Imagine Architecture

Imagine Architecture is a career exploratory studio for grade 10-12 students who are interested in design and who would like to gain experience in creative design thinking and making. Taught by instructors from Carleton’s architecture program, these fun and intensive workshops will introduce students to the creative culture of design studio, which is at the core of the Architectural Studies curriculum.

We are proud to offer exceptional summer programs for high school students interested in architecture, design, and building a portfolio.


Dates for 2023 will be posted in the Fall. Join the mailing list for updates.


How do I decide?


For those who want to explore a range of media and scales, Labs 101, 102, and 103 are designed as a sequence, to build skills and confidence, prepare students for application to undergraduate programs in architecture, and generate portfolio material.

For those who prefer to take only one LAB, each is designed independently and requires no previous training.

You can register for any one of them or you can register for all courses without repeating projects. Projects will allow the maximum exposure to creative design skills that will be helpful in creating a design portfolio.

Scroll down for more details about the LABs, testimonials and FAQs.

How will this help my application portfolio?

The program aims to give students the tools they need to represent their creative ideas. The work is a reflection of how the students observe, interpret, and propose a narrative through their designs. Admission committees look for students who can communicate their ideas and express how they imagine architecture.


For those interested in all three LABs, we offer a $125 discount. You will be presented with a coupon during online payment.

One week on-campus: $700 + HST (includes daily lunch) 

Two weeks on-campus: $1,400 + HST (includes daily lunch)

Three weeks on-campus: $1,975 + HST (includes daily lunch)

One week online: $625 + HST

Cancellation Policy

A refund (minus $45 service charge) will be issued for cancellations 30 days before the start of the LAB for which you are registered. Unfortunately, there is no refund for cancellations made less than 30 days before the start of the LAB for which you are registered.

Imagine Architecture FAQ

Imagine Architecture is an online career exploratory studio for grade 10-12 students who are interested in design and who would like to gain experience in creative design thinking and making. Taught by instructors from Carleton’s architecture program, these fun and intensive workshops will introduce students to the creative culture of design studio, which is at the core of the Architectural Studies curriculum.

Students who have completed grade 10 – 12. There is no application process – receipt of your registration form and payment will guarantee your spot in the program.

Registration and payment is done online. Click here to register.

We will accept registrations until all spots are taken. You are advised to register early to avoid disappointment.

Registration and payment must be completed at the same time. Your spot is not reserved until we receive payment. If you enter your information but do not complete the payment process, you will have to redo the whole registration process again the next time you come back to pay.

A refund (minus $45 service charge) will be issued for cancellations 30 days before the start of the LAB for which you are registered. There is no refund for cancellations that take place less than 30 days before the start of the LAB for which you are registered.

You will receive an auto-response with a copy of your registration and receipt. This is the the official confirmation of your registration and it guarantees your spot in the program.

Two weeks before the start of the program, you will receive a welcome package with all the logistical details.

Do you know a high school student interested in architecture?

Testimonials from 2021 Participants

I learned a lot about architectural drawings, architecture school, and architecture as a career.

I feel after this course that I am prepared to make a portfolio that will help me reach my goals when applying for university.

The instructors were very welcoming and helpful.

They explained everything in a way that was clear and taught us how to do a lot of different things in a relatively short amount of time.

The program showed me a preview of what I will be learning in architecture school and has proven that I will enjoy it. I would recommend this program to anyone who enjoys doing artistic things and is unsure of what they want to do in university.

The lectures were also very engaging and opened my eyes to architectural perspectives, which I loved.

I found it very fun to imagine a project, draw it, and then recreate it in a 3D world.

They challenge you to think in a creative way and to apply needs and reasons to anything you put in a piece. All of the assignments were also very unique, unlike high school art projects.

The staff were really supportive of my ideas and worked with me to elaborate my projects. They also answered all my questions about Carleton Architecture, portfolio, and general art.

I can tell that they cared and enjoyed teaching us. They didn’t act so authoritative but more friendly, which is a part of what makes kids actually want to learn from them.

I enjoyed how this class pushed you to think outside the box.

The teaching assistant was very engaged and was able to help me improve my projects and could explain things that I was not able to understand.

They gave great advice on building a portfolio and how to build one. They also showed examples and what to do and what not to do in a portfolio.

The course confirmed that I want to pursue an education and career in architecture.

It was a fun and enjoyable learning experience that shed light on things I wouldn’t have thought about.

