Each morning, students will participate in seminars, small group discussions and site visits that introduce them to the history and culture of architectural education and practice. The morning session lays the groundwork for the afternoon’s work.
The afternoon session offers students the opportunity for intensive, hands-on investigations into the design process. Students will develop the skills that allow them to explore and communicate their ideas effectively, and to develop their portfolios: sketching and drawing, diagramming, model-making and verbal presentation techniques. The course will culminate in a multi-week design project in which students document, analyze and propose solutions for targeted design opportunities in the city’s urban fabric.
Check out some pictures from last year’s program.
2014 Program Dates
Move in: Sunday, June 29
Program begins: Monday, June 30
Program ends: Thursday, July 24
Move out: Friday, July 25
$5225 Tuition, Housing and Most Meals
$300 Materials and Activities (required)
$300 Materials and Activities (required)
The Summer Design Studio offers admission through a competitive application process. Interested students are encouraged to submit applications as early as possible, as submissions are reviewed in the order that they are received. Applicants are required to submit a completed application form, a current high school or college transcript, a statement of interest, and a non-refundable application fee of $50.
Accepted students will receive notification via email, at which point they will be required to submit a deposit of $500 to hold their place in the program. For mor information, email the Summer Design Studio.
Application deadline : March 15, 2014
Introduction to Architectural Education, Practice and Culture
How can designers frame problems and develop effective solutions for the communities in which they live and work? This course takes as its focus the question of how architects and designers work as problem solvers on a variety of scales, and in collaboration with a variety of disciplines. An introduction to the culture of design education, culture and practice, the course will teach students how architects and designers frame problems, iteratively test options, and implement solutions that are both practical and creative. Students will consider both traditional and emerging modes of practice, meeting in small groups with accomplished practitioners working in Boston and further afield. The course will be comprised of lectures, discussion with guest speakers, case studies, visits to local design offices and field trips to important buildings and landscapes in the greater Boston area.
Introduction to Architectural Design
This course gives students the opportunity for hands-on investigations in the design process. Using Boston as a laboratory for investigation, the course begins with instruction on representational techniques such as drawing and sketching, model-making, diagramming, and collage. Individual and group design work will encourage the development of skills in critical thinking, leadership, collaboration and graphic communication, emphasizing a solutions-based approach to design problem solving. The course will also introduce students to studio culture, including regular individual desk crits with instructors, collaborative working pin-ups, and formal reviews with guest critics.
Alyson Tanguay and Rebecca Whidden have both lived, studied and worked in and around Boston for nearly a decade. Raised in Washington, DC (Alyson), and Manhattan and Hong Kong (Becca), they bring to the Summer Design Studio a familiarity with the forces–geographical, cultural, economic, political–-that shape urban landscapes, and a specific interest in the way designers can engage meaningfully with cities to participate in those shaping processes. Alyson and Becca look forward to introducing students of the Summer Design Studio to their adopted city.
Alyson works as an architect and design educator in the Boston area. She is currently an Academic Specialist at Northeastern’s School of Architecture, where she teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate studio sequences. Alyson manages an independent design practice and consults for larger Boston-based architecture and urban design firms. She has worked as a Senior Project Manager at Utile, Inc. Architecture + Planning, and at Chan Krieger Sieniewicz (now NBBJ) as an urban designer and architect. Alyson graduated magna cum laude from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in architectural history, and received a Master in Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she was awarded the Alpha Ro Chi Medal. Alyson has taught at Northeastern since 2010 and is currently a director of the Summer Design Studio. She has also served as instructor, critic, and curriculum development consultant at Wentworth, BAC, and GSD.
Rebecca Whidden practices and teaches design in the greater Boston area. A driving interest in process – how disparate information is sorted and integrated into a synthetic whole, and how conceptual ideas become built reality – informs her professional and academic work. Currently a designer and project manager at Jones Architecture in Salem, MA, Becca’s recent projects include design and planning studies for academic clients in Vermont, New Hampshire and Boston, and residential commissions in Marblehead and Melrose. Prior to her work with Jones Architecture, Becca worked at Perry Dean Rogers | Partners Architects in Boston and Fernau & Hartman Architects in Berkeley, CA. Becca received an M.Arch from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a B.A. with honors in history from the University of Chicago. She has taught design studios at Northeastern since 2010, and served as a guest critic at RISD, MIT, the BAC and Pratt.
