In lieu of traditional honorees, our Spotlight Series features projects, people, and groups who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in creating a more just and equitable future.

NOMA Project Pipeline

Shereese Trumpet, NYCOBA Co-Chair, Project Pipeline;
Nehemie Souverain, NYCOBA Co-Chair, Project Pipeline;
Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, 2019-2020 NOMA National President

NOMA’s Project Pipeline’s mission is to empower young people to effect change in their communities through design. Using the city as the classroom and connecting young people to real-world architects and planners, the project fosters the next generation of design professionals, civic leaders, and changemakers.

Project Pipeline was born at the 2002 NOMA Conference in Fort Lauderdale, when then-president Paul Taylor asked Drake Dillard and David Kirk to establish a camp that would focus on introducing minority students to architecture, with the ultimate goal of creating more licensed minority architects. Since the first camp, hosted in Cincinnati in 2006, dozens of other camps have been held in more than 20 cities.

NOMA’s Project Pipeline summer camps provide 6-12 grade students of color with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of architecture and design. Students work closely with architects and designers to create the designs they would like to see in their communities. For many students, Project Pipeline is their first introduction to the design world. Students investigate through drawing and model building, analyze through diagramming and research, and engage through interviews and site visits. By the program’s conclusion, students present a fully realized project that addresses an issue in their city.

Project Pipeline serves a diverse population of students, all of whom are underrepresented in the design field. Through the initiative, young people grasp the significance of architecture in their daily lives, as well as its broader cultural, social, and historical implications. Over the last decade, Project Pipeline has served more than 10,000 students.

Due to COVID-19, 2020 summer camps were held virtually to ensure the safety of students and volunteers.