Urban Assembly School of Design & Construction

Urban Assembly School of Design & Construction

School Description

"The School of Design and Construction is a high school in Manhattan. We opened in September 2004 with an initial class of 100 ninth graders. Our school has an architecture theme, a college preparatory curriculum, and powerful partnerships with organizations throughout the city. SDC takes advantage of its location in New York City – the center of the design universe – to expose students to architectural landmarks and building sites and to the finest architecture and engineering firms in the country. Students will leave UASDC with a greater appreciation and understanding for the built environment that surrounds and shapes them, and they will be prepared to succeed in college." 

Contact Information

Website: www.uasdc.org

Principal: Matthew Willoughby- matt.willoughby@uasdc.org

Four-Year Plan Goals

Goal One: To integrate our theme of Design and Construction throughout all academic classes.

Goal Two: To create a Design Elective, Material Studies, that offers students a project-based elective arts course that utilizes design thinking and the design process


Goal One: The school found a great partner organization that offered both the right kind of design PD for groups of teachers as well as push-in opportunities to pair teaching artists with individual classroom teachers to co-design a project for a particular unit and co-teach it. The school also instituted a committee of teachers that would be peer leaders and mentors for design-integrated work in the school, and each department was tasked with developing, not just design-integrated units but whole electives. ETA support primarily went to funding the partner organization and teachers' planning time.

Goal Two: This was a one-year goal that just needed seed funding to support the teacher as he planned and documented the curriculum, and paid for his time teaching for an additional period. After the first year, the class was blended into the teacher's regular class load and is a continued elective arts offering.


Goal One: Beam Center was the lead partner for all design integration work at the school. Beam developed customized professional learning for small and big faculty groups, as well as worked with individual teachers to develop new units and projects.


Goal One: The school's design theme will be woven into all academic classes, with teachers drawing from a growing library of ideas for new lessons, units and electives. Students will benefit from different entry points to the academic content, and engagement across academics will increase.

Goal Two: The elective will be offered in perpetuity, continuing to provide students with an opportunity for more traditional studio arts engagement and learning.

"Our Partnership with the Beam Center impacted all 4 years and all 4 core content areas. Students have expressed excitement for those projects in which our theme has been infused in the curriculum." 

Four-Year Plan 2012-2016.