Other Testimonials from Past Participants

I am so glad I took this course because what I initially thought schools would want as a portfolio is not actually what they are looking for. This course gave me the skills to expand on my ideas and develop a narrative for my drawings, which was very helpful.

I took Lab 101 as a way to explore architecture and enjoyed that course so much I decided to take Lab 103 as well. I signed up for the labs expecting it to be an enjoyable experience, but I learned so much and had a better time than expected! The instructors were great too, and made the experience more enjoyable as well!

I enjoyed the lab I participated in more than I expected because I was able to expand my skills and knowledge of architecture, and also get valuable information about the Carleton architecture program and how to make the best application portfolio.

I took this course to get a feel for what architectural school would be like. I loved the course, so I am now considering applying to architectural schools for my post-secondary education.

I loved the assignments. There was free-range to dive into my creative side while also having a theme and list of what my teacher expected of me.

I learnt something new every day in terms of skills for developing unique portfolio work.

I would recommend this course to anyone planning on applying to architecture school. I learned so much about portfolio prep, which will help immensely in applying. Also, the connections I made with the instructors were great, and they all are open to answer questions in the future if I have any, which is so kind of them and will be helpful too.

About the LABs

LAB 101
Emphasis on human scale, multi-media drawing techniques, architectural conventions, and some physical modeling

This week-long workshop will include thought-provoking lectures and hands-on design thinking and making activities. You will be immersed in a culture of creativity, inspired motivation, and related skills-building techniques, methods, and projects.

Each day will be dedicated to a specific theme that will culminate in a final exhibition of your projects. There will also be an opportunity to learn about Carleton University’s application process and a workshop in portfolio preparation.

2022 Dates



July 4-8 (on-campus)

July 25-29 (online)

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$700 +HST (on-campus)

$625 + HST (online)

Pencil Drawing/Sketching

Model Making

Architecture Photography

Creative Writing

Architecture Drawing Sets

Observing One’s Environment

Materiality in Architecture

Curation (Exhibition)

LAB 102

Emphasis on digital representation: Rhino 3D, Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Workshop on page layouts for portfolios

LAB 102 offers a series of unique, engaging workshops that introduce students to different software used in architectural design. You will learn how to construct 2D architectural drawings and basic geometric models with Rhino 3D. These geometric models offer an opportunity to explore more advanced fabrication and physical model-making techniques. Participants will learn proper workflow to move between drafting, illustration, and visualization programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator with the aim of using Adobe InDesign to construct professional portfolio pages.

2022 Date



July 11-15 (on-campus) 

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$700 + HST 

LAB 103

Emphasis on diagrams and abstract architectural thinking, urban space, and portfolio preparation workshops

LAB 103 is a week-long immersive multi-media workshop, introducing participants to techniques of drawing, small model-building, and architectural representation. A series of choreographed exercises focus on drawing by hand, three-dimensional thinking, and abstract visualization. Topics include concepts of line drawing, plan and section, perspective, cut-and-fold, and composition.

Particularly appropriate for those who want to study architecture at university, LAB 103 places emphasis on understanding the kinds of graphic representations suitable for a portfolio.

2022 Date



July 18-22 (on-campus)

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$700 + HST

Drawing Techniques

Mixed Media

Abstract Spatial Thinking

Portfolio Graphics

Studio Culture

How We Deliver Imagine Architecture Online

We successfully delivered online editions of the course in 2020 and 2021. The online program provides participants with tools and support for portfolio-worthy graphic results, as well as an interactive design studio experience.

Instructors use accessible digital platforms to create a virtual studio space in which students can interact, share their work, and receive one-on-one instruction.

Students receive a list of supplies to purchase or scavenge throughout the house.

In 2022, we are offering LAB 101 online as an alternative to attending the program in-person. We look forward to welcoming participants from across Canada and the world.

Imagine Architecture Academic Team

Imagine Architecture Academic Team 2022

Johan Voordouw, Faculty Advisor

Associate Professor Johan Voordouw teaches at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism and serves as the Associate Director, Undergraduate. He is a registered architect in the UK. Before his appointment at Carleton University, Johan taught at the Leicester School of Architecture and London Southbank University in England. He has worked in professional practice in London, most notably at Foster + Partners, and in Canada and the Netherlands. His visual work has been extensively published and exhibited in Canada, the United States, England, Austria, and the Netherlands. Venues include the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna, the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, the Royal Academy Summer Show London, and the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Choosing a career in architecture is a big decision. Imagine Architecture introduces participants to our school and some key architectural working methods. It uses design thinking in a fun and intellectually stimulating manner to bring the imagination to a designed project. The work developed in Imagine Architecture can be used in your portfolio when you apply to our program or in other design-related applications. Students leave the program feeling empowered with new skills and confidence in deciding whether to pursue Architectural Studies at Carleton University or elsewhere.