Seasoned School of Architecture faculty will serve as course instructors, and current upper level undergraduates will serve as TA’s.
Residential Student Experience
Students who reside outside the Boston metro area, and those students who live locally but are eager to join a group of peers in an authentic undergraduate experience living on campus and enjoying its many benefits should plan to enroll in the program as residential students. Program participants will enjoy the benefits of residential life as typical Northeastern undergraduates, using university libraries, dining halls, recreational and student health facilities, and computer labs. Residential students will also enjoy access to various university-wide programs and other resources.
Students will reside in undergraduate dormitories alongside other Summer Institute participants under the supervision of residential advisors and directors who will provide guidance and supervision for students for the duration of the program. Students will live clustered together in groups of no more than 25 students, and will be proximate to other students of the same age and gender who make up a larger cohort of students on campus for pre-college summer programs.
The residential program provides most meals for students at university dining facilities. Summer Design Studio students may allocate these meals as they like, and are responsible for supplementing on-campus dining with off-campus meals of their choosing. Additonally, housing accommodations provide partial kitchen facilities where students can keep and prepare their own food.
Extracurricular Activities and Outings
When class is not in session, residential students may participate in optional supplementary activities and outings in the evenings and on weekends. Summer Design Studio faculty and residential life staff will lead students on outings to experience Boston’s distinctive neighborhoods and precincts. Additionally, students will enjoy planned opportunities to socialize on campus beyond the studio setting through activities including ice cream socials and joint program picnics/barbecues.
Day Student Experience
Students who currently reside in the Boston area may elect to participate in the program as day students. Although day students will not have access to residential and recreational facilities, they will be able to use University resources such as libraries and computer labs during class hours only. The Summer Design Studio program is easily accessible by T, commuter rail and bus.
I’m Accepted, Now What?
Congratulations on your acceptance to Summer Design Studio! We are excited for you to join us. To help you get started, please follow our checklist:
1) Submit your nonrefundable enrollment deposit.
Follow these instructions (also included in your acceptance confirmation letter) to submit your enrollment deposit of $500; locate your NU ID number in your acceptance confirmation letter
The deposit is required, secures your place in the program, and must be received before we can register you for classes. Class space is limited, so your deposit is due within (7) days of receipt of your acceptance confirmation letter.
2) Submit the following entry forms:
These forms will arrive in conjunction with your acceptance confirmation letter, and should be completed in conjunction with review of the Summer Design Student Handbook.
- Acceptance Form
- Medical Authorization
- Immunization History
- Marino Center Release Form
- Commuter Student Arrival/Departure Form (for day students only)
Original forms should be emailed, faxed, or mailed within (7) days of receipt to:
Fax: 617.373.7080 / ATTN: Summer Design Studio
Mailing Address: Northeastern University School of Architecture Summer Design Studio / 151 Ryder Hall / 360 Huntington Avenue / Boston, MA 02115
Forms should be submitted no later than May 31, 2014
3) Create your myNEU account. Once you have paid your deposit, we will send you information on how to create your myNEU account.
Your myNEU account is your portal to the University and will allow you to:
- View and confirm course registration (Summer Design Studio Staff will register you for your courses)
- Confirm your transactions and final schedule
- View your billing information
- View your grades and transcripts
- Access NU Online (our online Blackboard learning system)
4) Submit photo for Husky ID.
Email a photo by May 15 for your Husky ID to email@example.com.
- Your Husky ID is a photo ID required to gain access to all parking areas, computer labs, and many other campus facilities. You may deposit money onto your Husky ID account to use your ID like a debit card at a number of on- and off-campus locations
- You will receive your Husky ID at orientation
5) Travel to Campus.
Students living on campus will stay in Northeastern’s modern, apartment-style residence halls. During move-in and move-out, parents/guardians should park in Northeastern’s surface lot on Columbus Avenue, a short walk to the residence hall. Signs will be posted to direct you to the check-in desk.
GPS Address: 835 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. The lot is just west of the Renaissance Parking Garage.
From the north (via Route I-93): Take the Storrow Drive exit, and proceed to the Fenway exit. Follow signs for Boylston Street inbound, and bear right onto Westland Avenue. Turn right ontoMassachusetts Avenue, proceed to the third traffic light, and turn right onto Columbus Avenue. The Northeastern surface lot is approximately a half-mile down Columbus Avenue on the right.
