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Summer Programs give curious kids an opportunity to dive into an architectural topic of interest and test out their own design ideas. Each program explores a different theme through art and building activities, design challenges, guided investigations of architectural examples, and interactive presentations and discussions led by our Design Educators and special guests.

Summer Programs are week-long classes (Mon-Fri) for students entering grades 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12 in Fall 2021. For Summer 2021, we are offing programs both in-person at the Center for Architecture and online with full-day and half-day options available! Design materials are included for all programs. Materials will be shipped directly to students in online programs. All program hours are in Eastern Time. 

The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here. Please confirm below if the program you are interested is sold out before adding yourself to the waitlist. 

For more information, see our 2021 Summer Programs FAQsFor further inquiries, email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org. 

Supported by

Summer Programs are supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

Program Details

Hours and Prices

In-Person Programs (Grades 3-12):   9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700 (4-day: $580)

Online Programs (Grades 3-5):   9:30 am – 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm | $340

Online Programs (Grades 6-12):   9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $600, Digital Design | $560 (4-day: $460)

Online Two-week Architectural Design Studio (Grades 10-12):   9:00 am – 4:00pm | $1,360 (9-day: $1,240)

All program hours are in Eastern Time. Prices include design materials needed for each program. Materials will be shipped directly to students in online programs.  

Frequently Asked Questions

See our FAQs for in-person and online 2021 Summer Programs. 

Educator and Staff Bios

Learn more about our Summer Programs educators and staff. 

Need-Based Scholarships

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. To apply for a scholarship, you will need to register for the program online as a scholarship applicant and then submit your Financial Need From and proof of financial need to k12education@centerforarchitecture.org. Please see the link below for the application instructions and the Financial Need Form.

The scholarship application deadline is June 1.

Health and Safety Protocols

The safety of our students, educators, and staff is our top priority. Please be assured that the Center is following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York State, and New York City for increased health and safety procedures. For more information, please see our 2021 In-Person Summer Programs Terms & Conditions | COVID-19 Safety Protocols | Student Health Form.

All students participating in In-Person Summer Programs must submit a completed and signed copy of this form to k12education@centerforarchitecture.org two weeks prior to the start of their first class.    

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Registration for all programs is non-transferable. Tuition for all programs is non-refundable. There are no exceptions to this policy. The Center for Architecture will not provide make-ups or refunds for days missed as a result of vacation plans, scheduling conflicts, illness (including COVID-19), emergencies, or other events beyond our control.

For more information, please see our 2021 In-Person Summer Programs Terms & Conditions | COVID-19 Safety Protocols | Student Health Form and our 2021 Online Summer Programs Terms & Conditions

Summer 2021 Programs

Registration for Summer Programs is now open! Program format is noted next to each topic title. All grade levels are based on the grade the student will enter in Fall 2021. Waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here. 

Dream House (Grades 3-5) – In-Person June 28 – July 2, 2021

Child with model house

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

Would your dream house be a penthouse apartment, modern beach house, or a castle in the hills? In this program, students will imagine and design their own personal dream house or apartment in drawings and models. Examples of amazing houses from around the world will provide ideas and inspiration, but the final design is up to you! 

Digital Design: Tiny Houses (Grades 6-8) – Online June 28 – July 2, 2021

Digital design tiny house model

9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $560

Inspired by the rising popularity of miniature houses, students will examine small spaces and how limited square footage can inspire exciting design innovation. They’ll also be introduced to sustainable design strategies that can make tiny homes energy-efficient enough to support off-the-grid living. Students will then design their own tiny house using the fun and free 3D design software SketchUp and create an animated walkthrough of their finished project. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here.

Architectural Design Studio (Grades 10-12) – Online June 28 – July 9, 2021 (2-week program)

High school student in design studio

9:00 am – 4:00pm | $1,240*

High School students interested in exploring the field of architecture and developing their portfolios will get a thorough introduction to the design process in this two-week intensive studio. Focused on several studio design projects, students will explore design on a series of scales, starting with a small object working toward the design of a small building. Students will learn how to work through an architectural program: from site analysis and developing a design concept to creating scale drawings and 3-D models of their design for a final presentation. Break-out groups will allow students to research and brainstorm collaboratively.

