Summer Architecture Programs, Workshops, and Design Intensives for High School Graduates and Adults | Features12 min read
Work by Jasmin Logrono, UCLA JumpStart 2021 summer participant. Image courtesy of UCLA Architecture and Urban Design.
Continuing with our list of architecture programs to explore during the summer, Part II focuses on opportunities for recent high school graduates and adults. Echoing a similar message as provided in Part I, these courses and workshops offer adults young and old, even without prior design experience, access to the fundamentals of an architecture education.
Our list also includes programs for those with existing backgrounds adjacent to architecture looking to explore specific topics with design emphasis.
As proven in our Working Out of the Box series, an education in architecture can be invaluable in various pursuits. Regardless of where you are in your architecture journey, there are many programs that allow those with non-architecture degrees a way into a new discipline.
*Programs below are listed by their start date.
Heritage Conservation Summer Course
Institution: USC Architecture (Los Angeles, CA)
Type: In-Person and Remote options
Dates: May 16–27
Details: “The 2022 Summer Short Course in Heritage Conservation offers clusters of online lecture sessions and field-based learning opportunities about the fundamentals of the discipline in an intensive two-week format. Taught by a team of practicing professionals in fields ranging from conservation and engineering to economics and law, the course is designed for those interested in a career change, city officials needing to brush up on the basics, or for prospective students interested in learning more about the field. The Summer Short Course can be taken in a variety of formats – individual sessions, topical clusters, or as a complete course.” Learn more here.
Institution: Carleton University (Ottawa, ON)
Dates: May 18 – June 22; July 6 – August 10
Details: “STUDIO FIRST is an intensive five-week studio in architectural design for students from a wide range of backgrounds who are considering graduate studies in architecture, urban design, or landscape architecture. Did you know that a Master of Architecture professional degree is available to students with an honours undergraduate major in any field? STUDIO FIRST provides a post-baccalaureate “bridge” from an undergraduate degree in any field toward entrance into a three-year accredited professional degree program in architecture. Architecture is well-suited to people from diverse disciplines, from visual arts and engineering to geography and the humanities. The Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism’s STUDIO FIRST program will allow students to immerse themselves in studio culture and determine whether architecture is the right path to follow. STUDIO FIRST is the first and only program of its kind in Canada.” Learn more here.
Global Solutions Lab
Organization: EarthGame Inc. (Philadelphia, PA)
Dates: June 12–25
Details: “At the 18th annual Global Solutions Lab participants learn a design methodology based on the work of Buckminster Fuller. They develop real-world solutions to the world’s most critical problems. The Lab fosters creativity, leadership, global perspectives, and local solutions. It is intense, fast-paced, and for many, transformative. It starts with the WorldGame 2.0 global simulation that puts you in charge of the world. The simulation turns real as players segue to strategic designers developing solutions to real-world problems and reaching one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Participants are briefed by United Nations and other experts from around the world. They learn a design science methodology for solving complex problems and work as part of an international, multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and inter-generational Design Team. They present their work at the UN to a group of UN, corporate, philanthropic, and NGO leaders, have their work published in a book and in the Global Solutions Database and receive a certificate of accomplishment […] The Lab runs June 12-25, 2022. Covid permitting, it will be both in-person at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, USA, and online. This year’s focus is on developing strategic solutions for getting the nearly 600 million people in Africa access to clean electricity. Other focus areas include innovative solutions to global warming, sustainable cities, regenerative food supplies, and topics brought by staff and participants.” Learn more here.
Summer [IN]stitute in Environmental Design
Institution: UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design (Berkeley, CA)
Dates: June 21 – July 15
Details: “embARC is an immersive summer design program at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design that brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds to explore architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning through integrated components: an Architecture + Urban Design Studio, a Sustainable City Planning Workshop, a Digital Design Workshop, an Environmental Design Conversation Series and a Materials Exploration Workshop. No prior experience in environmental design is necessary.” Learn more here.
Institution: UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design (Berkeley, CA)
Dates: June 21 – July 15
Details: “Disc* is an immersive five-week summer program for college students offered by UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design that explores an interdisciplinary and multi-scalar approach to design and analysis in the urban environment. Disc* participants engage in the discourses of urban innovation, and develop creative solutions to tackle the urgent challenges global cities face today. Disc* is open to eligible students from any college or university. No prior experience in design is necessary.” Learn more here.
AA Summer School – About a New Togetherness
Institution: Architectural Association School of Architecture (London, UK)
Type: In-Person and Remote
Dates: July 4–24
Details: “The AA Summer School 2022 aims to identify the spatial and architectural agency of this new togetherness. How can we operate as architects, designers, and urbanists in this special moment? What is the role we should claim moving forward? Festivals, parties, manifestations, parades, dinners, concerts, discos, and fireworks are only a few typologies that we will investigate – with the Summer School itself being another format for connection and contact. ABOUT A NEW TOGETHERNESS is a dual-format summer school which will take place in July 2022 both online and on-site at the AA buildings on Bedford Square […] The Summer School is a full-time, three-week course comprising a unique and intensive program of design studios, seminars, lectures, and parties. Based on the AA unit system, it offers participants the opportunity to experience a diverse selection of different learning environments, teaching agendas, and design techniques.” Learn more here.
