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1st semester studios project, MID student Zoe Nemetz


Learn universal design skills in a collaborative environment.


This information applies ONLY to students beginning their degree program in the Fall of 2013 or later.

Today's design professions draw upon a shared fluency in creative thinking and problem-solving. Architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, and the emerging design professions require skills in reading, writing, visual representation, critical thinking, and research that are shared across these fields. Foundation works to develop students' design and technical skills; understanding of spatial relationships, human scale, and materiality; critical reading, writing, and research capabilities; and awareness of the design industry and professional practice, all of which are required to succeed in Segments II (Integration) and III (Synthesis). Taken together, these skills form a foundation of abilities that allow designers to generate and communicate ideas to each other and to the world at large.

The Boston Architectural College Foundation allows students to learn basic design skills in a collaborative learning environment. Students begin developing intellectual, professional and social networks that will serve them in their academic endeavors and extend to a lifetime of engagement with design and designers. Boundary-crossing networks expand creative possibilities by bringing together different ways of thinking and differing priorities.

Foundation can be completed in two semesters by a student who is taking a full-time academic course load. Beginning with City Lab, the student in first-semester Foundation learns to integrate design and thinking skills in the areas of collaboration and community, critical reading and research, design representation, application of design methods and creative problem solving. Foundation is offered both at the graduate and at the undergraduate levels. It consists of the first two semesters as listed on each curriculum sheet.

Foundation Portfolio Review

Upon completion of the 30 credits of Foundation, students submits a portfolio for review by the College. Successful completion of the Portfolio Review demonstrates the students' understanding and ability to reflectively synthesize the learning of Foundation. Read more at Foundation Portfolio Review.

Foundation Practice Assessment

(Applies to all programs except MDS and online tracks.)
The Foundation Assessment introduces students to the Practice assessment process. It is separate from the Foundation Portfolio Review. Based on coursework completed during Foundation, students develop graphic and written evidence which is assessed by an academic and practice team.

It is the moment when the academic and practice teams determine the student's initial Skill Level, provide suggestions about future assessments, give career guidance, and discuss the student's short-term and long-term Professional Development goals. The students will receive a copy of their Foundation Assessment Student Learning Contract (SLC) from this team.

Preparing for the student's Foundation Practice Assessment

The academic and practice team will work with students to prepare for their Foundation Practice Assessment.

Scheduling the Foundation Practice Assessment

The academic and practice team will announce the day and time of the Foundation Practice Assessment. For more information on Practice Assessment, email