College.

SFAI DESIGN WORKSHOP inspires high school and college students to see that they have a real, tangible role to play in transforming communities. Participants will view the world in a holistic way and experience how art, architecture, culture, design, and place come together in the practice of designing with community. How can youth engage with their communities in a thoughtful and creative manner? How can creativity, building skills, and design thinking be seen as an instrument for social change? How can we teach an active form of empathy to our next generation? SFAI DESIGN WORKSHOP addresses these critical questions through applied design.


“Design Workshop is a program where teens are given the opportunity to present their ideas and gain a lot of knowledge and ideas while also having tough challenges and overcoming them.” MAYA 11th Grader

“It’s a program people of all ages can collaborate to invent and create many different structures, sculptures, and models. The ideas & concepts shared made this workshop fantastic!” THOMAS College Freshman

“It’s brilliant, it’s innovative, and it’s definitely challenging.” JUSTICE  12th Grader

“It was a lot of fun learning from different people with different skill sets and different ways of teaching… It was fun being able to go to all the different places and learn so much about how to interpret architecture.” RUBY 11th Grader

“I most enjoyed working collaboratively with peers to create and problem solve. I also enjoyed the weekly presentations & critiques. Along with our instructors’ personal work experience. The readings were also very interesting and opened my eyes to many things I hadn’t thought about.” NOAH, 10th Grader

“It was mentally challenging working on different ideas and the ideas and models we did… It was really cool getting to see design from a different perspective.” LUIZ  11TH GRADER


JOSEPH KUNKEL, a Northern Cheyenne tribal member, is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative (SNCC), a nonprofit design and advocacy organization. He is a community designer and educator working on building capacity in Indian Country. As an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, Joseph worked directly with the SNCC and the Santo Domingo Tribal Housing Authority (SDTHA). His career has ranged from material research and fabrication, to community based planning, design and development. Joseph has taught both undergraduate and graduate level architectural design studios, and is lead faculty for SFAI Design Workshop.

JAMIE BLOSSER, Executive Director of SFAI, is an architect with over 15 years experience in community engaged design. Her community design work with Ohkay Owingeh since 2000 led to revitalization of their historic plaza, and has been published in several magazines and books, including Architectural Record and the Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook. Jamie founded the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative, and is Executive Producer of a PBS Natural Heroes documentary. She received her Masters in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Blosser has given guest lectures and acted as a visiting studio critic at University of New Mexico, the University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard Graduate School of Design.

ZANE FISCHER is the principal of Extraordinary Structures and founding board member of MAKE Santa Fe., which is a nonprofit community workspace where people can access tools, resources and workshops in order to make, repair, invent or create anything they can dream. MAKE Santa Fe will provide orientation and training in the use of their equipment and facilities.

NATHANIEL CORUM, is an architect serving as the Design Director of the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative (SNCC). His built work includes deep green community facilities and off-grid straw bale housing in the Northern Plains and the American Southwest. A planner and educator, he focuses on design-build initiatives with community partners. Corum has connected more than 500 students, from over 20 universities to real-world humanitarian and community design challenges.



We need your help to invest in our local youth and their futures by providing opportunities for applied design! Design Workshop provides introductory design and building skills to high school and college age students. We are asking for your help to sponsor a scholarship, to allow more deserving students to participate in this unique program! For more information, write to us at, call 505.424.5050, or download the informational flyer here.


Design Workshop is an exciting four-week program that combines design, architecture, and hands on building experience. Students have the opportunity to design and build a project at the end of the program, using facilities at MAKE Santa Fe. Workshops run from June 5-30, 9AM-4PM Monday through Thursdays. We offer both full and partial scholarships.  Design Workshop is open to high school  and college age students. Students earn dual high school and college credit through Santa Fe Community College.


Four weeks and 100+ hours of instruction and immersion in real world, project-based learning and skills building; the guidance of  gifted faculty made up of professional architects, designers, and planners;  portfolio-level work; dual high school and college credit; groundbreaking dialogue; design studio skills, including prototype fabrication; participation in, and readiness for, the larger new design economy. Full lunch and all materials included. Transportation to any field / site visits are provided.

Who can apply?

Local high school & college age youth in or around Santa Fe may apply. Applicants must demonstrate passion, commitment, and a desire to learn and be part of a creative team in order to be considered.

What are the dates and hours of the workshop?

SFAI DESIGN WORKSHOP will be held from JUNE 5-30, 2017. Participants will attend Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm. There will be no workshop on Fridays except for the final week.

What is the cost of the workshop?

Full tuition is $975.  We offer both full and partial need-based scholarships, and we encourage everyone to apply!

Is there financial aid available?

