World-Renowned Architects Exchange ‘Napkin Sketches’ with NewSchool Students

Date published

Media Contact:

Rachael Lighty

San Diego, CA, June 8, 2016 – For the fifth straight year, NewSchool of Architecture & Design students have collaborated with the local San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) to present the tradition of ‘napkin sketching.’ The annual gathering will take place at NewSchool on Friday, June 10 at 6 p.m.

Students and attendees are given the opportunity to bid, through a live auction, on original concepts designed exclusively for the event by world-renowned architects. This year includes submissions from prominent architects including:

  • Marvin J. Malecha, President of NewSchool of Architecture & Design. Throughout his illustrious career, Marvin has maintained an active involvement with architectural practice and has received numerous accolades and awards in the fields of architecture and design. Marvin was also elected as the first president/president elect (2008-2009) of the American Institute of Architects and served as the professional association’s National President in 2009.
  • Steven Holl, Founder of internationally recognized and innovative architecture and urban design firm in New York. Steven is best known for his designs for MIT’s Simmons Hall and was named Time Magazine’s America’s Best Architect in 2001.
  • Billie Tsien, Co-Founder of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects based in New York. Bilie is currently President of the Architectural League of New York and Director of the Public Art Fund.
  • Wolf Prix, Co-Founder, Design Principal and CEO of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU located in Vienna, Austria. Wolf has received numerous awards including the Great Austrian State Award and the Austrian Decoration of Honor for Science and Art.
  • Peter Bohlin, Founding Principal of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Peter has been a guest design critic and visiting professor at architectures schools and was awarded with the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2010.
  • Robert Venturi, Founding Principal of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. Robert, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, is one of the chief architectural figures of the twentieth century who used architectural history to redirect American architecture to a more exploratory design approach.

Architects and designers are creative beings who can easily find inspiration at any moment. To fully generate early realizations of awe-inspiring creations, architects frequently turn to sketching main components on a napkin. These little pieces of paper displaying ideas can eventually be turned into greater works of art. What began as a “sketch for a sketch” project, NewSchool students have turned into crafting their own napkin sketches to capture the attention of well-known architects. These creations are then mailed to architects with a request for an original sketch that can be auctioned off during the event. Proceeds for the live auction portion will benefit AIAS scholarships and programs for deserving architecture students. In years past, napkin sketches have been auctioned off for up to $5,000.

“Napkin sketches have been a go-to companion for those who find spur of the moment inspiration,” said NewSchool of Architecture & Design President Marvin J. Malecha. “Architects and designers turn to napkins to map out their initial visions with the goal of ultimately designing a lasting work of art. I’m delighted to share some of my napkin sketches for this year’s auction and to see the excitement students have in drafting their own designs and sharing with architects from around the world.”

Tickets for students and professionals can be purchased online at or at the NewSchool Student Life Office.

WHO: NewSchool students exchange ‘napkin drawings’ with renowned architects as part of the Fifth Annual Napkin Sketch Auction, organized by the American Institute of Architecture Students.

WHAT: Public auction of original work sketched on napkins by renowned architects

WHEN: Friday, June, 10 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: NewSchool of Architecture & Design, Auditorium, 1249 F St., San Diego, CA 92101

COST: $10 for NewSchool students, $15 for professionals. Individual napkins have previously been auctioned for as much as $ 5,000, however there is also a raffle for more affordable napkin sketch options. To purchase tickets please visit:

CONTACT: Contact AIAS at

About NewSchool of Architecture & Design:

Located in downtown San Diego, NewSchool prepares students for career success in design fields through an emphasis on interdisciplinary and global design skills, industry collaborations and real-world projects. Programs of study include architecture, construction management, product design, media design, game development, and interior architecture & design. The school’s design environment provides inspiration for the school’s students and faculty, recognized for their work regionally and internationally. NewSchool is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.

NewSchool’s Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture and Executive Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NewSchool is a member of the Laureate International Universities network – a global network of more than 80 campus-based and online universities in 28 countries.Through this network, students at NewSchool are prepared to work in a global and diverse work environment through the school’s collaborations with sister institutions in the Laureate network, including award-winning schools such as Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. For more information about Laureate International Universities, visit

Be the first to comment

Have your say

Incorrect, please try again