As we have done in the. past, we are continuing with our profiling a particular architecture summer program; for this session, we are highlighting the University of California – Berkeley: College of Environmental Design Summer Programs in Architecture.

Based on what you read below, do strongly consider attending one of their summer programs.

Questions? Contact Director of Summer Programs Chrissie Bradley


“Now more than ever there is a need for resilient design and planning in our cities in response to unprecedented challenges of climate change, global pandemic and social inequities. Virtual CED Summer Programs bring together students and practitioners from around the world in a virtual space to reframe these challenges as opportunities for innovation.” 

– Disc* Program Director Gabriel Kaprielian 

Now in their second virtual year, the CED Summer Programs will again utilize immersive technology – including virtual and augmented reality – to explore the potential of digital platforms for creativity and collaboration. Our three intensive summer programs will combine online visual communication tools with synchronous and asynchronous instruction to create a cohesive and rigorous learning environment that is accessible to every student. All participants who satisfy the program requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion and course credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript.


  • Spend five to six weeks learning at a top public university alongside peers with similar interests and ambitions.
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion and course credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript.
  • Develop a stronger college or graduate school application.
  • Hone your skills in the leading-edge technology you’ll use in the studio, the classroom and the workplace.
  • Explore current methodologies and theories of architecture and environmental design.
  • Learn analog and digital representation skills that can be utilized in a wide range of disciplines and professions.
  • Take the next step toward an education and a career that will empower you to create a built environment that is sustainable, affordable, healthy and accessible to all.


Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design

July 6 – August 13, 2021 – (6 weeks)


Currently enrolled architecture undergraduates, recent architecture graduates

[IN]ARCH ADV is an intermediate architecture studio within the Summer Institute that is formulated to push the boundaries of architectural thinking and design. The studios are formal, intensive and structured for experimentation with physical ideas. With support from faculty mentors, participants spend six focused weeks refining their skills and developing their portfolio, emerging from the program with a more competitive application for applying to graduate architecture programs. An undergraduate degree in architecture or current enrollment in an architecture program is required.

“I appreciated Professor Plymale’s flexibility in reading of visual language so each participant could explore their strongest qualities without being forced into the same mold, and secondly the range of possibilities he sees from every small detail. It’s delightful to discuss methodology and innovation with Keith. I had low expectations coming into this course since it was online, but I’m ultimately very glad I took part.”

– 2020 [IN]ARCH ADV alum


Post-baccalaureates, no design experience

[IN]ARCH is an intensive introductory studio within the Summer [IN]STITUTE that is designed to immerse students in the foundational theories and practices of architectural design. The program is structured as an introduction to studio culture and architectural discourse, and serves as a vehicle for further academic pursuits within the field. Students start with first principles, investigating what it means to “speak” architecture through representation, to literally describe a form into a state of being. Architecture is a philosophical as well as technical pursuit, with a deep disciplinary history that participants are exposed to through a series of essays and exercises.

Disc* (Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities)

July 6 – August 6, 2021 – (5 weeks)

Currently enrolled undergraduates, recent graduates from any major – all levels of design experience welcome

Disc* is about the present and the future of global urban environments, their challenges, and the potential of design and innovation as catalysts for change.

The program explores an interdisciplinary and multi-scalar approach to the design and analysis of urban space. Throughout the five weeks of studio sessions, lectures, seminars, and workshops, Disc* students engage in the discourses of sustainable urban innovation and gain hands-on experience in design. Upon completion of the Disc*program, graduates will have a strong understanding of urban dynamics and a broad toolkit to tackle the increasingly urgent challenges of global urbanization. Students will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to develop and represent their design ideas, preparing themselves to become the next thought leaders and game changers in the shaping of our built environment.

“My experience with DISC* was amazing. I do not have the words to express my gratitude towards Gabriel, Reagan, Lindsay, and Dewi. They teach with dignity and grace.

I loved how hands-on (virtually, of course) the program was and although it was online, the knowledge gained from the program outweighed that. It was truly an amazing experience and I thank you all for the work and thought that was put into the program!”

– 2020 Disc* alum

embARC Summer Design Academy

July 6 – August 6, 2021 (5 weeks)

Rising high school juniors and seniors

embARC is a four-week summer design intensive that brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds in a virtual space to explore architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning at UC Berkeley through interlocking components: an Architecture + Urban Design Studio, a Sustainable City Planning Workshop, a Digital Design Workshop, and a Tools + Materials Workshop.

“I loved the exposure to the various design disciplines and my biggest takeaway was the overlap between these different fields. I shouldn’t move on in life thinking that the job of creating a sustainable future lies in the hands of a few, separated professionals. I’ll apply my knowledge from embARC and my college education to work towards this goal, no matter what path I choose in college.” –   2020 embARC alum



When: July 6 – August 13, 2021

Format:  virtual

Cost: ~$4,600 (includes materials stipend and software access.) Partial need-based stipends are available for Disc* and the Institute.

Deadline: Apply by May 15, 2021


Questions? Contact Director of Summer Programs Chrissie Bradley



Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.