MAF is partnering with Detroit Public Television (DPTV) to create an enhancement of our original K-5 program “Architecture: It’s Elementary”. The new program is called Architreks and is intended to air during the morning breakfast time, a key time slot for math/science programming.

During the 1 minute spots, a young architect acts as the host and excites the watchers and on-site participants about an activity involving a scientific principle that leads to a short explanation or experiment. At the end of the spot, a link to a website allows watchers to log on and get further info via a 2-5 minute web segment. The segment explains an idea for a fun activity that can be accomplished at home, or in the community, with parents or friends. The hits on the website are monitored to gauge interest, which have shown this to be very successful.

The Architreks spots feature young architects as hosts, catapulting them into instant stardom (in OUR minds of course). DPTV provided MAF with the DPTV Services and Facilities necessary to produce two 1-minute Architreks broadcast vignettes, accompanied by two 2-5 minute Architreks web segments. The first two episodes, shot in Grand Rapids and Detroit, feature prominent buildings and Architreks through typical neighborhoods to find architectural treasures.

The segments (below) are the updated and new 2016 videos. MAF’s goal is to make Architreks available to Public television across the state and eventually across the country. To the best of our knowledge, nothing like this is being done for architecture anywhere. Armed with DVDs of these initial segments, as well as its website, MAF now is targeting and engaging funding sources to underwrite production of all segments. This process will fulfill both the missions of MAF and DPTV, utilizing the expertise of both effectively.

Shapes | Architreks What are some shapes that you can find right outside your door? Once you see the shapes hidden in any building’s design, you can start to see how the architect who designed it manipulated these shapes, along with other things like size, texture, proportion, scale, mass and color to not only make a building do what it needs to do but also be really fun to look at. And the really great thing about being able to find all of those cool shapes hidden in that building is that it means you’re become a visual thinker and that’s the first step to becoming your own architect!

Structures Architreks How come a bench is able to support your weight and resist the gravity pulling it towards the earth? How do buildings manage to stay upright? And how do all of those shapes stick together? When you can find the smaller structures hidden inside a building’s design, you can also see how the architect used them in the best way possible to make that building strong.

Landmarks Architreks How many different kinds of landmarks can you find in one neighborhood? Landmarks in a neighborhood act as an “anchor”. Just like how an anchor on a ship holds that ship in place and keeps it from drifting away, neighborhood landmarks are designed to serve a purpose, whether it’s a school, a hospital, a library, a police station or even just a sculpture or statue. But more importantly they’re designed to stand out, so we can recognize them as what makes our neighborhood our neighborhood.

PreservationArchitreks Have you ever heard of time capsules? It’s cool to realize that because of how architects have designed the world we live in, any building or structure we come across can be a time capsule too. Each and every building or structure we find on our ArchiTrek adventures tells a story. In fact, depending on how old it is it can be a window into another time or era. And if you’re bold enough to learn about that building it can make you more than just an ArCadet… it can make you a time traveler!