Our Mission

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. This means cities that work for adults and children; buildings and spaces that are healthy and aesthetically pleasing; streetscapes and landscapes that 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 integrating role of the Cube educational model is Responsible Action.

Our Partners

Our partners are so important and we accomplish a lot together. The American Institute of Architects, AIA Kansas City, American Planning Association and other professional and service organizations have supported Cube over the years. Additionally, many related industry businesses have had a hand in keeping Cube activities in the forefront of built environment education. Importantly, AECOM, an international design firm, has supported Cube for more than 15 years with their annual fundraiser program in Kansas City.

Cube’s Background

In 1983, with help from architects, preservationists and educators, Ginny Graves, HAIA established the Center for Understanding the Built Environment. Joined by husband, Dean Graves, FAIA, 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 is a registered 501(C)(3) not-for profit corporation.

What We've Achieved

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.