Discover Architecture is a two-week, residential, pre-college program offered by the Illinois School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. The purpose of the program is to introduce high-school students and recent graduates to the discipline of architecture both as a profession and as a field of academic endeavor. Students will learn about architectural drawing, physical modeling, freehand sketching, and other tools of the architectural trade. Upon completion, each student leaves not only with this knowledge, but with drawings and photographs to form the basis of his/her portfolio.
Students work in studios, learn in lecture halls, and live in dorms on campus in preparation for the college experience. Days are spent learning from faculty in both classroom and studio environments, with a focus on design studio work. Evenings focus on architectural and social activities which reinforce the knowledge developed through the course of the program. Cumulatively, the activities are rigorous, with programming for twelve hours per day for the entire two-week period. Discover Architecture is focused not only on helping prospective students decide if they may wish to pursue architecture as their field of chosen endeavor, but also on giving students new to architecture a critical “head start” on their undergraduate careers.
"The Discover Architecture program was the perfect opportunity to get an inside view of architecture and to experience college life." - Student, 2018
"I really enjoyed the Discover Architecture program and will remember it forever. It definitely finalized my decision to pursue becoming an architect." - Student, 2018
PROGRAM DATES - Summer 2019
Sunday, June 16 - Saturday, June 29, 2019
Deadline: May 10, 2019
Sunday, July 7 - Saturday July 20, 2019
Deadline: June 7, 2019
APPLICATION: Please visit HERE
PROGRAM FEE: $1,700 (includes $100 non-refundable application fee, due at application)
The program fee for Discover Architecture includes tuition, housing, meal plan, all textbooks, supplies, and field trip to Chicago.
Kenneth Jacobs Memorial Scholarship: Provides partial tuition to students attending the summer Discover Architecture program. Students must submit a one-page essay (double-spaced) explaining their reasons for becoming an architect and their goals for the future. Deadline: April 30, 2019.
The Discover FAA High School Talent Competition (Architectural Drawing) is an excellent vehicle for students to explore an interest in architecture and design, as well as compete for an opportunity to attend Discover Architecture, the Illinois School of Architecture’s residential two-week summer program. It is our hope that this competition will encourage a future generation of architects to enter the design field, and to promote the importance of architecture and design to all. Visit https://faa.illinois.edu/future-students/high-school-competitions for more information. Deadline: Seniors - December 1, 2018; Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors - March 1, 2019
Admission is not complete until all forms are submitted to LaTanya Cobb, M.ED, Associated Director of Undergraduate Student Services, at email@example.com.
- Standards of Conduct / Video-Photo-Audio Consent Form
- Emergency Medical Form
- Food Allergies/Special Diet Form
At the core of the Discover Architecture program is the studio experience. Students receive space, equipment, and materials necessary to explore their design instincts through several unique projects. As students create, their work is refined through engagement and feedback from the instructors, teaching assistants, and their peers. Students learn to share their work through pin-up’s and desk critiques. Ultimately, each student contributes his/her best studio work to a final exhibition.
Students in the Discover Architecture program receive direct instruction in the form of classroom teaching and guided hands-on activities. These experiences serve to reinforce the studio learning process and to introduce non-studio-based elements of architecture, including information on architectural education and practice. Hand-on tasks challenge students to work in groups to quickly develop a variety of architectural deliverables.
While the focus of Discover Architecture may be in the studio and classroom, the program also takes advantage of its location on the beautiful campus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to living on the campus, students get to experience a variety of on-campus activities. These activities have dual missions, providing laboratory type experience in identify, categorizing, and documenting spaces, and providing recreation for students to experience with their peers.
Chicago Field Trip
A highlight of the Discover Architecture program is the day trip to Chicago. The city serves as a giant learning architecture lab. Students receive faculty-guided tours of some of the city’s most important architectural landmarks, as well as a docent-guided tour delivered via boat travel on the scenic Chicago River and the shores of Lake Michigan. Students also have the opportunity to visit the office of a large national architecture firm, engaging with real professionals in the trenches of day-to-day architectural practice.
Sunday: arrival, dinner in the dorms, meet and greet, campus tour
Monday: introduction to architecture, project overview, first Olympic challenge
Tuesday: sketching, screen wall project, drawing exercise
Wednesday: pavilion project, physical model, quad activities
Thursday: trip to Chicago, IL (city tour, lunch, boat tour, sketching, firm tour, dinner)
Friday: drawing exploration, pavilion build/draw, Olympic challenge 2
Saturday: pavilion review, scavenger hunt, Olympic challenge 3
Sunday: morning free, prototype model build, floor plans
Monday: prototype model, isometric drawings, wall section
Tuesday: sustainability, student design model build, Olympic challenge 4
Wednesday: building process, digital workflow, Olympic challenge 5
Thursday: becoming an architect, studio time
Friday: studio time, final presentation wrap-up, gallery set-up, pizza dinner
Saturday: final gallery presentation, certificate ceremony, slideshow, check-out/departure
Comments from previous Discover Architecture Students:
“[Discover Architecture] showed me a lot about what architects look for in buildings and how much work goes into drawing a building. I also was very amazed to see the transformation from a drawn picture of somewhere in the architecture building into your very own building!”
“It went above and beyond my expectations. I love how we went through all the major steps of a final project and I really got the feel of what a college class would be like.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed this experience because it gave me a nice outlook into what will be expected in this career. Although the studio hours were long, and it was different because it was a lot of drawing, I was able to realize that it was fun work and I could see myself doing this as my major.”
“This program was one of the best programs in which I have ever participated! The teachers really connected with every student and made them feel right at home.”
“I enjoyed the program and I really enjoyed the gallery of students’ work. It was a great way to view and appreciate others' skills.”
“This program opened up my eyes to architecture and it gave me a definite vision for my future. I will definitely pursue architecture as my major in college.”
“I feel like the two weeks I spent in the Discover Architecture program really helped me understand what being an architect is all about. It was a great deal of work, but it was all worth it in the end when I saw my idea come to life.”
“This program was a great experience and will really help me to decide my future plans. Thank you for this great opportunity!”
”It was a lot of fun and I made great friends. It was certainly the highlight of my summer and it taught me a lot about architecture as a practice and major in college.”
”The program was very well structured and the experience was one that I will always look back on with good memories!”