The Building Hero Project


The Building Hero Project is a community design leadership initiative for youth and adults to become skilled leaders and change agents, empowering them to help make their neighborhoods and Philadelphia better place to live through design. Through innovative training in design, collaboration, leadership, fabrication, and entrepreneurship, the Building Heroes gain the life skills, experience, inter-connectedness, and exposure to rich opportunities that enable them to make and do great things in Philadelphia and beyond.

Building Heroes have used their newfound skills to start their own school makerspace; improve their parks and schools; manage the workshop at their university; attain paid internships with Tiny WPA and Public Workshop, helping to lead community design-build projects throughout Philly; earn money making products for the Building Hero Project’s Etsy Store and leading custom fabrication jobs for organizations through Philadelphia; start small businesses; and get into design school.

Participants in the Building Hero Training Program have an opportunity to hone their design, building, leadership and entrepreneurship skills through learning how to make six different products for their homes and completing one building-oriented service project for a local non-profit. Participants learn how to use everything from laser and vinyl cutters, to a table saw and nail guns, to Adobe Illustrator and wood finishing techniques. This is a special opportunity that will take your full commitment and lots of hard work, but you will be able to make some pretty awesome things when you are done.


This fall we are offering 2 SESSIONS!

Tuesdays + Thursdays 5:30-8:00pm OR Saturdays 1-6pm

Each session is 8-week long and all sessions take place at 4017 Lancaster Ave.

There will be no class the week of Thanksgiving.

The Tuesday + Thursday session starts on Oct 8 and ends on Dec 5.

The Saturday session starts on Oct 12 and ends on Dec 7.

Open to ages 14 and up, no experience necessary

FREE! But adults are asked to make a $50 deposit that is refundable upon completion of the program.

Space is limited; only 8 individuals will be selected for each fall session.


Applications for the Fall 2019 Building Hero Training Program are due by the end of the day on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22ND. Selected participants will be notified on SEPTEMBER 27, 2019. We go to great efforts to assemble diverse, multi-generational and interdisciplinary teams of Building Heroes for the Training Program with a broad selection of complimentary strengths and experiences. If you are not chosen for the Fall 2019 Training Program, we will offer the program again for free in the Spring.


Don’t hesitate to stop by our community-focused workshop at 4017 Lancaster Avenue on Wednesday’s from 4-7 pm for our free, weekly open build session, Stop By + Build.


The Building Hero Project is support in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Barra Foundation, Rostair Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, and StartUp PHL, among other donors.