Design Immersion Days (DID) is an immersive three-week summer program that introduces high school students to design and architecture. It is intended to inspire curiosity about the world of design, introduce basic design knowledge and critical thinking skills, and familiarize students with the expansive architecture and design culture of Los Angeles.
Throughout the program, DID students are exposed to examples of design and modes of production at all scales, from analog physical building and traditional drawing to multiple forms of digital output—augmented reality, 3D modeling, 3D printing, and more. In the classroom and beyond, participants explore ways of seeing, thinking, and making that are essential for anyone interested in pursuing a career in architecture or design.
In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, SCI-Arc is proud to announce that the DID program will be accessible to students worldwide through a new virtual platform. For summer 2020, DID has been reimagined as a three-week online program that introduces students to architecture as a lively, social, and collaborative experience that captures the collective spirit of DID.
Experiencing Architecture School
Simulating a college-level architecture studio experience, DID students create design projects which are developed through one-on-one discussions with SCI-Arc faculty during desk-crits and through collegial collaborations with other students. Students regularly present their work to juries of instructors and peers in discussion-based pin-ups and group review sessions, receiving guidance and feedback that help to jumpstart an interest in the process of design.
An Introduction to Architectural Thinking and Production
DID’s curriculum is built to articulate projects within three different formats and scales, from analog models to digital renderings, presenting scenarios in which students are challenged to think analytically, use different tools, and imagine nontraditional approaches to design. Through projects emphasizing visual studies, design lab, and portfolio building, students are introduced to a range of skills essential to exploring, discovering, describing, and producing design work.
DID students refine a design acuity and hone a visual vocabulary through techniques and tools that include freehand sketching, mechanical drafting, computer drawing, Rhino, Photoshop, Illustrator, physical model making, 3D modeling, and virtual and augmented reality. This exposure enables students to conceive their designs through a mode of production that fluidly moves between physical and the virtual workflows.
Exploring the Design Culture of Los Angeles
Showcasing the robust creative economy of Los Angeles, including the industries of film, fashion, and design provides a way for DID students to make connections not only between creative fields but also the critical professional economic dynamics within the city as a whole.
Students get to know the city’s visual, structural, and cultural context through the lens of those most deeply engaged with shaping the cityscape: prominent architects who call Los Angeles their home. Lunchtime chats bring students in direct conversation with leading architects and designers.
Building and Refining a Creative Portfolio
Weekly portfolio workshops that introduce layout design and material formatting compilation strategies are an integral part of DID, equipping students with the knowledge and tools to present their body of work compellingly. Students complete the program with a fully developed creative portfolio, a critical component in applying to architecture and design schools.
Design Immersion Days culminates in a public exhibition showcasing the work completed during the three-week program where students present their projects to a panel comprised of some of the top architects, critics, and theorists in Los Angeles.
Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is dedicated to educating architects who will imagine and shape the future. It is an independent, accredited degree-granting institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture. Located in a quarter-mile-long former freight depot in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles, the school is distinguished by its vibrant studio culture and emphasis on process. SCI-Arc’s approximately 500 students and 80 faculty members, most of whom are practicing architects, work together to reexamine assumptions, create, explore, and test the limits of architecture. SCI-Arc faculty and leadership have garnered more than 500 national and international design awards and recognitions, including Progressive Architecture awards, American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards, and the prestigious Jencks and Pritzker architecture prizes. In DesignIntelligence’s 2019 US survey, SCI-Arc ranked #2 in Design Technologies, #3 Most Hired From, and was top ten among the nation’s Most Admired Undergraduate Programs in Architecture.
- From 13
- To 17
- College Prep
- Arts and Crafts
- Other Arts
- Visual Arts
- 3D Design
- Digital Photography
- Digital Video