*Please note this is a 9-day program. There will be no class on Monday, July 5th. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here. We are also offering this program August 9-20.

Apartment Design (Grades 6-8) – In-Person July 6 – 9, 2021 *4-day week

Child with building model

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $580*

Be both the client and the architect in this studio where you can design the apartment of your dreams! Examples of amazing apartments from around the world will provide ideas and inspiration and will offer glimpses into how others have created their own dream houses. Students will draw, build models and experiment with materials, patterns and colors to make their dream design into a (miniature) reality.

*Please note this is a 4-day program. There will be no class on Monday, July 5th. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here.

Digital Design: Green Building (Grades 9-12) – Online July 6 – 9, 2021 *4-day week

Digital green building model

9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $460*

This design studio introduces students to SketchUp, a fun and free 3D computer modeling program. It’s becoming more and more important to create sustainable projects for our future. Students will explore green design strategies such as using renewable energy sources, green and blue roofs, natural lighting, and passive heating or cooling. Students will then create their own digital designs for an environmentally-friendly building.

*Please note this is a 4-day program. There will be no class on Monday, July 5th. 

Architectural Wonders (Grades 3-5) – In-Person July 12 – 16, 2021

Child with building model

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

Travel with us to explore great architectural wonders of the world! We will investigate ancient and new wonders of the world including the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Colosseum, Burj Khalifa and many more. Students will create their own designs inspired by these amazing buildings and structures and learn new design techniques and strategies along the way. Got some wonder-ful design ideas of your own? We’ll end with students creating their own architectural wonders for the 21st Century!

Treehouses (Grades 3-5) – Online July 12 – 16, 2021 (AM Session)

Child with treehouse model

9:30 am – 12:00 pm | $340

Design and build your own fantastic model treehouse! Begin by crafting your own tree using materials shipped to each participant and real tree branches you collect yourself, then work with its unique arrangement of branches to build a one-of-a-kind treehouse with platforms, rooms, ladders, swings, furniture and other details. 

Museum Design (Grades 3-5) – Online July 12 – 16, 2021 (PM Session)

Child with model

1:00 pm – 3:30 pm | $340

What's your passion? Whether it's space, LEGOS, art, soccer, animals, or something else, you'll enjoy putting your expertise and imagination to use to design a one-of-a kind museum showcasing the things you love and would love to share with others. We'll virtually visit some famous museums to see how their design helps visitors learn and explore, then you'll take the lead to create a museum you'd want to visit! 

Neighborhood Design (Grades 6-8) – Online July 12 – 16, 2021

student working

9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $600

What makes a great neighborhood? How do design considerations like street layouts, building types, open spaces, infrastructure and other amenities work together to create vibrant communities? Students in this virtual studio will use their own neighborhoods as a starting point for investigating these questions and learning about the process of urban design as they explore what a neighborhood is through a variety of art and building activities. Participants will then be challenged to create their own designs for an ideal neighborhood. 

Design for Social Action (Grades 9-12) – In-Person July 12 – 16, 2021

High school student with model

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

How can architecture explore and develop solutions to issues of equity and social justice we are facing in the 21st century? In this studio, students will investigate how design can amplify and give form to ideas by designing a public information/advocacy center for a social action organization of their choosing. Students will learn how to create scale drawings and models of their design project which they will present at the end of the program.   

Building Bridges (Grades 3-5) – In-Person July 19 – 23, 2021

Child with model drawbridge

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

In this program, we will explore beam, truss, arch, suspension, and moveable bridges to learn how these different structures support weight and span great distances. Students will take inspiration from bridges around the world, then put their new knowledge to the test as they create a bridge of their own design. 