*Additional AA Visiting School Summer Programs are available from May thru August 2022. Click here to learn more.
Institution: UCLA Architecture and Urban Design (Los Angeles, CA)
Type: In-Person and Remote
Dates: July 5–29
Details: “JumpStart is a four-week summer studio for individuals contemplating careers in architecture, design, and related fields. The program is open to students from all backgrounds and carries six quarters of University of California credit. To participate in JumpStart, students must hold a high school diploma (or equivalent).” Learn more here.
Be sure to read our 2021 exclusive interview with UCLA’s AUD Summer Programs Director Julia Koerner.
Institution: SCI-Arc (Los Angeles, CA)
Dates: July 5–29
Details: “Making+Meaning (M+M) is a career exploration and portfolio preparation program. College students, professionals, and students looking to apply to graduate architecture programs may register. The Making+Meaning summer studio program exposes participants to a wide range of techniques within a conceptual design framework, pitting the everyday against the unusual to create exploratory content and experiences.” Learn more here.
Foundation Studies and Portfolio Development
Institution: The Cooper Union (New York, NY)
Dates: July 5–29
Details: “In light of the spread of COVID-19 in New York City, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union is proud to announce our 2021 summer intensive program that features a virtual curriculum accessible to students worldwide. As an institution that is committed to the pursuit of excellence and learning, we view our current circumstances as an opportunity to advance our thinking through radical experimentation between various forms of online engagements, digital interface, virtual modeling and representation techniques. The pleasure of making and experimentation are fundamental to our discovery of architecture and the innovation of the discipline and a deeply thoughtful form of social and cultural dialogue where the imaginary becomes possible. The Cooper Union’s Introduction to Architecture is an intensive 4-week program that offers an immersive experience into the study of architecture as a discipline and profession. The program is designed to familiarize the college-level student with architectural thought, design, and practice.” Learn more here.
Design Explorations: Constructed Environments
Institution: Parsons School of Design (New York, NY)
Dates: July 5–28
Details: “This hands-on design course introduces students to the disciplines of architecture, interior design, and product design. Students meet online four days per week over a 4-week period with Parsons faculty and an international cohort of peers for real-time creative and technical design instruction, project design development guidance, and group and individual critiques. Live instruction is supplemented with digitally archived project support and reference resources. This exploratory design course incorporates structured away time from the computer in which students investigate world events, social issues, and personal experiences and interests as a springboard for design inspiration, direction, and production. Students engage in an iterative creative process that synthesizes observation and analysis, critical reflection, drawing, model making, and selecting and evaluating healthy materials. Students build technical skills and develop an understanding of scale, form, and spatial relationships needed to interpret the built environment. The design process is explored and documented through problem-solving and integration of essential representation skills such as drawing, rendering, and iterative prototyping of three-dimensional forms. Digital tools, including the Adobe Creative Cloud, are introduced. The four-week experience includes guest speakers from the industry and virtual field trips. From the start of the course, students keep an online journal to document research and project developments for architectural, interior, and product designs.” Learn more here.
Architecture Immersion Studio
Institution: Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY)
Type: In-Person and Remote
Dates: (In-Person) July 5–28; (Remote) July 5 – August 1
Details: “This architectural fundamentals course is taught by the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design faculty; and is geared toward professionals and students interested in attending graduate architecture school. Through a series of virtual studio sessions and lectures, the course introduces students to a series of design approaches to conceptualize architectural investigations using the most current techniques, including in visualization. Students typically receive one-to-one technical instruction, such as on digital modeling, drawing representation, and rendering. The work will culminate in a virtual design exhibition with invited Pratt faculty and will be documented in an individually developed portfolio which prepares students to apply for graduate architecture school.” Learn more here.
Institution: University of Illinois-Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Dates: July 5–29
Details: “YArch (pronounced ‘why-arc’) is a summer architecture program for current undergraduate students, recent graduates, and other adults who have an interest in architecture and design. It is an intensive, non-credit program spanning many facets of architecture study. For those considering a career in architecture, YArch is a way to test the waters before jumping in to graduate study. For those who simply wish to explore a lifelong interest, YArch’s challenging curriculum equips participants with new ways of thinking, seeing, and making.” Learn more here.
Details: “Columbia GSAPP’s Summer 2022 Introduction to Architecture program will be held in a hybrid format, allowing students to choose to study in-person or remotely. The Introduction to Architecture program will build on the successes of GSAPP’s online design studios and leadership in visual studies, representation, and technology to create new opportunities for students participating from their home locations. The School’s community of faculty and students remains as strong as ever, and special hybrid lectures offered by faculty, open courses made accessible to all students across the programs, thematic selections of past lectures and conferences from the rich media archive, recommended readings from the publications team, and more.” Learn more here.
