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.

The dates for 2022 courses will be posted in the fall.

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. The discount will be applied automatically during online payment.


One week: $625 + HST

Two weeks: $1,250 + HST

Three weeks: $1,750 + 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 2020 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!

With quarantine, it was really nice to finally do something with my free time. It was also my first time working with Illustrator, and Rhino so not only was I introduced to these amazing design tools, but I also got more familiar with them as the week progressed.

I enjoyed it as some activities were great exercises and the discussions were very informative and helpful. It was also very cool to hear from people from different parts of Canada and other countries.

The teaching assistants were phenomenal. They were more than willing to answer any and all questions and went above and beyond to help in any way they could.

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 Carlton architecture program and how to make the best application portfolio.

I had a wonderful time and am happy with the projects I created throughout the week. Thank you for the amazing experience!

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.

This helped me remind myself how much I love architecture after being in quarantine for so long.

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.

I know this course was online this year because of COVID, but I don’t think I missed out on much because it was online. I am from Vancouver, and wouldn’t have been able to participate if it was in person, Many students were from the U.S. and some were from Switzerland and other places around the world, and it was amazing to have access to this course.

I loved the atmosphere and the work we did.

It was super fun and the instructors were very helpful.


Other Testimonials

Shela, 2019 participant, accepted into the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism in 2020

My experience at the Imagine Architecture LAB 103 confirmed how much I wanted to pursue architecture for post-secondary. Through LAB 103, I experienced a glimpse of the studio culture and met new friends. We were introduced to technical concepts such as scales, axonometrics, and drawing in perspective. I enjoyed having time after each lecture to practice what we learned and to collaborate with the other students.
My favourite part of LAB 103 were the end-of-the-day pin ups because we got to present our creations, communicate our ideas, and receive constructive criticism. One lesson that I learned from LAB 103 that heavily influenced how I curated my portfolio submission for architecture school was the importance of storytelling.
From my final project for LAB 103 to all of my art until now, I have been incorporating deeper meaning to all of my pieces. Whether it’s about the environment or social justice issues, I made sure that there was a statement or an intention behind each art piece.

Adrien, 2018 participant, enrolled in architecture school

I’m so glad that I found Imagine Architecture! I was unsure if architecture was the right undergraduate degree for me, and the Carleton summer program was the perfect way to experience it on a small scale. The activities throughout the week allowed me to truly understand what school might be like! There were many opportunities to ask both practicing architects and professors questions about school and career possibilities with a degree in architecture. Imagine Architecture also allowed me to understand better how to create an effective portfolio to help ensure my acceptance into the architecture programs of my choice. I believe that without this program, I may never have chosen architecture or even gotten into school! I’m so grateful for the help and guidance Imagine Architecture provided and would encourage anyone curious about becoming an architect to try the program.

Anastasia, 2018 participant, student at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism
My experience in LAB 101 was extremely insightful and beneficial. It allowed me to understand the basis of the design process, technical skills, and the work environment of a student architect. In addition, LAB 101 provided a better understanding of architecture’s purpose and goals, which later helped me alter my admission portfolio to emphasize these elements. At a young age, it can seem very daunting when choosing a career path, for fear of making the wrong choice. LAB 101 provides a very accurate experience of the student architect life. As an apprehensive applicant myself, LAB 101 not only confirmed my interests in architecture but sparked an even greater passion and excitement towards the program.

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.




July 5-9, 2021

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$625 + HST

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. You will also learn proper workflow to move  between drafting, illustration, and visualization programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Finally, you will use Adobe InDesign to construct professional portfolio pages.

Software will be provided free of charge.




July 12-16, 2021

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$625 + 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.




July 19-23, 2021

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$625 + 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. They were modeled after the program we have successfully delivered for the past four years and modified to take advantage of opportunities in the realm of online learning. It 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 received a list of supplies to purchase or scavenge throughout the house. For LAB 102, students received free access to software and detailed instructions on downloads.

Imagine Architecture Academic Team

Imagine Architecture Academic Team 2021

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.

Shannon Clark, Instructor


Shannon Clark is a 2021 Master of Architecture graduate from Carleton University. She received her undergraduate degree in Architectural Studies in 2018 with a major in urbanism. Her interest in architecture is multi-disciplinary, looking at its relation to society through the lens of urbanism, cartography, and public health landscapes. With a passion for architectural illustration, her thesis research chronicles the fictions and metaphors written by various pandemics in the built environment. Shannon has worked in offices in Canada and the UK on projects ranging from large institutional projects in the Ottawa Valley to small, prefabricated garden studios in London.