Skyscrapers (Grades 6-8) – In-Person July 19 – 23, 2021

Student with skyscraper model

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

Structural advances in technology allow us to imagine new skyscrapers that are taller than ever before! In this program, we will explore the structures and systems that make such tall buildings possible through discussions and design challenges. Students will take inspiration from amazing skyscrapers around the world as they create drawings and models of skyscrapers of their own design.   

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here.

Digital Design: Green Building (Grades 6-8) – Online July 19 – 23, 2021

Digital green building model

9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $560

This design studio introduces students to SketchUp, a fun and free 3D computer modeling program. It’s becoming more and more important to create sustainable projects for our future. Students will explore green design strategies such as using renewable energy sources, green and blue roofs, natural lighting, and passive heating or cooling. Students will then create their own digital designs for an environmentally-friendly building. 

Drawing Architecture (Grades 9-12) – Online July 19 – 23, 2021

Student drawing of Arc de Triomphe

9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $600

Take some time this summer to develop your architectural drawing skills! With a focus on free-hand sketching, participants will be introduced to a range of drawing techniques including one and two-point perspectives, as well as methods for shading and rendering different materials. This class leverages the benefits of online instruction, which allows us to explore architectural marvels around the world and use digital annotation tools, while building students’ hand drawing skills using a large format sketchbook and drawing supplies sent to each student. This is a great chance to create some new portfolio pieces! 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here.

Neighborhood Design (Grades 3-5) – In-Person July 26 – 30, 2021

Children doing texture rubbings outside

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

Summer is a great time to explore Greenwich Village. Join us to investigate this fun and exciting neighborhood through scavenger hunts, sketching, architectural rubbings, and more. Participants will then be challenged to create their own designs for an ideal neighborhood. 

Museum Design (Grades 3-5) – Online July 26 – 30, 2021 (AM Session)

Child with model

9:30 am – 12:00 pm | $340

What's your passion? Whether it's space, LEGOS, art, soccer, animals, or something else, you'll enjoy putting your expertise and imagination to use to design a one-of-a kind museum showcasing the things you love and would love to share with others. We'll virtually visit some famous museums to see how their design helps visitors learn and explore, then you'll take the lead to create a museum you'd want to visit! 

House of the Future (Grades 3-5) – Online July 26 – 30, 2021 (PM Session)

Child with model house and landscape

1:00 pm – 3:30 pm | $340

Students in this program will investigate how housing has changed over the years and what’s in store for the future. The group will look at examples of historic homes to see how people lived in the past, explore advancements in green architecture today, and speculate about how we might live in the future. For their final project, students will design and build their own model of a house of the future. 

Survival Architecture (Grades 6-8) – In-Person July 26 – 30, 2021

student with model

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

How would you survive in the desert, the middle of the jungle or the top of a mountain? In this program, we’ll learn about the design strategies and techniques that have helped people live in unlikely places like these. Students will then imagine their own sites and design shelters that would enable them to survive and thrive in these extreme conditions. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here.

Neighborhood Design (Grades 9-12) – Online July 26 – 30, 2021

High school students in design studio

9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $600

What makes a great neighborhood? How do design considerations like street layouts, building types, open spaces, infrastructure and other amenities work together to create vibrant communities? Students in this virtual studio will use their own neighborhoods as a starting point for investigating these questions and learning about the process of urban design as they explore what a neighborhood is through a variety of art and building activities. Participants will then be challenged to create their own designs for an ideal neighborhood. 

Skyscrapers (Grades 3-5) – In-Person August 2 – 6, 2021

Children with skyscraper models

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

From One World Trade Center to the Empire State building, NYC is full of remarkably tall buildings. During this program, we’ll explore what makes these structures so strong and how their design enables them to reach such dizzying heights. Students will take inspiration and ideas from amazing skyscrapers around the world as they design, draw and build their own skyscrapers! 

Subway Architecture (Grades 3-5) – Online August 2 – 6, 2021 (AM Session)

Child with subway model

9:30 am – 12:00 pm | $340

Our favorite cities in the world would be nothing without the complex transit systems that run underneath the busy streets. During this program, participants will take inspiration from New York City’s subway and transit examples from around the world to imagine what public transportation might look like in the future as they design their own transit system! 

