Design Challenge: Gnome House

Annual Gnome House Design Challenge

Attention homeschoolers, classroom teachers or any students who are interested in design! Fallingwater invites you to participate in its annual Gnome House Design Challenge, an educational program for students who are eight to 13 years old.

Whether you live around the corner from Fallingwater or around the world, and whether you’re a homeschool student, out-of-school learning group or a classroom teacher, students will experience the architectural design process just like real architects. This project may be completed by students independently or collaboratively as a class. It culminates in an optional Gnome House Design Symposium usually held each May at Fallingwater, where individual students and their families have the chance to share their finished projects and to take a gnome-eye-view tour of Fallingwater.

Over the course of the school year or semester, students will learn about Fallingwater, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the design process, while they think creatively and use decision-making skills to plan and design houses for their clients. The students' clients are gnomes, which come with unique challenges and requests for their home design. During the Design Challenge, creativity, math, science, technology and language arts skills overlap during seven hands-on lessons.

The Gnome House Design Challenge is a great option for homeschoolers, scout troops, school groups and individual students. Students or teachers will receive seven design assignments, which will challenge them to work through the steps of the architectural design process as an independent project or with their classroom teacher.

Teachers and/or parents can use the links below to enroll. Enrollment is open through April 1, 2023.

For questions, please contact Amy Humbert at or 724-329-7829.

Pricing for Individual/Homeschool Version

$50 for one student, plus $25 for each additional student in a family. This includes Lessons 1-7 of the Gnome House Design Challenge, a unique gnome “client,” some supplemental materials, and two free tickets to the annual Gnome House Design Symposium at Fallingwater in May 2023.


Pricing for Classroom/Group Version

$50 for 25 students, plus $1 for each additional student. This includes lesson plans and presentations for Lessons 1-7 of the Gnome House Design Challenge Teacher Version, a set of unique gnome “clients” for each student to work with, and Gnome House folders to contain their work. This group option does not include a visit to Fallingwater. To schedule a group tour at an additional cost, find more information here.