CUBE and Schools


YES! Do you believe it? 45 years ago, Ginny and Dean started teaching us to teach others about the value of our built environment - through the technique of Box City - in 1968! This unique tool has brought planning and architectural language to hundreds of thousands of students - around the world. This understanding has had incalculable impact on our cities since then. Of course, the principal achievement has been through the many teachers who have taught the children - they are the best! And, it continues. What a great time to celebrate all that has been achieved. 

The Center for Understanding the Built Environment [ CUBE ] brings together educators with community partners to effect change that will lead to a quality built and natural environment, one and interdependent

The website includes many lesson plans regarding Box City (our most popular activity) and Walk Around the Block.

We are here to help you.

The Center for Understanding the Built Environment (CUBE) brings together educators with community partners to effect change which will lead to a quality built and natural environment, one and interdependent. This means cities which work for adults and children; buildings and spaces which are healthy and aesthetically pleasing; streetscapes and landscapes which reach to the future while celebrating the past.

The ultimate goal of CUBE is not simply to enable children to learn to value the built environment, nor is it just to improve their problem-solving and social skills. The fourth “R” in the CUBE educational model is Responsible Action.

CUBE’s Background

In 1983, with help from architects, preservationists and educators, Ginny Graves established The Center for Understanding the Built Environment. Since then, CUBE has taught thousands of school teachers, who in turn have helped hundreds of thousands of students to appreciate good design, preservation and planning with a comprehensive program of courses, workshops, newsletters and teaching guides which serve both a local and national audience.

CUBE’s Awards and Recognition

CUBE programs have been recognized for excellence by The American Institute of Architects; The National Trust for Historic Preservation; The National Endowment for the Arts; The State of Kansas Governor’s Arts Award; The Kansas Arts Commission; The Missouri Arts Council; The Urban Network; The National Continuing Education Association and others. 

CUBE is a registered 501(C)(3) not-for profit corporation.