My architectural education journey has been an unforgettable experience! I remember six years ago having doubts in my first year of study, wondering if I had made the right choice. I learned that once I took myself less seriously and took the pressure off myself, I started making designs that I was proud of – and enjoyed the creative process – all the while having fun. Imagine Architecture allows students to express themselves and develop their understanding of architecture. I believe that a person’s personal story helps shape the things they wish to create. I am looking forward to getting to know each of you! Prepare to jumpstart your creative path and be ready to think critically about the space that surrounds us.

Shelby Hagerman, Instructor


Shelby Hagerman is a Master of Architecture candidate at Carleton University, where she also completed her Bachelor of Architectural Studies. Her thesis investigates New York City as a memory palace to explore agency and develop a collective planetary imagination to reframe climate change. Shelby participated in the OAA Shift 2019 Infrastructure Architecture Challenge with three of her peers and Assistant Professor Zachary Colbert. Their winning project envisioned new methods to generate renewable energy in high-rise dwellings. She continues to conduct research on this project with Prof. Colbert, embracing interdisciplinary collaboration. Shelby has also worked at the Parliamentary Protective Service, Indigenous Services Canada, and GRC Architects in Ottawa.


This year will be my second time as an instructor in the Imagine Architecture program. I am incredibly proud and excited to share my knowledge and passion for design with you. We are committed to fostering a sense of community within the group and will strive to get to know you and how to best support your goals. Throughout each LAB, we will nurture your creativity while developing your skillset and creative design thinking. We will exchange ideas, share insights, and constructive feedback. Whether you are looking to build your portfolio, sharpen your drawing and modeling skills, try digital programs, or wonder what architecture school is like, Imagine Architecture is the program for you. Join us with your curiosity and an open mind. Let’s have fun and learn together at home!

Sinan Husic, Instructor


Sinan Husic recently completed his Master of Architecture degree at Carleton University. His thesis, Thinking and Making – Digital Craft Hybridity, explores the value of thinking through problems by making. Sinan received his BAS from the University of Waterloo in 2018. He has worked in architecture firms of various sizes across Southern Ontario and Ottawa on large public infrastructure projects, Passive House projects, higher education buildings, and housing. He has recently taken part in the data capture of Center Block using photogrammetry and laser scanning. Sinan’s passion, however, will always remain in the small scale and tangible, where he can get messy and build something.


My professor in my first year said something to our class that has remained with me to this day: ‘We are not here to teach you how to draw, but rather how to think.’ I think this is a beautiful statement. Not only does it remove any implication that you must be skilled in visual arts, but it also means that pursuing architecture can open many other doors in the future. Your ability to think critically about problems is valuable no matter what you do. Architecture touches every aspect of our society. This program will give you a glimpse into just how far-reaching the profession is and a brief introduction to thinking critically. Things might not always make sense, but that is okay. I can say that it will be fun, and getting to make something is always rewarding!

Ab Belliveau, Studio Assistant and Coordinator


Ab Belliveau has finished their second year in the Bachelor of Architectural studies. They plan to graduate in the design stream with a minor in History and Theory of Architecture. Since high school, Ab has been an avid painter and illustrator, developing portfolios for both the fine arts and architectural design. They’ve had their work showcased in galleries and festivals in the United States and Canada and were a finalist for the Azrieli School’s 2020 Director’s Project. This is their second year of working with Imagine Architecture.


I relate to the uncertainty and pressure in finding a major you like and elevating or even just starting an interest in the arts. Architectural design is an interesting shift to make as an artist, as it makes you redefine some ways you think about the visual arts. Through making my portfolios and projects, I learned new ways to tell stories, compose my thoughts, and communicate the world around me. I hope to help you learn and develop these new ways to think about art and visualize ideas. Imagine Architecture takes some of the foundations you discover within the first year of a design degree and allows you to explore, develop, and organize your creative ideas in a positive and constructive environment. This program aims to give you a jumpstart – a jumpstart in seeing the world from a perspective of architectural design and criticism.

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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Collaboration - Diversity Working Group

The Diversity Working Group (.DWG) is a student-led working group made up of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) students, allies, and faculty supporters from the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. The working group was formed to create an environment that educates the student body to a higher standard of understanding, empathy, and activism on BIPOC issues. .DWG is working with the Imagine Architecture team to introduce inclusivity in design for prospective students entering transforming classrooms and studios.


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Workshop Leaders

Angela Jang (she/her)

Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Conservation and Sustainability Stream

Alexandra Lyn (she/her)

Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Urbanism Stream (Hons.)

Thompson Cong Nguyen (he/him)

Master’s of Architecture Candidate, Bachelors of Architectural Studies Graduate, Design Stream (Hons.)

Sally El Sayed (she/her)

Master’s of Architecture Graduate, Bachelors of Architectural Studies Graduate, Design Stream (Hons.)

Saruga Raveendran (she/her)

Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Conservation and Sustainability Stream