Experiment in Architecture

A Summer Program for High School Students

2016 Sessions
Commuter: July 4 - July 15 
Residential: July 17 - July 30

If you are finishing your sophomore or junior year of 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 2016, the Experiment in Architecture program will be offered in two sessions, with both commuter and residential versions available. The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week (Monday-Friday).

Click here to apply today.

"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.

Download 2015 Experiment in Architecture brochure (PDF)
Experiment in Architecture Online Application
Experiment in Architecture blog
Experiment in Architecture on Facebook
Experiment in Architecture on Flickr

Program Cost

We are pleased to offer both a commuter and residential version of the Experiment in Architecture program.

The cost of the commuter program is $875. The program fee covers all studio materials, readings, and museum admission. The program will also provide CTA passes for use on our off-campus tours and office visits. Daily lunches will be provided either at our field trip site or at IIT’s Commons cafeteria.

A residential version of the program is available at a cost of $1,500. The additional cost includes a 13-night stay at an Illinois Institute of Technology residence hall and meals at the Commons cafeteria. Summer program staff will supervise residential participants and organize evening and weekend activities.

Application Procedures

Applications are due by May 1, 2016. 

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

  • 1. High school transcript
  • 2. Letter of recommendation (from a teacher or counselor)
  • 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 deadline with a completed Financial Aid Petition will be considered for assistance.