Imagine Architecture

Imagine Architecture is a career exploratory studio for grade 10-12 students who are interested in design, architecture, and urbanism and would like to gain experience in creative design thinking and making.

The fun and intensive workshops are taught by instructors from Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. They introduce students to the creative culture of design studio, which is at the core of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) curriculum.

Registration is now open for Imagine Architecture 2023.

Dates for Imagine Architecture 2023 — ON CAMPUS 

Includes daily lunch and all art supplies.

Participants will need to obtain licenses for design software. Student rates range from 7-day free trials to $26/month. 

Register for all three labs and receive a $125 discount.

LAB 101 — July 10 to July 14  — $700 + HST

LAB 102 — July 17 to July 21 — $700 + HST

LAB 103 — July 24 to July 28 — $700 + HST


Dates for Imagine Architecture 2023 — ONLINE

LAB 101 — July 31 to August 4 — $625 + HST

Participants will need to obtain licenses for design software. Student rates range from 7-day free trials to $26/month. 

How do I decide?

Each LAB can be completed independently and requires no previous training. For those who want a more fulsome experience, LABS 101, 102, and 103 are designed as a sequence that  build successively on knowledge, confidence, and skills.

You can register for any one of the LABS or you can register for all of them without repeating projects,  receiving maximum exposure to creative design skills.

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 ideas and develop their creative skill set. 

These skills will help them develop a portfolio for any design program in Canada.

Students attend  sessions on choosing content for portfolios, illustrated with examples from successful applications.

Discussion includes what admission committees look for, how to approach the written requirements of a good portfolio, and effective organization of graphics.

Imagine Architecture is more than a preparatory course for admissions. It aims to give participants insight to a university experience — what it’s like to a be a student in a school of architecture.


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

One week on-campus: $700 + HST 

Two weeks on-campus: $1,400 + HST 

Three weeks on-campus: $1,975 + HST 

One week online (LAB 101): $625 + HST



Access to specific design software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign, will be required to participate in Imagine Architecture.

Licenses for this software will need to be obtained by the participant. Student rates range from 7-day free trials to $26/month. 

Currently, Adobe offers 7-day free trials of all necessary software for new users.

If you are registering for more than one LAB and require access for longer than the trial period, the full Creative Cloud (which includes all necessary Adobe software) is currently offered by Adobe at a discounted student rate of $26/month, which is cheaper than purchasing the programs individually.

Instructions on when and how to purchase these programs will be communicated to participants before the first class.

Available prices and discounts mentioned are subject to change by Adobe.

Cancellation Policy

A refund (minus $45 service charge) will be issued for cancellations 14 days before the start of the LAB for which you are registered. Unfortunately, there is no refund for cancellations made less than 14 days before the start of the LAB for which you are registered.

Imagine Architecture FAQ

Imagine Architecture is a career exploratory studio for grade 10-12 students who are interested in design, architecture, and urbanism and would like to gain experience in creative design thinking and making.

The fun and intensive workshops are taught by instructors from Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. They introduce students to the creative culture of design studio, which is at the core of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) 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 accept registrations until all spots are taken. Space is limited. 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 14 days before the start of the LAB for which you are registered. There is no refund for cancellations that take place less than 14 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 2022 Participants

I had a wonderful experience with Imagine Architecture. All three labs that I took were interesting and were taught perfectly.

I feel much more confident in what to make for applications into architecture school. Thank you so much for creating this course!

Before doing LAB 102 on the Carleton campus, I had previously attended  LAB 101 over Zoom the summer before. I thoroughly enjoyed both. The instructors very clearly knew what they were talking about, and were able to keep class well engaged in the lectures.

You will learn a lot about architecture in just one week.

Learned a lot of very useful information about portfolios and got to experience what architecture at university would be like.

We did projects that taught me to use my imagination a lot more and all the ways to explain architecture were done really well..

I really enjoyed the lectures about different aspects of architecture as they were incredibly informative and will definitely help me in my future in this field.

I loved the community feeling which only grew during this time.

It was a great introduction to working in a studio environment and I enjoyed every day.

I was pretty excited about each assignment for the three labs due to the positive environment provided by Steph, Yana, Jemma, and Petros.

I was able to gain a clear understanding of what is required in the admissions portfolio and the experience confirmed my interest in pursuing architecture.

I would recommend the program to aspiring architecture students, and I would do it again if I had the chance.

Imagine Architecture was an amazing experience. I improved a lot on space and understanding its meaning.

The project was fun and I loved the lunches!

I would recommend the program to other students who are wondering if architecture is the right choice for them as it goes over college expectations and career paths.

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.

2023 Dates



July 10-14 (on-campus)

July 31-August 4 (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 essential digital skills used in architectural design. You will learn how to build geometric models with Rhino 3D and refine a compelling project using industry-standard Adobe Creative Cloud software. These geometric models offer an opportunity to explore more advanced fabrication and physical model-making techniques. Participants will learn proper workflow to move between conceptual ideas, modeling, and visualization programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator with the aim of using Adobe InDesign to construct professional portfolio pages.

2023 Date



July 17-21 (on-campus)

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$700 + HST (on-campus)

Form Finding

Digital Composition

The Role of the Digital

3D Modeling


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 abstract and conceptual thinking as well as understanding the kinds of graphic representations suitable for a portfolio.

2023 Date



July 24-28 (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

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 2023, 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 

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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