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.


Dates for 2024 


LAB 101 On-Campus: July 8-12 — SOLD OUT  

LAB 102 On-Campus: July 15-19 — SOLD OUT

LAB 103 On-Campus: July 22-26 — $730 + HST – 1 spot available



LAB 101 Online: July 29-August 2 — $600 + HST – AVAILABLE


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.


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. Rates range from 7-day free trials to $108/month. 

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 up to 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.

Each stand-alone 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 or two of the LABs or you can register for all three to gain a thorough, fun design experience. There is a $150 discount for the three-lab option. See the LAB descriptions and decide based on interest and the dates that work best for you.

The tuition fee in includes instruction, all materials, and a daily hot lunch. It does not include accommodation.

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 up to 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.

Imagine Architecture tuition includes a hot daily lunch and all materials, but it does not include accommodation.  Out-of-town students arrange their own accommodation. A limited number of spots are available in student residence on campus. Reservations will open in February 2024. Students under age 18 need to be accompanied by an adult to stay in residence. Some families choose hotels or short-stay rentals. Other participants stay with relatives or friends in Ottawa. The following OC Transpo bus routes come to campus and stop near the Architecture Building: 7, 2, 111, and 10.  Contact Maria Cook at for details about the on-campus residence option.

Do you know a high school student interested in architecture?

Testimonials from 2023 Participants

I just wanted to thank you and the teaching team for a great 3 weeks, it was the highlight of my summer! I really enjoyed experiencing the studio culture, it made me excited to return each day. I appreciated how the teaching team was eager to help us out, giving us relevant advice and challenging us to go further. They did an amazing job preparing us for uni, touching base on a variety of topics and inviting several cool guest speakers.  I had such a fantastic experience attending Imagine Architecture, I hope to join ASAU next fall!


I really enjoyed my week. The guest lectures were really interesting and showed me different aspects of studying architecture I hadn’t thought about but added to my interest in the program. I also really enjoyed being guided in the making of our models. I found I had a better understanding of the making process and how to express my thoughts more clearly. They cleared up a lot of the questions I had about how to prepare my portfolio.


I attended all 3 labs and each instructor had new perspectives about architecture to discuss. It was a studio environment I was excited to go back to every day. We covered the whole design process by learning how to develop ideas through studio critiques, working hands-on to make prototype models, exploring editing using industry-standard software and learning how to showcase our final projects in a pin-up.


As someone who was not that experienced with architecture, I think Imagine Architecture was an amazing first look into what I want to do in the future. It provided a very good studio experience and the mentors really aided me in exploring my creativity as well as working in an architecture studio for the first time.


As this is my second year being an Imagine Architecture student I felt it was just as informative as last year and enjoyed it both times. I 100% recommend Imagine Architecture to students who are thinking of fields like architecture for post-secondary since it gives plenty of insight into the programs.


My experience with Imagine Architecture Lab 101 Online was incredible! I enjoyed working in the studio (my room) and experimenting with Photoshop. It provided a diverse approach, emphasizing not only design but also photography and presentation. I’d suggest it, especially to people looking for practical skills and a comprehensive architectural approach.


I really enjoyed my time at Imagine Architecture and had a great experience. It helped me learn more about it and confirmed my passion for architecture. It was very helpful and gave me a greater understanding of what the environment may be like if I pursue it. The coursework and content were all very engaging and fun to complete.

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.

2024 Dates



July 8-12 (on-campus) SOLD OUT

July 29-August 2 (online)  AVAILABLE

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

$730 +HST (on-campus)

$600 + 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 emerging technology: 3D modeling and visualization techniques. Workshop on how to lay out a strong design portfolio.

LAB 102 offers a series of unique, engaging workshops that introduce essential, abstract, and creative skills, linked to new technologies used in contemporary practice. Like LAB 101, this workshop includes inspiring lectures and new ways of design thinking and making. In LAB 102, you will build models using Rhino 3D and visualize your work through the Adobe Creative Cloud. These skills connect to advanced fabrication and physical model-making, turning conceptual ideas into real objects.  

2024 Date



July 15-19 (on-campus) SOLD OUT

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$730 + 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.

2024 Date



July 22-26 (on-campus) 

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$730 + 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 2024, 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

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.


Emma Rath
Coordinator and Instructor


Emma Rath is an interdisciplinary curator, designer, and trained architect. Her research explores notions of fieldwork by embracing a holistic approach and prioritizing regenerative practices that transcend traditional disciplinary confines. Engaging in this work is a mode of action that addresses the current material manifestations of the shifting climate crisis. She engages in alternative photographic processes, drawing/modeling techniques, and writing to further her research. This work has been undertaken in collaboration with institutions such as Parks Canada and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.  She is the lead instructor for LAB 103.


