SoA Summer Design Academy

June 9-15, 2024

Architecture is the thoughtful making of space. — Louis Kahn

Program Description

The UNC Charlotte School of Architecture Summer Design Academy is a one-week program that introduces high school students to the discipline and study of architecture. Students work in the studios of the David R. Ravin School of Architecture (SoA) and explore a variety of contemporary architectural issues through a series of design exercises.


Participants are introduced to a wide range of topics and ideas in architecture through different types of instruction and learning: presentations by SoA faculty, alumni, and local professionals; design exercises steered by current students; discussions of historical examples from across cultures; and constructive critiques. Together, these activities simulate the culture and experience of an architectural education today, and introduce the participants to what an architecture education might look like for them. In the course of the program, the collection of projects created provide the participants an opportunity to generate work to use in a design portfolio for their college applications.

Presentations will be given by SoA faculty and invited guests (local architects, designers and artists) each day of the program in order to introduce participants to the different elements and opportunities in architecture and design. Participants will also be given the opportunity to work in groups led by current SoA students on design projects throughout the week.

Workshops will introduce various analog and digital skill sets that SoA students use on a regular basis. These sessions will help participants become familiar with the wide range of methodologies that are used in an architectural education.

Group and individual projects will focus on ways to explore specific architectural concepts utilizing an array of analog and digital media. Participants will work with faculty and SoA students to make drawings, models and constructions at varying sizes, scales and levels of complexity.

Participants will be encouraged to engage in frequent formal and informal discussions about the program themes, selected readings and their role in design projects. These conversations will help develop a basic understanding of the vocabulary used to discuss design while introducing important historical and contemporary works of architecture.

Program Schedule

The 2024 program runs from Sunday, June 9, when participants arrive on campus, to Saturday, June 15, when participants celebrate the completion of the program. The program is in-person, with participants living on campus in the dorms under the supervision of current SoA students, and with classwork, lectures, and presentations conducted in the Storrs Building, which is the “home” of the School of Architecture.

Sunday, June 9

3:00-4:00 p.m. | Check in at the dormitory

  • Student TA’s will greet you in the lobby of dorm
  • Students get settled as parents depart

4:30 p.m. | Meet TA’s in the lobby of dorm

  • Students will meet the teaching assistants in the dorm lobby to walk to the Storrs Architecture Building

5:00 p.m. | Introductions & Studio Assignments

Each day Monday-Friday is organized into a morning, afternoon and evening session. In the morning and afternoon sessions the students will be engaged in work on design projects that will include drawing, model making, photography, and some digital exercises informed by faculty lectures. On Wednesday the group will travel to Uptown Charlotte to visit architecture offices and a pair of museums and cultural centers. The evening sessions will be dedicated to activities such as watching films and other more leisurely activities with the objective to introduce the students to an understanding of life on campus during architecture school.

Saturday, June 15

12:00-1:00 p.m. | Reception in the Salon (Storrs Architecture Building) for parents/students

  • Parents will pick up students and luggage at Storrs Building

More detailed information will follow closer to the program start date.


The program is designed for rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. There are no specific prerequisites apart from interest and curiosity: students receive instruction and guidance in the skills that are used during the program. Any student who is willing to make a conscientious effort will be able to complete the course assignments successfully. Enrollment is limited to 48 students. If the enrollment limit is reached prior to the closing date for applications a waiting list will be established.

Application Procedure & Program Cost

Thank you for your interest in the 2024 SoA Summer Design Academy. This year’s program is full. We will be conducting the program again in June of 2025, so please keep us in mind if you are interested in participating. We will begin taking applications for the 2025 program beginning in February of 2025.


For more information, please contact the office of the David R. Ravin School of Architecture at 704-687-0101 or, or Associate Professor Greg Snyder at

David R. Ravin School of Architecture
College of Arts+Architecture, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

UNC Charlotte does not discriminate in any of its programs, procedures, or practices against any person on the basis of age, citizenship, color, disability, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.