Experiment in Architecture

A Summer Program for High School Students

The 2020 Experiment in Architecture summer program is offered in two residential sessions (please note participants are REQUIRED to live on campus during the program)

Residential Session I: June 14 - 27, 2020
Residential Session II: July 5 - 18, 2020


If you are currently enrolled in high school and looking to the future, you may be interested in IIT’s summer architecture program: Experiment in Architecture. This two-week program is designed to introduce high school students to the profession of architecture.

In 2020, the Experiment in Architecture program will be offered in two sessions. The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week (Monday-Friday).

"Experiment in Architecture"

Students will tour the city of Chicago, complete a series of design projects, and attend lectures by IIT faculty. The program is intended to inform students about the study and practice of architecture, and will assist participants in making an informed decision about pursuing an architectural education and career. All individuals interested in pursuing a career in the design and building professions are encouraged to attend.


Experiment in Architecture is held on Illinois Institute of Technology’s historic Main Campus, offering unique access to the largest collection of Mies van der Rohe buildings anywhere. Teachers and students take advantage of Chicago as a dynamic laboratory of architectural speculation and discovery. Since enrollment is limited to 30 students, students can expect individual attention from their studio instructors.


Projects, Lectures and Seminars

The program includes field trips to Chicago's architectural landmarks and architectural offices, instruction in freehand sketching with an emphasis on interpreting and visualizing the world around us, studio classes with an emphasis on design through two-dimensional (2-D) representations and three-dimensional (3-D) constructions, and a session on developing and focusing career plans. The program concludes with an exhibition of student work and a reception for students and their families.

The work is rigorous and students will need to respond with enthusiasm and maturity. Each day includes a demanding schedule of projects. No prior expertise in drawing or model making is required.

Participants who complete the program are awarded certificates. Teachers keep records of performance and may write letters of recommendation as requested. The drawings and models that students produce can be used in application portfolios for college-level architecture programs.

Experiment in Architecture blog
Experiment in Architecture on Facebook

Program Cost

The 2019 cost of the programs was $1725. The program fee covers all studio materials, readings, and museum admission. The program will provide CTA passes for use on our off-campus tour, firm visits and weekend activities. The cost also includes a 13-night stay to an Illinois Tech residence hall and meals at the Commons cafeteria. Participants are expected to stay on campus during the program.

Application Procedures


The application deadline for Summer 2020 will be Monday, April 24, 2020

All admission decisions will be made by May 15, 2020

Please be prepared with the following in order to complete the online

  • 1. High school transcript
  • 2. Signed letter of recommendation (from a teacher or counselor) - can be uploaded or emailed directly from the recommender to arch@iit.edu.
  • 3. Short essay of 250 words (one page, double-spaced) describing why you are interested in architecture and your goals for Experiment in Architecture.

Financial aid is limited and available on the basis of demonstrated need. Only applications that are submitted by the April 24, 2020 deadline with a completed Financial Aid Petition will be considered for assistance. The Financial Aid Petition can be found here.