AutoCAD Design Education: Urban Chicken Coop Project H

Customer Spotlight

Since Autodesk is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with its wonderful combination of out-of-the-box thinking and a lot of people living in boxes piled on top of one another, many of our employees get to see firsthand the impact of urban farming. Ranging from traditional agriculture to beekeeping, it’s a field ripe for innovation—with a little help from AutoCAD, of course.

That’s why we’re so intrigued by this AutoCAD design education project. Autodesk Design Academy contributor Emily Pilloton offers a self-paced introductory course for designing “a space-age, solar-powered chicken coop resting on the roof of a twenty-five story building in the middle of a booming metropolis.” Chicken Coop Project H is futuristic, innovative, and ambitious—all attributes that we on the AutoCAD team love.


We dug a little deeper into the project and were thrilled to discover that it’s geared towards AutoCAD beginners, which means anyone can follow it. Provided materials include instructional videos, a designer guide with step-by-step instructions, starter DWG files, and even a 51-page instructor manual for those teaching AutoCAD courses.

Chicken coop animation. AutoCAD design education

We also love the many factors this project makes us think about. Beyond learning AutoCAD as a piece of software, students are encouraged to consider things like “overall space required; protection from weather and predators; accommodations for food, water, exercise, and roosting; the best materials to use; economics and budget constraints; and aesthetics.”

And Emily knows her stuff. Not only is she the founder and executive director of Project H Design—which takes design principles outside of the “design bubble” to help young people address global issues; the organization was featured in an earlier AutoCAD Blog post—she’s also a high school instructor with a background in architecture and product design.

AutoCAD design education: Design a chicken coop for a modern city

Chicken Coop Project H is presented by creator Emily Pilloton in a series of short videos that detail the evolution of a design: Understand, Explore, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Refine, and Solution. Emily takes you step by step through the design process, beginning with understanding project requirements, to sketching and digital imaging, to building a material prototype and refining the design, to the final project solution and presentation. The chicken coop project includes the same elements required to build a house (only on a much smaller scale), giving you plenty to crow about when you present your inspired design, using the visual aids you created, to a group of local business people and neighbors.

Find all the project resources you need to get started here.

For more how-tos, courses, projects, and general inspiration, check out the rest of Autodesk Design Academy.

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