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Summer Academy student in studio
Summer Academy students collaborate on model


"We want to teach
problem solving. We're cross-disciplinary, with some industrial design, some computer boot camp, and some architecture.
It's not Drafting 101."

Summer Academy: High School Design Exploration

Experience and Explore the Possibilities...

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 explore design with a hands-on approach and with no previous design experience required.

Since 1973, Summer Academy has introduced high school students (entering grades 9–12) to the fields of architecture and design. Studio leaders and lecturers are design professionals and advanced graduate students from the BAC.

In this fun and fast-paced four-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.

Learn more about program dates and times, registration, and tuition.

Attend an Open House

Model Construction

March 26 11 am–1 pm
April 9 11 am–1 pm
May 7 11 am–1 pm

RSVP to an Open House

Who should apply to Summer Academy?

Summer Academy is open to high school student 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.

What happens each week?

Week 1: Material Exploration
Actively examine building materials, span at least 3 feet with plaster or wire, and test the structure's strength.

Week 2: Field Trips!
Examine significant historical buildings, develop scaled models of buildings, and visit museums to study paintings and sculpture.

Week 3: The Design Process
Explore orientation, sections, and elevations; discuss your design with recent graduates; and visit a factory and a design firm.

Week 4: 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.