The Architecture Discovery Program (ADP) is an exciting introduction to architecture and design for high school students. Our rigorous two-week program offers intensive individual instruction by Sam Fox School faculty. The explorations carried out in studio provide students with quality material to add to their design portfolios.
This program is recommended for rising juniors and seniors in high school. Upon successful completion, you earn 2 college credits. In addition, all students receive professional documentation of the work they produce in the program.
The heart of the program, Design Studio drives creativity and discovery to foster passion and compassion in design. You learn how sustainability and the built environment are shaping the practice of architecture. Over the course of the program, you undertake a series of short design exercises, culminating in an architectural project for review by faculty and guest critics.
Drawing studio engages you with the art of seeing, as you learn how to better observe the world around you and communicate what you see through drawing. Field trips across the WashU campus and throughout the St. Louis community provide multiple opportunities to practice drawing on site. Through observation and sketching, you will understand elements such as proportion, light/shadow, material and texture, spatial relationships, orthographic projections, and perspective.
During our program, you initiate and work on an architectural design, developing a project for a final review by faculty and guest critics.
Course work is complemented by additional events and activities, including:
- Field trips to some of the finest examples of architecture in the St. Louis region—including the Gateway Arch by Eero Saarinen, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation by Tadao Ando, and our very own Kemper Art Museum by Fumihiko Maki—as well as local architecture firms such as CannonDesign and HOK.
- Guest lectures by architects and designers
- Presentations on topics such as research, portfolio preparation, and the college admission process
- A final exhibition of work
Program Director; Assistant Professor, Architecture Studio
For the past several years, Catalina Freixas, LEED AP, has served as the lead faculty member for ADP. She has more than 15 years of experience teaching design studios and seminars at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Sam Fox School, and has focused her research on sustainable design. As an architect, Freixas has worked for a number of national and international firms on a range of projects such as corporate office, housing, hospitality, educational, and residential facilities. In 2010, she opened laulab St. Louis, an office she shares with her partner, senior lecturer Pablo Moyano. As a two-time recipient of grants through The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative, funded by the Mellon Foundation, Freixas has researched issues of segregation in post-industrial cities such as St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Detroit through the lens of sustainability, inclusion, and community resiliency. Full bio>>
Senior Lecturer, Architecture Studio
Pablo Moyano has more than 10 years of experience teaching design studios and seminars. He has a professional architecture degree from the University of Buenos Aires and a Master of Architecture degree from WashU. He focuses primarily on housing, with a strong emphasis on self-sufficient and sustainable design that is simultaneously assessed at the scales of the city, the building, and the user. He has worked in the field of architecture for over twenty years, developing his career with international and national firms, with a strong affinity for construction.
Senior Lecturer, Architecture Studio
Lindsey Stouffer's practice includes public art, studio works, furniture design, and traditional and non-traditional media. She has earned several awards for public art including recognition from PAN-AFTA Year in Review for a project commissioned by the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis and a grant from Arts in Transit commissioning work for the St. Louis-area Metrolink. She is a senior lecturer in architecture and art in the Sam Fox School. Her research explores pathologies of place, investigating the diverse ways places can be perceived and consequences of representation. Her artwork deals directly with site as context, protagonist, and generative source for the work. Full bio>>
Lavender Tessmer teaches architectural representation and digital fabrication courses in the Sam Fox School. She has worked with Yogiaman Tracy Architects on a variety of installations and residential and commercial projects, including Cast Thicket, the winning entry for the TEX-FAB Digital Fabrication Alliance 2013. She earned a Master of Architecture degree from WashU in 2011.
Tuition, Room, & Board
The estimated cost of the Architecture Discovery Program is $3,210. These costs include tuition, room, board (3 meals per day), supplies, and field trips. An additional $100 should be budgeted as extra spending money for purchases such as snacks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. Upon acceptance to the program, a $250 non-refundable deposit will be required by June 1, 2017, to reserve your space in the program. If you withdraw from the program after classes begin, no portion of tuition will be refunded.
You will live in one of our modern residence houses on the WashU campus. Study rooms, kitchenettes, laundry facilities, floor lounges, and a computer lab are available. Program Assistants are current undergraduates or recent graduates who live in the dorms, assist in your classes, chaperone field trips, and guide you through the program. With your meal plan, you get to enjoy a variety of food choices available across campus.
The online application for the 2017 Architecture Discovery Program will open December 15, 2016. Students are admitted on a rolling basis beginning in January 2017. Early applications are encouraged
International & Early Application Deadline: March 15, 2017
Regular Application Deadline: April 15, 2017
The following materials are required for the online application:
1. 500-word essay about you and what you hope to gain from our program.
2. Your most recent high school transcript.
3. One letter of recommendation from an academic teacher, art teacher, principal, high school counselor, or artist/architect who knows you well.
4. (Optional) Copies of official PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores.
5. $45 non-refundable application fee ($35 if you apply by March 15, 2017).
Scholarship assistance is available, ranging up to the full cost of attendance. Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need and academic merit. The program deposit is waived for students requiring scholarship assistance.
Scholarship Application Deadline: March 15, 2017
*To be considered for a scholarship, your program application must also be complete by this date.
For more information about the Architecture Discovery Program or application process, please contact:
Coordinator of Special Programs