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The Center for Architecture's 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, and special site visits.

Summer Programs are week-long classes for students entering grades 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12 in Fall 2020. All programs meet Mon-Fri from 9am-4pm at the Center for Architecture, unless otherwise noted. Students bring their own lunch daily.

Need-based scholarships are available; apply by April 1. We can only accept one scholarship application per student.

Download a PDF schedule of all 2020 Summer Programs. The 2020 waitlist is available here. Confirm below if a program is sold out before adding yourself to the waitlist.

Learn more about our Summer Programs Educators and Staff here.

Questions? Check out our FAQs. For 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.

Summer Programs

Registration for all Summer Programs is now open! Tuition is $650/5-day program week; $550/4-day week; $1,300 for two-week Architectural Design Studio programs. All grade levels are based on the grade the student will enter in Fall 2020. The waitlist for sold-out programs is here.

Dream House (Grades 3-5) June 22-26, 2020

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

Skyscrapers (Grades 6-8) June 22-26, 2020

K-12 Summer Program, Skyscrapers. Photo: Center for Architecture.

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 design challenges and a visit to a local skyscraper. Students will then be challenged to design and build their own model skyscrapers.

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Drawing Architecture (Grades 9-12) June 22-26, 2020

Take some time this summer to develop your architectural drawing skills! With a focus on perspective and free-hand drawing techniques, participants will visit different spaces throughout the city to practice observational on-site sketching. Students will learn how to create one and two-point perspectives, as well as methods for shading and rendering building materials. This is a great chance to create some new portfolio pieces! 

Skyscrapers (Grades 3-5) June 29 - July 2, 2020 *4-day week

From One World Trade Center to the Empire State building, NYC is full of remarkably tall buildings. During this program, we will explore what makes these structures so strong by conducting experiments and visiting a local skyscraper. By the end of the week, students will design and build their very own model skyscraper! 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Treehouses (Grades 6-8) June 29 - July 2, 2020 *4-day week

Create your own fantastic model treehouse! Students will begin the project by learning about the structure and ecology of trees to craft their own scale models of the perfect tree. Using these creations as their starting point, participants will be challenged to design and build a fantasy treehouse within its branches. We will learn various techniques to support the treehouse, and create ladders, swings, furniture, and other fun details to scale! This program is offered through a special partnership with the NYU Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education and Sustainability.

*This program will be offered in a nearby NYU classroom.

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Digital Design: Tiny Houses (Grades 6-8) June 29 - July 2, 2020 *4-day week

Inspired by the rising popularity of miniature houses, students will examine small spaces and how limited square footage can inspire exciting design innovation. Field trips to explore urban examples of compact living spaces and flexible furnishings that make this lifestyle possible will provide ideas and inspiration. 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 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Housing the Future (Grades 9-12) June 29 - July 2, 2020 *4-day week

In this design studio, students will investigate how housing has changed over the years and develop their own ideas about how it should look in the future. Students will learn about sustainable design strategies to minimize buildings’ impact on the environment and consider how the design of our living spaces can help promote equity, diversity, and encourage positive community interactions. For a final studio project, students will create drawings and a model of their own designs for housing they would like to see in the future.

Subway Architecture (Grades 3-5) July 6-10, 2020

Our favorite city in the world would be nothing without the complex subway system that runs underneath the busy streets. During this program, participants will explore the city’s newest subway stops and imagine what public transportation might look like in the future as they design their own transit system! 

Treehouses (Grades 3-5) July 6-10, 2020

Create your own fantastic model treehouse! Students will begin the project by learning about the structure and ecology of trees to better understand and appreciate the important role they play in our environment. Students will then craft their own tree out of wood and papier-mâché, and work with its unique arrangement of branches to build a one-of-a-kind treehouse. This program is offered through a special partnership with the NYU Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education and Sustainability. 

*This program will be offered in a nearby NYU classroom.

Building Bridges (Grades 6-8) July 6-10, 2020

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. Hands on design challenges will help students understand the engineering concepts behind these amazing structures. Students will visit several of NYC’s bridges, then put their new knowledge to the test as they create a final bridge of their own design!

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Drawing Architecture (Grades 9-12) July 6-10, 2020

Take some time this summer to develop your architectural drawing skills! With a focus on perspective and free-hand drawing techniques, participants will visit different spaces throughout the city to practice observational on-site sketching. Students will learn how to create one and two-point perspectives, as well as methods for shading and rendering building materials. This is a great chance to create some new portfolio pieces! 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

House of the Future (Grades 3-5) July 13-17, 2020

Students in this program will investigate how housing has changed over the years and what’s in store for the future. The group will visit a historic home in NYC 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.

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Digital Design: Lunar Living (Grades 6-8) July 13-17, 2020

This design studio introduces students to SketchUp, a fun and free 3D design software. Students will explore the challenges of designing in a zero-gravity environment and imagine how they might live in space. Using SketchUp, participants will design a space habitat that could make living on the moon an out of this world experience! 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Store Design (Grades 9-12) July 13 - 17, 2020

In this design studio, students will combine the skills of an architect, curator, and brand designer to design their own permanent store or pop-up shop. Students will learn how designers create places that are both exciting and functional through visits to some of the city’s great retail spaces and architecture offices specializing in store design. Using this inspiration and their own creativity, students will create scale drawings and a detailed model of a storefront and store interior of their own design. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Museum Design (Grades 3-5) July 20-24, 2020

Architecture, Dinosaurs, Subways, and Space. What do these things have in common? They can all be seen in NYC museums; where all ages can learn, create, and play! In this program, we will visit some of the city’s famous museums to see how their architecture fits their unique needs. Using that inspiration, students will then design and create their own model of a museum to display their favorite collection.

