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Summer Academy student learning software
Summer Academy students constructing brick arch

"Going to Summer Academy has opened my eyes to choosing design as a career path"

Summer Academy: High School Design Exploration

Summer Academy has been introducing high school students to the fields of architecture and spatial design since 1973.

Are you considering a career in architecture or design? Are you working on your portfolio for college admission? Or are you simply curious about design? The Summer Academy at The Boston Architectural College offers an opportunity to study design with a hands-on approach and with no previous design experience required.

Summer Academy students experiment with materials, build structures, test professional design software, visit professional firms, and explore buildings like libraries and museums in Boston.

Learn more about admissions, registration, and tuition.

June 26–July 28, 2017

Monday to Friday, 9:30 am–1 pm



Who can apply to Summer Academy?

Summer Academy is open to high school students entering grades 9–12. No previous design experience is necessary. There is no such thing as a typical student for us. Our students are aspiring artists, architects, interior designers, engineers, industrial designers, computer game creators, landscape designers, and more.

Summer Academy Field TripIn this fast-paced, five-week program, students will:

  • Work on practical, hands-on projects in groups and individual studio settings.
  • Learn basic structural principles, materials composition, drawing techniques, and more.
  • Build physical and digital models using professional software such as Adobe and SketchUp.
  • Take field trips to building sites, design firms, museums, and significant buildings in Boston.
  • Present their work to family and friends at the end of the program.
  • Leave with a comprehensive portfolio of their work and a sketchbook of their experience.
  • Gain a solid sense of whether they want to pursue an education in architecture or design.

What happens each week?

Material ExplorationWeek 1 and 2: Material Exploration

Actively examine building materials, build an arch with concrete and wire or brick and plaster, and test its strength.

Week 3: Field Trips!

Study significant historical buildings, develop scaled models of buildings, and visit museums to study paintings and sculptures one on one.

Explore large scale presentations using Adobe Photoshop and InDesign.

Develop freehand skills drawing on an easel, using lines and values, and understanding the horizon line and vanishing points.

Week 4: The Design Process

Explore program, site and orientation and develops a concept through iterative plans, sections and elevations; discuss your design with recent graduates; and visit a factory and a design firm.

Build trusses with wood or a dome with thin brick.

Study the urban context of vibrant, metropolitan Boston through sketchbook drawing sessions at neighboring cafes, parks, libraries, stores and museums for example.

Week 5: Build and Present

Using SketchUp, develop a walk through your design; visit a construction site; talk with a design professional about a typical day of their life; and present your final work to friends and family.

Learn more about admissions, registration, and tuition.