Digital Fabrication Summer Program: Design-Build Education
Institution: Cooper Union (New York, NY)
Dates: July 6–30
Details: “This in-person, 4 -Week summer intensive builds on the approaches learned in our Introduction to Architecture Online: Foundation Studies and Portfolio Development for High School and College Students programs to explore the relationship of form, material, and technology across scales, through prototyping and design-build education. Students will develop a foundational understanding of digital design and fabrication through project development using Rhino 3D modeling, laser-cutting, 3D printing, and CNC technologies. 3D printing, fabrication and computation technologies complement the learning modalities offered by The Cooper Union through their extensive experimentation possibilities. Students will be introduced to design and fabrication methodologies through hands-on, project-based work guided through collective and individual-based prompts supported by periodic mentorship and discussion sessions. The course is taught by a team of interdisciplinary Cooper Union faculty and student instructors, and extended by guest lectures and review sessions with thinkers and practitioners from inside and outside the institution. Feedback will be constructive, and actively structured to encourage students to share, process and develop their projects in an open, safe, and supportive environment.” Learn more here.
Design Discovery (DD)
Institution: Harvard GSD (Cambridge, MA)
Dates: July 11–29
Details: “Design Discovery (DD) is a 3-week in-person academic program that takes place at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) in Cambridge, MA and engages an audience of individuals 18 years old to mid-career professionals interested in gaining knowledge within a single, selected design discipline. Participants enroll in either Architecture, Landscape, and Urban Planning + Design. The program explores the potentials of design to impact the built environment and the active conditions it choreographs through the material and scale specific to a particular design discipline. Program participants direct design to contemporary issues with an emphasis on hands-on physical modeling, material capacities, fabrication, and assembly, in complement to the Design Discovery Virtual program’s digital media emphasis. Students are taught by Harvard GSD faculty and masters and doctoral degree program graduates in addition to engagement with a broad and diverse network of design talent, across the three disciplines, invited to serve as guest lecturers and critics.” Learn more here.
Architecture Summer Immersion Program
Institution: Portland State University (Portland, OR)
Dates: July 18 – August 14
Details: “The Architecture Summer Immersion program at the Portland State University School of Architecture offers those interested in architecture as a potential career and/or field of study the opportunity to explore the subject in this intensive 4-week experience. Open to those eighteen years of age or older with a high school degree, this program is ideal for anyone considering architecture as a major, has an undergraduate degree in another field and is thinking of applying to a Master of Architecture program, or would just like to learn the foundational skills of architecture and have a unique and enlightening experience. […] The Summer Immersion offers an intensive course that mirrors a real studio experience, similar to that of early graduate school studios. The program centers around several short but intensive design projects. Classes run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in PSU’s School of Architecture (Shattuck Hall) for the duration of the program. This time will include individual work on studio projects, lectures, skills workshops, discussions, and field trips such as visits to firms and significant buildings.” Learn more here.
Architecture Beyond Capitalism (ABC)
Organization: The Architecture Lobby
Dates: July 18–23
Details: “The Academia Working Group of The Architecture Lobby has announced a Summer 2022 workshop as part of its annual Architecture Beyond Capitalism (ABC) School. The ABC 2022 workshop will build on last year’s session, which focused on Capitalism, Labor, and Collectives, by concentrating on studio educational practices. As the pedagogical setting in which most of an architecture student’s and teacher’s time and resources are focused, studio will be explored as a key site I n which to test how organizing and action for change can become foundational in architectural practice and posit other roles for the architect beyond the ‘designer.’ As a beginning prompt, the ABC asks: how do we understand studio to support and encourage activist organization? How might design be taught in ways that do not perpetuate and reproduce capitalist exploitation?” Learn more here.
Institution: Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL)
Dates: August 1–13
Details: “This workshop is designed to prepare students for the graduate architectural studio sequence at IIT College of Architecture. It is highly recommended for students embarking on the 3-year professional Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees (those without prior architectural studio experience) and is recommended for students embarking on the 2-year M.Arch with Advanced Standing (especially those who have not recently completed their undergraduate studies).” Learn more here.
International Summer Program 2022
Institution: Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design – LAIAD (Los Angeles, CA)
Dates: 2-month program from June through August
Details: “The LAIAD Summer Program for international students is a short design, rendering, and portfolio studio that helps international students to improve their design and portfolio skills. The style of teaching is a one-on-one design workshop, supplemented by a weekly collective review and midterm/final guest reviews. Architectural modeling courses focus on improving students’ ability to create 3D models. The software courses include Rhino surface modeling, Grasshopper parametric design, and T-Splines. Students will learn different creative expressions from 3D rendering to 2D drawings as well as the portfolio design skills during the compact summer program.” Learn more here.
It’s to be noted that this list is merely a large sample set of what summer opportunities are out there for high school graduates and adults seeking to explore a career in architecture.
Interested in promoting your school or organization’s summer program on Archinect? Reach out to us at [email protected]