Apprentice Architect: Fondation Louis Vuitton

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Apprentice Architect: Fondation Louis Vuitton App Poster Image

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Virtually examine a famous architect's latest masterpiece.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about how architecture combines art and principles of engineering. For example, they'll experiment with the kinds of natural lines and forms that give Frank Gehry his inspiration for designing buildings. Through simple games, they can learn about some of the collaboration and important jobs that are involved in designing and running a museum, as well as practice placing panes of glass in the curved glass roof. Kids can familiarize themselves with the layout of the Fondation Louis Vuitton and points of interest in a 360-degree virtual tour explaining various artistic and engineering features. Though they may not see the real thing in person, kids can explore the Apprentice Architect: Fondation Louis Vuitton app to get a sense of the creativity, teamwork, and precision needed when form meets function.

Ease of Play

Play is simple, and most games offer basic how-to videos. Tap around to explore, tap and drag to create.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The app, and the building the app explores, is sponsored by and named after the major fashion brand Louis Vuitton.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Apprentice Architect: Fondation Louis Vuitton gives kids an inside peek at the design, construction, and function of one of world-renowned architect Frank Gehry's artistic masterpieces. Though it certainly helps to have some familiarity with the Fondation Louis Vuitton building, located in Paris, or with  Frank Gehry in general, it's not an absolute necessity. Activities include experimenting with shape and form, exploring the building, and learning about some of the many people who contributed to bringing the building to life. This app is most appropriate for kids who have some interest in architecture or engineering. An option to email creations through the email account associated with your device hides behind an easily surpassed parent gate. You can access the content in English or in French (the French app title is Archi Moi: Fondation Louis Vuitton). For details about the kind of information the app collects and shares, read the privacy policy.

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What's it about?

APPRENTICE ARCHITECT: FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON takes kids on a tour of a Frank Gehry building. Six activities give kids an in-depth look from design to construction to function. Experiment with making sketches inspired by forms and lines from the world around you. Take a virtual 360-degree tour of the building and learn about the engineering feats behind some unique features. Place glass panes in the roof, or find people -- a climber, an engineer -- in a Where's Waldo-like game to discover what each one does. Build a 3-D model using shapes used in the Louis Vuitton building. When finished, kids can share their creations via email.

Is it any good?

Budding architects and engineers interact with a kid-friendly overview of making a new building, from conception to function. If you're able to take the actual trip to Paris, there's a game where kids have to find where certain views of the building or surrounding area can be seen. However, if a jaunt to Paris isn't in the cards, kids can still get something meaningful out of the app. There's some good general -- though very basic -- information about design and the building and engineering process. The design sections are fun, but drawing tools are quite simple. Without extra support, it may be hard for kids to see how these very esoteric shapes can be functional buildings; however, they can get a good sense of the playfulness and artistic quality to architecture, especially that of Frank Gehry. Overall, this is a fun (and free!) peek inside the head of a visionary contemporary architect.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about function and design in art and architecture. What's special about Frank Gehry's designs? Learn more about Frank Gehry and other influential architects.

  • Go on an architecture walk in your town. Point out different styles, and explore the history and development of your town through its architecture.  

  • Design buildings together and then build models out of cardboard or other simple building materials.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Science: engineering
  • Skills: Creativity: innovation, making new creations
    Collaboration: teamwork
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: October 16, 2014
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 236.00 MB
  • Publisher: Foundation Louis Vuitton
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love building and engineering

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