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Community Build Summer Studio: Call for Proposals

Community Build Project 2022


Community Build is a program that connects a group of graduate architecture students under the supervision of MassArt faculty with a community organization in order to collaborate on the design and construction of a community project associated with the design of gardens or green space. The idea is to enhance the quality of an outdoor space and promote new human interaction and visibility. Since its creation in 2009, Community Build has created a greenhouse in Dorchester, an outdoor learning space in Roslindale, and a community gathering center in Somerville, among other things.  

The goal is to create an environment for hands-on learning for MassArt students while creating a functional structure for use by the community. Students gain experience with community engagement, as well as project budgeting, construction and management. Community Groups learn about agency and advocacy in their built environment, and they are left with a structure the organization can use for years to come. Each project results in a permanent usable pavilion or outdoor placemaking element. All labor is donated.


This studio is a requirement for a Masters in Architecture from MassArt. Students design, budget and safely construct the project as specified in an MOU between the college and the community partner over the course of eleven weeks in a single summer. Mentoring and supervision is provided by faculty as well as industry professionals including architects and engineers and other professionals as needed to support the project development.  


MassArt seeks to work with community organizations that have a small green space-related construction project in mind for a site controlled by the organization, and can provide a typical materials budget of $15,000 - $50,000. For organizations that don’t have access to such a materials budget, MassArt is happy to collaborate on grant seeking and other funding opportunities. Lack of access to these funds should not be an impediment to applying.  

The program is seeking qualified proposals for projects in summer 2024 and in future years.


● Projects are reviewed by the architecture faculty to ascertain suitability, ease of development and design, and potential to be completed in the allotted time frame. Accepted projects can be completed in a single summer within a fixed material budget.  

● A memorandum of understanding is generated between MassArt and the community organization.  

● The program requirements are roughly outlined with the faculty member and partner prior to the commencement of the studio. During the studio, students, under the mentorship of the faculty member, directly develop the program details with the partner through a collaborative design process.  

● Prior to the commencement of construction, all proposed designs and specifications are approved by the partner.  

● Students and faculty have unfettered access to the project site for the duration of the project.

Your Proposal

Please include the name and contact information of the person making the request.
Maximum number of pages: 2  

1. Short Organization Description
Please tell us about your organization. What do you do, and who do you serve? What programs do you offer?

Short Project Description
Describe the project proposal in a few sentences. Consider how our architectural design and construction  expertise can help solve a spatial problem, enhance an underused outdoor space, develop a new entry sequence or identify new places for playing, gathering, or collaborating. Briefly address how a community build project would help support your organization’s goals.

Not sure? Let us know! We are happy to speak with you before you submit your proposal. Refer to our past projects to see what we have achieved and to help you think about yours.

Provide information on your proposed budget for the project.

Note: Projects fall within a $15,000 to $50,000 material budget, depending upon the size of project taking into consideration the size of each class. The typical project historically has a material cost of $25,000.  


Submit electronic proposals to Patricia Seitz at Projects are reviewed on a rolling basis and one project is completed each summer. Earlier submissions are preferred.


Established in 2009, The Massachusetts College of Art and Design Community Build program promotes projects  for public and not for profit entities that solve practical problems encouraging human interaction in the built  environment. Through education, advocacy, and research leading to design and construction, it provides opportunities for students and communities to work as partners on design-build projects.

Patricia Seitz, Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture
Paul Hajian, Professor and Director, Graduate Architecture Program

Department of Architecture | 621 Huntington Ave • Tower 633a • Boston, MA 02115
p. 617.879.7677 | c. 617.593.9190 | e.