From the south (via Route I-93, Route 3): Take Exit 18 (Massachusetts Avenue/ Roxbury/ Frontage Road). Turn left at the third light, staying in one of the two left lanes. Proceed straight ontoMelnea Cass Boulevard. Continue for approximately two miles, and turn right onto Columbus Avenue. The Northeastern surface lot is on the left.
From the west (via Route I-90, Mass. Turnpike): Take Exit 22 (Copley Square), and bear left toward the Prudential Center. From the exit ramp, proceed straight onto Huntington Avenue. Turn left onto Massachusetts Avenue, proceed to the third traffic light, and turn right onto Columbus Avenue. The Northeastern surface lot is approximately a half-mile down Columbus Avenue on the right.
From the west (via Route 9): Proceed east on Route 9; it will become Huntington Avenue. Turn right onto Ruggles Street. Turn left onto Tremont Street, and another left onto Melnea Cass Boulevard, then turn right onto Columbus Avenue. The Northeastern surface lot is on the left.
Via Public Transportation
Northeastern is accessible by subway via the Green Line (the Northeastern stop on the E line) or the Orange Line (Ruggles Station stop). Commuter rail lines connect with the Orange Line at Back Bay Station, Ruggles Station, and North Station.
From Logan Airport: Take the Massport Shuttle from your Terminal to the Blue Line Airport Station. Take the Blue Line train Inbound to State Street (transfer to the Orange Line outbound train) or Government Center (transfer to the Green Line outbound E Line train), then follow the directions above.
6) Attend Orientation.
- Orientation is mandatory and a great way to meet your fellow students!
- Orientation dates and times will be determined and posted in early December.
How is Summer Design Studio different from other summer architecture programs?
Summer Design Studio teaches students to engage with the problems of the city. It introduces the idea that complex, varied and rich urban landscapes offer designers myriad opportunities for positive intervention. Learning how to identify and respond to these opportunities is the focus of both seminar and studio courses.
This urban-centric, problem-solving approach is what sets programs at the Northeastern School of Architecture apart from peer programs.
As a student, you will work directly with seasoned School of Architecture faculty, gaining one-on-one instruction and engaging in meaningful dialogue with instructors the same way a Northeastern undergraduate would.
What opportunities will I have to explore Boston?
Summer Design Studio students will get to know Boston through weekly field trips and visits to sites around the city that will serve as the context for student’s studio projects. They will also join with students in other Northeastern summer programs for social outings around the city: a Red Sox game at Fenway, cannoli in the North End, a walking tour of Harvard Square.
How hard are the courses?
Summer Design Studio will expose students to the rigor and discipline of successful design practice, but will not require the type of hours typical of architecture school. Assignments are structured so they can be worked on during class time, but additional evening and weekend work is expected within reason. Access to the studio workspace is limited during late night hours to ensure that students are achieving an acceptable balance between immersive studio work and other opportunities offered on and around campus.
Will this program help me get into architecture school?
Students interested in pursuing further studies in architecture or other design disciplines will leave Summer Design Studio with a series of projects that can form the beginning of a portfolio or round out an existing one. Participation in our program, while not a guarantee for admission to architecture school at Northeastern or elsewhere, communicates a commitment to the field of study that will complement other elements of your application. And, having studied directly with Northeastern School of Architecture faculty you may be able to request letters of recommendation from architecture professors who know your work first-hand.
Are scholarships available?
Summer Design Studio is not able to offer scholarships at this time.
Are visas available for international students?
Visa availability for Summer 2014 is pending. If you are an international student interested in our program, we encourage you to contact us so we can add you to our mailing list. We will let you know as soon as visas become available, and will hope to welcome you to campus this summer.
Will I be drawing by hand or working on a computer to complete assignments?
Both! The Summer Design Studio curriculum focuses primarily on manual representation–crafting sketches, drawings, diagrams by hand–because we see these skills as the foundational building blocks for proposing, analyzing and understanding architecture. In our experience, those students who master working by hand go on to apply their understanding of manual work effectively to digital tools like drafting software and 3D modeling applications. We encourage, but do not require, the use of computers as a complement to manual work in studio. On campus, you will have access to Northeastern’s computer lab facilities (which already have many design software platforms pre-installed), and are also welcome to use your own laptop in studio, where you will find technical support from faculty and teaching assistants.