Inspiring Young Minds: Inside NOMA’s Project Pipeline Summer Camp

By Hennebery Eddy

Elizabeth Lagarde, center, leads a group during the NOMA PDX Project Pipeline summer camp.

This spring, project architect Elizabeth Lagarde played a pivotal role in planning Project Pipeline, a three-day summer camp focused on architecture, planning, and design hosted by NOMA. More than 45 middle school students gathered at the Portland Community College Opportunity Center in late June to learn design tools from both professionals and college students. At the end of the program, students presented a fully realized project addressing a real-world issue in their city.

This year, campers collaborated to design a commercial zone at NE 42nd Ave and NE Killingsworth in Portland. The students envisioned spaces for living, learning, gathering, growing food, recreation, and healing. For many participants, Project Pipeline is their first introduction to the world of design, equipping them with skills to contribute to their community thoughtfully and creatively through architecture and urban design.

This year marked Elizabeth’s eighth architecture summer camp with NOMA, including two years with NOMA PDX and five years with other NOMA chapters. She has also served as a mentor and a member of the planning committee. Joining her this year were Hennebery Eddy colleagues Katie Pavarini and Karan Sharma. Karan facilitated a virtual reality experience, allowing students to explore the PAM Rothko Pavilion that is currently under construction.

More than 60 volunteers dedicated their time and expertise to support and mentor students throughout the design process and activities. This initiative was made possible by the generous support of Project Pipeline sponsors, NOMA chapter sponsors, and the diligent summer camp planning team.

The students’ work is on display at OMSI until July 6.