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, students earn 2 college credits and may receive letters of recommendation for college admission. In addition, all students receive professional documentation of the work they produce in the program.
Design studio, the heart of the program, focuses on how creativity and discovery can foster passion and compassion in design. Students also learn how sustainability and the importance of the environment are shaping the practice of architecture.
Drawing studio, the second component of the program, engages students with the art of seeing, and teaches them to communicate through drawing as a measure of observation.
Activities for the program are divided into morning and afternoon sessions. Mornings are devoted to drawing; afternoon sessions are set aside for studio work. During our program, students 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
- Guest lectures by architects and designers
- Presentations on topics such as research, portfolio preparation, and the college admission process
- A final exhibition of work
Catalina Freixas, Assistant Professor
For the past few years, Catalina Freixas, LEED AP, has served as the lead faculty member for ADP. She has over 10 years of experience teaching design studios and core courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Sam Fox School. She has focused both her research and teaching on the field of biomimicry—which involves studying nature's best ideas and then imitating them to solve human problems—as a vital path for 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 husband, senior lecturer Pablo Moyano Fernandez. The two are currently working on the implementation of HUB: Hybrid Urban Bioscapes in Old North St. Louis. The project includes the creation of a gathering space to promote social interaction among residents, a hardscape with varying degree of permeability to promote different kinds of activities while permitting water infiltration, and a nectarine garden to promote pollinators and help surrounding community gardens in the area. Full bio>>
Pablo Moyano, Senior Lecturer
Lindsey Stouffer, Senior Lecturer
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, Lecturer
Tuition, Room, & Board
Tuition for the Architecture Discovery Program is $3,183; an additional $100 should be budgeted to cover the cost of supplementary supplies. Many students bring extra spending money for purchases such as snacks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. You will be notified upon acceptance to the program, and a non-refundable deposit will be required to confirm your admission. If a student withdraws from the program after classes begin, no portion of tuition will be refunded.
You will live in one of our secure modern residence houses and participate in organized weekend activities with other members of pre-college programs. There are study rooms, kitchenettes, laundry facilities, floor lounges, and a computer lab available for use. Program Assistants (PAs) living in the halls to provide advice and information, in addition to leading weekend activities and ensuring the rules and regulations of the program are maintained. A meal plan will allow you to enjoy a variety of food choices available across the campus.
The application form for the 2016 Architecture Discovery Program is now available online via SlideRoom. The application deadline is April 15, 2016; international applications must be submitted by March 15, 2016. Students will be accepted on a rolling basis starting in January 2016.
The following application materials are required:
1. Completed application form (available online)
2. 500-word essay expressing your interest in the program.
3. Copy of your most recent high school transcript.
4. One letter of recommendation from an academic teacher, art teacher, principal, high school counselor, or artist/architect who knows you well.
5. (Optional) Copies of official PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores.
6. $35 non-refundable application fee.
You will be notified upon acceptance, and a deposit will be required to confirm your admission to the program Students are admitted on a rolling basis beginning in December, so early applications are encouraged.
Scholarship assistance is available, ranging up to the full cost of attendance. Scholarships will be awarded based on academic merit and financial need.
In order to be considered for scholarship assistance, you must fill out this application form and mail it, along with all supplementary materials, to:
Washington University in St. Louis
Bixby Hall, Campus Box 1031
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
The deadline for scholarship applications is March 15, 2016.
For more information about the Architecture Discovery Program or application process, please contact:
Coordinator of Special Programs