Stephanie Murray, Coordinator and Instructor

Stephanie is currently pursuing a Master of Architectural Studies and holds both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a professional Master of Architecture degree. After finishing her degree in Fine Arts, she moved to Whitehorse, Yukon, where she worked for Northern Front Studio and Kobayashi + Zedda Architects, while continuing her art practice. Her current research interests are grounded in representations of site that generate identity and spatial narratives. Her work probes at the thresholds of ethical imaginaries through acts of making while looking at questions of authorship, inherited practices, and more than human actors. Stephanie has also led digital and analog projects at two research labs associated with the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism: the Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS) and the Carleton Sensory and Liminal Technologies Lab (CSALT). 


Developing creative skill sets and learning to apply them critically has been one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors of my career and personal growth. The unique environment of studio learning that architecture offers is rich and often personal in that it develops a student’s own process of questioning and responding to environments. This is a great field for anyone who loves to make things, ask questions, and push their imagination! The architects’ toolkit is diverse and ever-evolving, including everything from drawings to abstract models to experimental media. Honing these techniques is not only fun and exciting but prepares you to find design opportunities almost anywhere.


Yana Kigel, Instructor

Yana Kigel is a Master of Architecture candidate at Carleton University, and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies graduate from the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, majoring in design. Her thesis explores architecture as a tool for connecting wildlife with humans via a suburban neighbourhood expansion through an addition of a nature-oriented retirement community. She is currently working as a research assistant at the Carleton Immersive Media Studios focusing on projects that aim to re-imagine digital assets and processes produced from digitization into a storytelling narrative. 

The beginning of every architecture study is intimidating, as architecture is a unique discipline that is associated with multiple other fields of study. Architecture has a degree of ambiguity and an equal level of objectivity enough to make the process of architectural design seem difficult. This course aims to provide you with the tools necessary to begin your architectural journey. Through a process of hand-drawing, abstract thinking, physical model making, and other skills used in architectural presentations, one will be equipped with the proper knowledge, context, clarity, and attitude that will make architectural studies an easier journey to embark on. Imagine Architecture aims to warm the waters before we dip our toes into the pool of architecture. 


Petros Kapetanakis, Instructor

Petros Kapetanakis is a Master of Architecture candidate at Carleton University, and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies graduate from the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, majoring in design. Their thesis explores architectural representation through storytelling, particularly through the mediums of digital and physical drawing, modeling, and virtual reality. Currently, a research assistant at the Carleton Immersive Media Studio with work focused within the Digitally Assisted Storytelling stream, Petros has partaken in multiple unique projects which require the extensive use of game engines and digital modeling.

As with many milestones in life, taking the first step is the most difficult. Imagine Architecture seeks to ease your journey into the community of architectural designers, urbanists, and conservationists by cultivating your creativity and advancing your interests in a constructive environment. In this opportunity to develop your skillsets, my goal for you is not only to provide a clear understanding of what it is like being an architecture student but to also introduce you to new means of interpreting our built environment, I will. help you explore new means of representing and directing creativity, build your portfolio, and most importantly welcome you to the family of architects and like-minded individuals with whom you will soon work alongside. 



Jemma Johnson, Studio Assistant

Jemma Johnson is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Architectural Studies in the conservation and sustainability stream offered at Carleton. She has an interest in architecture’s relationship with the environment and the role existing buildings could play in climate change mitigation. 


While architecture often comes across as the intersection between art and engineering, it is much more. Architecture is a vital component of society and our environment. It tells us stories of past concepts and ideas, and how people live both today and in the past. Architecture in many ways relies on concepts and creativity to progress the field and improve our built environment. Imagine architecture tries to provide a window into the field of architecture, with exercises that inspire creative thinking, storytelling, and concept development. While also developing skills to help students communicate their ideas through visual and written mediums.

How to Register

Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration will remain open until all spots are taken. If the registration link is still active, then there are still spots left in the program. Register early as space is limited.

Your spot is not guaranteed until payment has been received. Payment by Visa or MasterCard only.

For more information email Maria Cook (

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