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The Center for Architecture's Vacation and Summer Programs give curious kids an opportunity to dive into an architecture 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.

Vacation Programs run three days (Tuesday-Thursday) during winter and spring vacations. Summer Programs run five days (Monday-Friday). All programs meet from 9am-4pm at the Center for Architecture. Students bring their own lunch daily. Tuition is $350 for Vacation Programs and $600 for Summer Programs. See a printable list of Summer Programs here.

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available for both Vacation and Summer programs. The deadline for 2018 Vacation and Summer Program Scholarships has passed.

Interested in volunteering? See our Summer Volunteer Application.

Questions? Check out our FAQs or email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Supported by

Vacation & 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

All 2018 programs are sold out. To be added to any of the waitlists, please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org with the name and date of the program you are interested in, your name, email address, phone number, your child’s name, and the grade your child will enter in Fall 2018.

Treehouses (Grades 3-5) June 25-29, 2018

Create your own fantastic model treehouse! Students will begin by crafting their own tree out of wood and papier-mâché, then work with its unique arrangement of branches to build a one-of-a-kind treehouse. We will explore various techniques to create ladders, swings, furniture, and other fun details.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Skyscrapers (Grades 6-8) June 25-29, 2018

Structural advances in technology allow us to imagine new skyscrapers that are taller than ever before! In this studio, we’ll 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. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Drawing Architecture (Grades 9-12) June 25-29, 2018

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. We will learn about methods for shading and rendering building materials. This is a great chance to create some new portfolio pieces!

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Waterfront City (Grades 3-5) July 9-13, 2018

What makes cities on the water so unique? How is their design affected by their location? Students in this studio will explore past, present, and future designs for cities built on or around water, including NYC. Students will create their own designs for a water city, incorporating ideas about architecture, transportation and recreation into their designs.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Architectural Design Studio (Grades 10-12) July 9-20, 2018 (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, architectural history lessons, and design analysis activities.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Building Bridges (Grades 3-5) July 16-20, 2018

In this studio, we’ll explore beam, truss, arch, suspension and moveable bridges to learn how these different types of bridges 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. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Digital Design: Camp Design (Grades 6-8) July 16-20, 2018

This design studio introduces students to SketchUp, a fun and free 3D computer modeling program. Students will explore different types of camps from around the country and participate in some classic camp activities as inspiration. Participants will then design their own ideal summer camp complete with cabins, activity spaces, and natural features, to produce an animated walk-through of their finished project.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

House of the Future (Grades 3-5) July 23-27, 2018

Students in this studio 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 for a window into how people lived in the past, explore advancements in green architecture today, and speculate about what elements will be most changed in 100 years. As their culminating project, students will design and build their own models of a house of the future.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Introduction to Architectural Design (Grade 9) July 23-27, 2018

Interested in architecture, but don’t know where to start? Start here! This special 9th grade program introduces students to the key components of architectural design through drawing and modeling activities that familiarize them with essential design concepts and techniques. Students will learn how to use scale measurement to create architectural floor plan, elevation and section drawings, and experiment with other 3-D drawing techniques such as axonometric and perspective drawing, to document and draft their own designs.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Playground Design (Grades 3-5) July 30-August 3, 2018

Kids are the experts in this studio focusing on the design of playgrounds. The class will visit several unique playgrounds in the city to assess their design features by playing (of course!) and conducting on-site analysis through surveys, drawings, and user interviews. Students will explore and design different types of play spaces, culminating in a model of their own ideal playground.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Theater Design (Grades 6-8) July 30-August 3, 2018

Create your own model theater and set the stage for your own production! In this studio, students will learn about important elements of theater and set design through activities at the Center and a visit to a city theater. Drawing on these design ideas, each participant will create a scale model of a theater and design a set for their favorite show.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Digital Design: Green Building (Grades 9-12) July 30-August 3, 2018

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.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Green Island Home (Grades 6-8) August 6-10, 2018

Imagine having a small island in the Hudson River all to yourself! Who and what would you bring to your island? In this studio, you’ll design an eco-friendly home for yourself on an imaginary island in the Hudson River. 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. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Architectural Design Studio (Grades 10-12) August 6-17, 2018 (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, architectural history lessons, and design analysis activities.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Animal Architecture (Grades 3-5) August 13-17, 2018

Have you ever been curious about where animals live? Students will explore how animals build their homes by observing structures such as nests, ant colonies, shells, and dams. We will also visit the zoo to learn about buildings and environments created for animals. Students will use these ideas as inspiration to create their own animal architecture designs!

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Digital Design: Tiny Houses (Grades 6-8) August 13-17, 2018

This studio introduces students to SketchUp, a fun and free 3D computer modeling program, as a tool for designing a small personal dwelling. Inspired by the rising popularity of miniature houses, students will examine small spaces, such as NYC’s “skinniest house” and how the limited square footage can inspire exciting innovation. Students will create a digital model of their own tiny house and an animated walk-through of their finished project.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Treehouses (Grades 3-5) August 20-24, 2018

Create your own fantastic model treehouse! Students will begin by crafting their own tree out of wood and papier-mâché, then work with its unique arrangement of branches to build a one-of-a-kind treehouse. We will explore various techniques to create ladders, swings, furniture, and other fun details.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Treehouses (Grades 6-8) August 20-24, 2018

The sky’s the limit in this studio! Students will begin the project by learning about the structure of trees to craft their own scale models of the perfect tree. Using these creations as our 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 sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Vacation Programs

Registration for Winter/Spring 2018 is now closed.

Design Your Dream House (Grades 3-5) February 20-22, 2018

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

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Digital Design: Apartment Design (Grades 6-8) February 20-22, 2018

This design studio introduces students to SketchUp, a fun and free 3D computer modeling program. Over the course of this three-day program, students will design their own apartment, with rooms and features of their choosing. The Center for Architecture’s Social Housing exhibition will provide creative ideas and inspiration for the students’ designs. On the last day, students will create an animated walk-through of their finished project to take home on a flashdrive.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Project Green: Reduce, Reuse, and Redesign (Grades 3-5) March 20-22, 2018

It’s becoming more and more important to create sustainable projects for our future. This 3-day program will introduce students to green design strategies such as using renewable energy sources, green and blue roofs, natural lighting, and passive heating or cooling. Students will then be challenged to design and incorporate these ideas into their own model of an environmentally-friendly building.

Digital Design: Store Design (Grades 6-8) March 20-22, 2018

This 3-day design studio introduces students to SketchUp, a fun and free 3D computer modeling program. What kind of store would you most like to run? Whether it’s a skateboard shop, café/restaurant, or fashion center, you’ll have fun creating your own digital design of a storefront and store interior. Learn how designers create retail spaces that are both exciting and functional as we visit and learn from some of the city’s great retail spaces.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Project Green: Reduce, Reuse, and Redesign (Grades 3-5) April 3-5, 2018

It’s becoming more and more important to create sustainable projects for our future. This 3-day program will introduce students to green design strategies such as using renewable energy sources, green and blue roofs, natural lighting, and passive heating or cooling. Students will then be challenged to design and incorporate these ideas into their own model of an environmentally-friendly building.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

Digital Design: Store Design (Grades 6-8) April 3-5, 2018

This 3-day design studio introduces students to SketchUp, a fun and free 3D computer modeling program. What kind of store would you most like to run? Whether it’s a skateboard shop, café/restaurant, or fashion center, you’ll have fun creating your own digital design of a storefront and store interior. Learn how designers create retail spaces that are both exciting and functional as we visit and learn from some of the city’s great retail spaces.

*This program is sold out. To be added to the waitlist please email k12education@centerforarchitecture.org.

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