Imagine Architecture offers a unique opportunity for students to explore the exciting world of design. As an Instructor and Coordinator, I am thrilled to share my passion for architecture. This program is a place to explore your creativity, build new skills, and challenge yourself to think differently about the built environment. Whether you’re building your portfolio or curious about architecture, Imagine Architecture offers a supportive environment to hone your design thinking. You’ll gain invaluable experiences that will empower your imagination and help you discover architecture’s impact on the world.

Daphne Stams


Daphne Stams is currently pursuing a Master of Architecture at Carleton University. With a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of British Columbia, Daphne is curious about how space is organized and its impact on social and environmental structures. Critical analysis drives Daphne’s approach to design and her background inspires her to actively draw from various disciplines. Daphne’s designs are also informed by her passion for making, in which she experiments with mixed media to create complex visual presentations — both 2D and 3D. Daphne regularly engages in model making, geographic information system representations, collage, and analog illustration. She is the lead instructor for LAB 101.


Architecture education is an experience like no other. Not only do you learn about the built environment and how it’s designed, but you also learn how to critically and creatively approach space. Imagine Architecture will introduce students to architectural thinking and how to think about problems from different angles. Together, we will learn the basics of architectural representation, experiment with different mediums, share constructive feedback, and trade ideas. Students will leave the program with a better understanding of what it means to represent and create space. I look forward to sharing my excitement for architecture with students and can’t wait to encourage the group’s creative curiosities!

Ksheel Shetty

Ksheel Shetty is currently pursuing a Master of Architecture at Carleton University.  He graduated from the Bachelor of Architectural Studies program at Carleton with a specialization in Urbanism in 2019. After undergraduate studies, he worked at Urban Strategies in Toronto as an urban designer and at Bimetrical in Barcelona as an architectural technician. During his graduate studies, he has been an active Teaching Assistant for urban design studio courses. Ksheel is interested in representation and visualization, drafting, and model making of spatial conditions at the urban and architectural scale.  Ksheel will commence his thesis year next fall, researching and re-imagining housing typologies of sensorial experience.  He is the lead instructor for LAB 102.


We will be building, crafting, and digitally drafting to prepare for university portfolios that will stand out when applying to architecture and design-related programs. Working in a studio, you will learn skills that will inspire your ability to create and think about the way people can interact with space at a variety of scales. You will be encouraged to think from different perspectives, and test new methods to construct your vision to a design solution. 

Victoria Guile
Studio Assistant


Victoria Guile is entering her third year of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies program (Urbanism) at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. She has always been interested in art and creative practices and has a background in visual art as she attended Mayfield Secondary School, a regional arts high school. She is involved in the Carleton community as a member of the CU Landscape Lab, senior executive of the Carleton Outdoors Club, and an upcoming facil for EngFrosh. She attended a similar preparatory program before applying to her undergrad in architecture and appreciates the great value and importance of the experience. She personally loves being in architecture and the overall studio culture and is thrilled to introduce students to Carleton and provide any advice and motivation that she can. 


Architecture provides a fun and rewarding journey, where you will cherish all the experiences along the way. You become very close with those around you, bonding over the projects you work so hard on, while learning skills that expand into many other aspects of your life and educational career. I stress the importance of being open-minded and engaged in the work. Having participated in a similar program, I can confidently say it’s a great way to prepare for architecture school.

Vincent Tourangeau
Studio Assistant


Vincent Tourangeau is pursuing a Master of Architecture at Carleton University, having obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 2017. Vincent also holds a technical degree in Architectural Technology from the Saint-Laurent CEGEP. Before embarking on graduate studies, he worked for seven years at the Montreal firms COHÉSIO Architecture and Atelier Archi-. Vincent takes a generalist approach in architecture to generate complete and sensitive projects. He considers architecture from the urban scale to the human scale. Using hand drawing, model making, and digital software, Vincent focuses on effective architectural representation to communicate a project’s essence.   


Architecture affects numerous aspects of our society, and it is the manifestation of society’s values. Studying in architecture will allow you to have an impact on the built environment that surrounds and what values you want your society to celebrate. It is also a highly stimulating and creative field that where you’ll be able choose from all the challenges that architecture presents. I hope that I’ll be able to share my passion with you and help you discover the beautiful complexity of architecture.    

Emma Little
Studio Assistant


Emma Little is entering her third year of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies (Design) program at Carleton University.  Engaging in coursework and extracurricular pursuits, including as a teaching assistant at an art school preparation program, she has refined proficiencies in architectural drafting, modeling, multimedia drawings, portfolio development, and software like AutoCAD and Rhino. She is passionately engaged in the creative exploration of architectural design and its intersection with sustainable practices. Emma seeks to not only master the technical aspects of architecture but also to deeply understand the cultural, social, and environmental contexts that shape the built environment, aspiring to make a meaningful impact in the field.


I’m excited to share my passion for architecture and design with Imagine Architecture participants! Pursuing architecture has long been my dream, and I’m thrilled to join a team that fosters creativity and empowers students to articulate their ideas while deepening their understanding of architecture. It’s a joy to contribute to a community that values innovation and supports the growth of aspiring architects.

Group shot of students

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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