Yes. Applicants in need of financial aid must provide a copy of their family’s 2015 federal income tax return  from both custodial and non-custodial parents, and for each step-parent, guardian or adult wage earner living in the home. Please also include notification of any significant income change for any of the above in 2016.

Who will teach the workshop?

SFAI DESIGN WORKSHOP will be taught by professional architects, designers, and makers.

What if I am an English Language Learner (ELL)?

While SFAI hopes to provide bilingual education opportunities in the future, we are able to offer SFAI DESIGN WORKSHOP in English only at this time.

What if I have special needs or am differently abled?

SFAI does not discriminate on the basis of ability, and students who are differently abled, with special needs, are encouraged to apply. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with regard to viability of participation due to the physical nature of the curriculum.

What will design skills teach me?

Design is an approach to creatively solving problems and discovering new opportunities along the way. By thinking critically and empathetically, we are more able to question, to vary perspectives, and to use 2 and 3 dimensional tools to create potential solutions to specific problems. Design generates an environment of experimentation and poses the question of how the built environment can positively impact people’s lives.

Is this considered a pre-college program?

Yes. SFAI DESIGN WORKSHOP will provide a rigorous, skills-based curriculum in which participants work in the real world and demonstrate and apply their knowledge. Participants will cultivate 21st century leadership skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, creative expression, effective communication, and project management. Completion of SFAI DESIGN WORKSHOP should be highlighted on participants resumes and within their portfolios.

Will I receive academic credit for the workshop?

Yes. Upon successful completion of SFAI DESIGN WORKSHOP participants may earn Dual Credit for both high school credit and three credit hours from Santa Fe Community College. In order to receive Dual Credit, students must submit the online SFCC Admission Form as well as complete a dual credit request form and have it approved by the appropriate high school representative prior to the beginning of the program. SEE DUAL CREDIT NOTES BELOW.

What forms of payment are acceptable?

Payment can be made via check, cash, credit card, or Paypal. Checks should be made out to Santa Fe Art Institute, or SFAI.

What are the payment deadlines?

Cost for the entire program is $975, and includes a deposit of $150 due within two weeks of acceptance. Payment must be made in full by 5 pm on Friday, June 2. Payment plan options beyond June 2 must be made with SFAI administration on an individual basis. Need based scholarships are available.

What is the refund policy?

Full or partial refunds will be made only in case of medical or family emergency with valid notification at the discretion of SFAI administration.

Is this a day program or a residency program?

This is a day program only.

Can I arrive early and stay late?

Participants may arrive at 8:30 am and stay until 4:30 pm if needed. SFAI cannot make any accommodations beyond that.

Do I need recommendations or references?

All applicants must provide two letters of recommendation from a teacher, a counselor, a coach, or a supervisor. Letters of recommendation from friends or family members will not be accepted.

Is there a GPA requirement?

Students with a GPA of 2.0 or higher at time of application will be given preference. If you have a GPA of lower than 2.0 and you truly believe that you have something to offer and something to gain from participating in SFAI DESIGN WORKSHOP, please include a reasonable explanation in your personal statement, which is part of the application.

Can I attend part of the workshop?

No. It is required that participants commit to the entire four weeks.

What is the attendance policy?

It is expected that participants arrive on time and stay for the duration of the day. It is also expected that participants will notify workshop faculty regarding lateness or absence. Upon a participant’s third late arrival or absence, a family conference will be held to determine level of commitment and next steps.

Where will the workshop be held?

The workshop will be held at SFAI, on the campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD), 1600 St. Michael’s Drive, and at MAKE Santa Fe, at 2879 All Trades Road.

Will transportation be provided?

Participants are expected to arrive at SFAI on their own each workshop day. There are nearby bus stops and bike trails for those without cars. Please let SFAI know if transportation to/from SFAI is an issue that would limit participation in the program. SFAI will provide transportation to and from SFAI for weekly field trips and site visits.

Will there be parking available?


Will food be provided?

Lunch will be provided daily. If participants have any serious food allergies or dietary restrictions, we recommend that they bring their own snack and lunch foods.

Will there be a dress code?

Yes. Participants must wear long pants and short or long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes each day. Due to the nature of this workshop, we cannot allow shorts, sandals, flip flops, skirts, dresses, or sleeveless shirts. It is also recommended that students bring a water bottle, a hat and sunscreen for days with field trips and site visits.

Will there be a code of conduct?

Yes. A code of conduct will be co-created by participants and faculty at the onset of the workshop and will be strictly enforced throughout.

Will I need to purchase any textbooks or materials?

No. All materials will be provided.

What if I have further questions?

Please send any inquiries to, or call (505) 424-5050 for more information.