Treehouses (Grades 3-5) – Online August 2 – 6, 2021 (PM Session)

Child with treehouse model

1:00 pm – 3:30 pm | $340

Design and build your own fantastic model treehouse! Begin by crafting your own tree using materials shipped to each participant and real tree branches you collect yourself, then work with its unique arrangement of branches to build a one-of-a-kind treehouse with platforms, rooms, ladders, swings, furniture and other details. 

Digital Design: City Design (Grades 6-8) – Online August 2 – 6, 2021

Digital design model of city and skyscraper

9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $560

In this program, students will investigate what it takes to be an urban planner by creating a digital model of their own imagined city neighborhood using SketchUp, a fun and free 3D computer modeling program. Students will learn the ins and outs of this software and test out their ideas for creating livable, urban spaces as they design their own city blocks, buildings, parks, and plazas, culminating in an animated walk-through of their final project. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here.

Apartment Design (Grades 9-12) – In-Person August 2 – 6, 2021

Child with building model

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

Homes are often reflections of the people who live in them. What perspective would you bring to your home if you were able to design and build it yourself? This workshop will provide you with hands-on skills in scale drawing, model making and design thinking. Get inspired by some unusual and radical apartments and then create your own designs for your dream apartment. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here.

Parks and Playground Design (Grades 3-5) – In-Person August 9 – 13, 2021

Child with park model

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

Kids are the experts in this program focusing on the design of parks and playgrounds. The class will visit several local parks and playgrounds in the city to assess their design features by playing (of course!) and conducting on-site analysis through surveys and drawings. Students will build on these explorations by creating their own designs for different types of recreation and play spaces throughout the week.     

Subway Architecture (Grades 3-5) – Online August 9 – 13, 2021 (PM Session)

Child with subway model

1:00 pm – 3:30 pm | $340

Our favorite cities in the world would be nothing without the complex transit systems that run underneath the busy streets. During this program, participants will take inspiration from New York City’s subway and transit examples from around the world to imagine what public transportation might look like in the future as they design their own transit system!

Digital Design: Tiny Houses (Grades 6-8) – Online August 9 – 13, 2021

Digital design tiny house model

9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $560

Inspired by the rising popularity of miniature houses, students will examine small spaces and how limited square footage can inspire exciting design innovation. They’ll also be introduced to sustainable design strategies that can make tiny homes energy-efficient enough to support off-the-grid living. Students will then design their own tiny house using the fun and free 3D design software SketchUp and create an animated walkthrough of their finished project. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2021 Summer Programs is available here.

Architectural Design Studio (Grades 10-12) – Online August 9 – 20, 2021 (2-week program)

High school student in design studio

9:00 am – 4:00pm | $1,360

High School students interested in exploring the field of architecture and developing their portfolios will get a thorough introduction to the design process in this two-week intensive studio. Focused on several studio design projects, students will explore design on a series of scales, starting with a small object working toward the design of a small building. Students will learn how to work through an architectural program: from site analysis and developing a design concept to creating scale drawings and 3-D models of their design for a final presentation. Break-out groups will allow students to research and brainstorm collaboratively. 

House of the Future (Grades 3-5) – In-Person August 16 – 20, 2021

Child with model house and landscape

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

Students in this program will investigate how housing has changed over the years and what’s in store for the future. The group will look at examples of historic homes to see how people lived in the past, explore advancements in green architecture today, and speculate about how we might live in the future as they create their own designs for a house of the future. 

Green Island Home (Grades 6-8) – In-Person August 16 – 20, 2021

Student with green island home model

9:00 am – 4:00 pm | $700

Imagine having a small island in the Hudson River all to yourself! Who and what would you bring to your island? In this program, you’ll design an eco-friendly home for yourself on an imaginary island. You’ll also learn how to create buildings and landscapes that take advantage of our climate and natural resources to make your island a “green” oasis in the city. 

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