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.

Imagine Architecture 2023 has ended. Dates for 2024 will be posted in the fall. ____________________________________________________________________________________


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.

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.

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 31-August 4 (online) – AVAILABLE

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

$700 +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 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) SOLD OUT

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 Murray holds both a post-professional Master of Architectural Studies and a professional Master of Architecture degree, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts. 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. She has exhibited her independent artwork across Canada, as well as overseas in Australia and Iceland. She 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). Her research interests are grounded in the effects of representational conventions on material and spatial imaginations in the construction of social and political narratives. She will be commencing doctoral studies this fall at Concordia University.  

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.

Connor Tamborro, Instructor

Connor Tamborro obtained his Master of Architecture degree at Carleton University in the spring of 2023. He is preparing to become an intern architect as he begins his career in practice and design education. Connor’s interests in the design world are reflected in ideas of knowledge through making and doing. His passion for making, away from the digital mindset, has been a continuous mode of working throughout his university experience. The research Connor has developed is in the realm of “slowness,” which is an associated way of working in methods, processes, and experiences. He also earned his Bachelor of Architectural Studies at Carleton. During the transition from undergraduate studies to the master’s program, Connor worked for two years with a+Link Architecture in London, ON, where he worked on many new projects in the schematic and design development stages. Besides his contextual interests in architecture, Connor’s spectrum of creative influence is through sketching, foraging, photography, and the use of physical presence in nature.


To me, the world of architecture does not mean buildings. It does not mean structure, and it certainly does not mean individuality. Architecture is much, much more than that. It is to see the world entirely differently and to experience something unique around every corner. It is about collaboration, and it is about the way you can make someone feel. It has never been just about buildings; it is about an art transcending through physical engagement at a scale of the human.

Harrison Lane, Instructor

Harrison Lane is currently pursuing a Master of Architecture at Carleton University, having previously earned a Bachelor Architectural Studies from Laurentian University and a Diploma in Cabinetmaking from Algonquin College. Harrison is interested in making things, material science, and philosophy. He also explores the influences of furniture on spaces and how we interact with furnishings, especially in relation to unconventional modes of living.

Pursuing architecture has been a long-standing dream and the most rewarding experience of my life. The ability to engage with ideas in a deep contemplative way, imagining worlds of possibility, making, and drawing. It allows you to challenge conventions and change the world around you, bringing new futures into existence. This is the stuff of magic.

Jack Dawson, Studio Assistant

Jack Dawson is pursuing a Bachelor of Architectural Studies in the design stream offered at Carleton University. He is interested in brutalist architecture and how modern parametric designs can transform dated utilitarian forms. “I couldn’t see myself in any other field than architecture,” he says. “To me it’s one of the most diverse fields to study, with its ties to almost every quality and category of design. My appreciation of the built world and my interest in the ever-evolving technology and software architects have at their fingertips made me choose architecture.”  


I am completing my second year at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. I took the Imagine Architecture course in high school, and I have nothing but great things to say about it. The program is great for building the skills that you use in the studio. You’ll be provided with skills and knowledge that will be applicable throughout the rest of your degree.

Evan Kettler, Studio Assistant

Evan Kettler is currently pursuing a Master of Architecture at Carleton University, having previously earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba. During the transition from undergraduate studies to the master’s program, Evan worked for four years with Atelier Dedale in Montreal as a maquettiste building architectural models.


Design studio allows you to chase ideas in a way that is rare in life. The ability to cross-pollinate your thoughts with those of your peers and find unexpected results is delightful. There are a wealth of avenues to explore.

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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