Renaissance Kids Architecture Camp

   Campus News | Posted on May 17, 2018

The Andrews University School of Architecture & Interior Design invites the community to register for “Home is More than a House,” the 12th annual Renaissance Kids architecture camp held on the campus of Andrews University. This unique program provides kids ages 5–16 with opportunities to engage in fun, creative and educational hands-on projects related to architecture.

Mark Moreno, founder/director of Renaissance Kids and associate professor of architecture, says, “Renaissance Kids has a good history of making meaningful projects with the youth. I’m super excited about the potential for this year’s project to positively impact lives in a serious way especially since this is the first year the build project was initiated by kids.” This summer, the main design-build project is a backyard play structure which, along with other related constructions, will be auctioned to raise funds for the summer’s and other future community-minded build projects.

The Benton Harbor Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church youth group is raising funds to build a tiny house for a homeless person. Moreno and the youth leader, Cara Gillespie, met to brainstorm ways to connect the youth group’s initiative with the Renaissance Kids project. They decided that the youth group will assist in the design and construction of the play structure. Then, once the structure is auctioned, 25 percent of the sale proceeds will be used toward costs for the tiny house.

“This project not only shows architecture’s effect on lives but aligns well with the mission of the School of Architecture & Interior Design. Our graduate students have been designing and building tiny structures under the direction of the school’s dean, Carey Carscallen, and Martin Smith, assistant professor of architecture. To date, architecture students have built two tiny homes and four shipping container constructions, a gallery, two clinic exam rooms and a library archive space.  Ultimately, our goal is to arrange for Saint Augustine’s youth group and a homeless person to engage as clients for our graduate students to then design and construct the tiny home,” says Moreno. 

Renaissance Kids began in 2007, with a goal of “building with kids to build kids up.” It aspires to make complex ideas accessible to young minds by providing tools for them to better understand the relationship between people and the physical world. Sessions are assigned according to age, with the first session beginning Monday, June 11, and are available at a variety of dates and times. The program schedule is as follows:

Ages 5–7
Session A1, $165, June 11–15, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m., Architecture building
Session A2, $165, June 25–29, 1:45-5:15 p.m., Architecture building

Ages 7–10
Session B1, $165, July 9–13, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m., Architecture building
Session B2, $165, August 6–10, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m., Architecture building
Session B3, $165, August 6–10, 1:45-5:15 p.m., Architecture building
Session B4, $340, August 6–10, 8:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m., Architecture building 

Ages 10–12
Session C1, $165, June 11–15, 1:45–5:15 p.m., Architecture building
Session C2, $165, June 25–29, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m., Architecture building
Session C3, $165, July 9–13, 1:45–5:15 p.m., Architecture building

Ages 13–16
Session D1, $390, July 16–20, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Architecture building
and July 23–27, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Architecture building

Space is limited. For more details and to register, visit

To follow the build project throughout the summer, visit