About BEEP

Inspiring San Diego’s youth to discover the value of design in our built environment.


About BEEP!

BEEP stands for Built Environment Education Program. As part of SDAF’s overarching mission, the program strives to inspire San Diego’s youth to discover the value of design in our built environment. BEEP San Diego is dedicated to educating and advocating for school-age youth as meaningful participants, leaders, and decision makers in crafting our local cities, neighborhoods, and parks.

At its core, BEEP partners with architects and other design professionals to introduce K-12 students to the basic concepts that shape buildings, places, and spaces. The program was founded in the 1980s by the California Architectural Foundation (CAF). What sets BEEP San Diego apart is our series of workshops that extends beyond architecture to also incorporate urban planning and landscape architecture.



Create & Collaborate: How BEEP Inspires Young Minds

BEEP workshops incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM ) — with a strong emphasis on the “A”! Lessons encourage critical thinking and problem-solving while offering youth a chance to engage in dialog with adults. As part of the process, students are also exposed to public speaking, policy making, and consensus building.

A “Hands-On, Minds-On” Approach
Through a series of hands-on, STEAM-based exercises, BEEP mentors introduce children and teens to the interrelationship of our built and natural environments. Lessons are structured for different learning levels, with projects ranging from basic geometric manipulation to more sophisticated topics like urban infrastructure. In particular, BEEP emphasizes how changes in scale affect the built environment, from a room to a building, to notions of an entire town and regional planning.

Design. Create. Transform.
BEEP workshop formats present building concepts in ways that are fun and familiar for young students, ultimately letting them translate their new knowledge into action. The program opens student’s eyes to how they can contribute to the design of their physical environment with a goal to form, change, and improve the world around them. BEEP San Diego continues to develop unique workshops such as those highlighted below.

Cities as Play guides students to layout small communities, then discuss what makes each one unique.

Recycled Model Making uses founded materials that students transform into buildings.

Boomtown assigns each student a building prototype that plugs into a larger city to promote dialog about zoning.

Engage & Explore: How You Can Participate in BEEP

BEEP continues to inspire SD youth thanks to the heartfelt commitment of its volunteers and inquisitive spirit of its students. San Diego’s youngest generation is becoming increasing diverse and BEEP is committed to inclusivity. The program welcomes participants countywide, especially from within underserved communities who lack opportunity to be informed about design and the built environment.

Volunteer as a Mentor
Program volunteers serve as mentors with a genuine passion for the built environment. As a mentor, you can re-experience the joy of discovering new ideas as you share your expertise and guide students to flex their imaginations. Past volunteers include architects, urban planners, landscape architects, interior designers, engineers, and grad students pursuing degrees in a related discipline. Design professionals can also receive continuing education credits.

Participate as a Student
BEEP is open to San Diego youth attending kindergarten through 12th grade. As the future builders of tomorrow, students gain essential insight into the concepts of responsible urban development, sustainable building methods, and the preservation of our natural environment. Our STEAM-based approach touches upon math, science, and the arts. Collaborative workshops provide valuable experience in how to work with others to achieve a common goal. Check our calendar for upcoming events or follow along with one of our pre-recorded tutorials at any time.

Upcoming Events

10:00 a.m. ~ 1:00 p.m.
Inviting ALL youth (7-18) to a special Earth Day Event!
Learn More

Contact Us

San Diego Architectural Foundation



P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927

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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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