Digital Design: Aqua-tecture (Grades 6-8) July 20-24, 2020

Throughout time, cities have been built near the water for both resources and transit. In this program, we’ll investigate how rising sea levels will affect the design of buildings at, on, or near the water in the future. Students will learn about solutions that have been implemented around the world, then create their own designs for imaginative aqua-tecture for the 21st century. Students will develop their designs in SketchUp, a fun and free 3D design software, and create an animated walk-through of their final project.

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Architectural Design Studio (Grades 10-12) July 20-31, 2020 (2 week program)

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 around a studio design project, 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. Studio class will be supplemented by visits to an architectural office and a college architecture program, exploring architectural precedents, and design analysis activities. 

Building Bridges (Grades 3-5) July 27-31, 2020

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 visit several of NYC’s bridges, then put their new knowledge to the test as they create a final bridge of their own design!

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Digital Design: Sustainable City (Grades 6-8) July 27-31, 2020

Sustainability has become an integral part of design thinking in today’s world. In this program, we’ll explore how green design ideas can impact our environment at the city scale, looking at examples in New York City and abroad. Combining landscape architecture, city planning, and building design, students will design a section of NYC to show how it might look if sustainability was made a top priority. Students will develop their designs in SketchUp, a fun and free 3D design software, and create an animated walk-through of their final project. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Theater Design (Grades 3-5) August 3-7, 2020

Create your own model theater and set the stage for your own show! In this class, participants will learn about the theatrical design process through activities at the Center and a visit to a city theater. Using these ideas, each student will then create a scale model of a theater interior, design their own sets, and raise the curtain on their own production. 

Store Design (Grades 6-8) August 3-7, 2020

What kind of store would you most like to create? Whether it’s a skateboard shop, café/restaurant or clothing boutique, you’ll have fun designing your own storefront and store interior by making scale drawings and a detailed model. Learn how designers create places that are both exciting and functional as we visit and learn from some of the city’s great retail spaces and architecture offices specializing in store design. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Digital Design: Sustainable City (Grades 9-12) August 3-7, 2020

Sustainability has become an integral part of design thinking in today’s world. In this design studio we’ll explore how green design ideas can impact our environment at the city scale, looking at examples in New York City and abroad. Combining landscape architecture, city planning, and building design, students will design a section of NYC to show how it might look if sustainability was made a top priority. Students will develop their designs in SketchUp, the free 3D design software used by professionals, and create an animated walk-through of their final project.

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Neighborhood Design (Grades 3-5) August 10-14, 2020

Summer is a great time to explore Greenwich Village. Join us to investigate this fun and exciting neighborhood through scavenger hunts, sketching, architectural rubbings, photography and more. Working together, students will then create their own model neighborhood, with each child designing and building their favorite piece of a new city neighborhood they would all enjoy. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Digital Design: Tiny Houses (Grades 6-8) August 10-14, 2020

Inspired by the rising popularity of miniature houses, students will examine small spaces and how limited square footage can inspire exciting design innovation. Field trips to explore urban examples of compact living spaces and flexible furnishings that make this lifestyle possible will provide ideas and inspiration. 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 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Architectural Design Studio (Grades 10-12) August 10-21, 2020 (2 week program)

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 around a studio design project, 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. Studio class will be supplemented by visits to an architectural office and a college architecture program, exploring architectural precedents, and design analysis activities. 

Fairytale Architecture (Grades 3-5) August 17-21, 2020

K-12 Program, Fairytale Architecture. Photo: Center for Architecture.

Enter a world of fantasy and let books be your guide! From Hansel and Gretel to Harry Potter, in this program, we will revisit some famous stories to look at the marvelous architecture they contain. Students will then bring fictional places to life by designing and building a model of a building or place from their favorite story! 

Digital Design: Bridges (Grades 6-8) August 17-21, 2020

K-12 Summer Program, Digital Design: Bridges. Photo: Center for Architecture.

In this program, students will explore the structure and design of different types of bridges through building activities and by looking at examples in New York City and abroad. Students will use this inspiration to design their own bridge using the fun and free 3D design software SketchUp and make an animated walkthrough of their finished project. Students will also create hand drawings and models to help make connections between digital and physical designs. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Store Design (Grades 3-5) August 24-28, 2020

What kind of store would you most like to create? Whether it’s a clothing boutique, toy store, or ice cream shop, you’ll have fun designing your own storefront and store interior by making drawings and a detailed model. Learn how designers create spaces that are both exciting and functional as we visit and learn from some of the city’s coolest stores. 

Green Island Home (Grades 6-8) August 24-28, 2020

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. 

This program is SOLD OUT. The waitlist for 2020 Summer Programs is available here.

Digital Design: Bridges (Grades 9-12) August 24-28, 2020

In this design studio, students will explore the structure and design of different types of bridges through building activities and by looking at examples in New York City and abroad. Students will meet with professional bridge engineers at a top NYC firm to learn more about how these structures are created, then design their own bridge using the free 3D design software SketchUp and make an animated walkthrough of their finished project. Students will also create hand drawings and models to help make connections between digital and physical designs. 

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