Friday, November 07, 2008

Merit Badge of the Week: Architecture

Architecture brings to mind images of great churches, ancient buildings like the Acropolis, and the Taj Mahal.

It should also bring to mind your post office, where you live and go to school.

Architecture is about the structure and construction of buildings.

Everywhere you look, an architect has helped to create the places you live and work.

This is a short merit badge, and yet still only 2104 were issued in 2007. (BSA Fact Sheet)

In the Architecture merit badge, you will list the types of buildings in your community and sketch one; meet with an architect and discuss career and education options; visit a construction site; learn how building plans and materials are related; interview and understand client needs; and draw a scale representation of your bedroom.

The latest Architecture merit badge requirements from the BSA:

1. Tour your community and list the different building types you see. Try to identify buildings that can be associated with a specific period of history. Make a sketch of the building you most admire.

2. Arrange to meet with an architect. Ask to see the architect's office and to talk about the following:
a. Careers in architecture
b. Educational requirements
c. Tools an architect uses
d. Processes involved in a building project

3. Arrange to visit a construction project with the project's architect. Ask to see the construction drawings so that you can compare how the project is drawn on paper to how it is actually built. Notice the different building materials. Find out how they are to be used, why they were selected, and what determines how they are being put together.

4. Interview the owner or occupant of a home or other building (your "client"). Find out what your client's requirements would be for designing a new home or business facility. Write down all of your client's requirements that you think would affect layout or design of the new facility.

5. Measure your bedroom. Make an accurately scaled drawing of the floor plan indicating walls, doors, windows, and furniture. Neatly label your drawing, including your name and the date. (Drawing scale: 1/4 inch=1 foot)

Resource List:
  1. Always start with Introduction to Merit Badges for the steps to a successful merit badge.
  2. Worksheet on Architecture from This is a great tool to organize your work, projects and thoughts.
  3. An overview of architecture from Wikipedia.
  4. Wikipedia also has a basic list of architecture topics--very informative.
  5. Find an architect in your area
  6. Learn about careers in architecture at ArchCareers.
  7. Be an architect in high school--summer opportunities to investigate at a college near you.
  8. If you lucky enough to be in the area, participate in programs at Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio.
  9. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a great place to run into architecture.
  10. Don't know how to draw to scale? Now you do.
  11. If you can't find the information you need, just Ask Dr. Architecture.

Related BSA merit badges: Citizenship in the Community, Drafting, Electricity, Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Model Design and Building, Plumbing and Surveying.

Do you have a resource for the Architecture merit badge? Please let me know via email or the comments below.

No comments: