The Architecture Discovery Program (ADP) is an exciting introduction to architecture and design for high school students. Our rigorous two-week program offers intensive individual instruction by Sam Fox School faculty. The explorations carried out in studio will provide students with quality material to add to their design portfolios.
This program is recommended for rising juniors and seniors in high school. Upon successful completion, you will earn 2 college credits and may receive letters of recommendation for college admission.
Design studio, the heart of the program, focuses on how creativity and discovery can foster passion and compassion in design. You will also learn how sustainability and the importance of the environment are shaping the practice of architecture. Drawing studio, the second component of the program, engages you with the art of seeing, and teaches you to communicate through drawing as a measure of observation.
Activities for the program are divided into morning and afternoon sessions. Mornings will be devoted to drawing; afternoon sessions are set aside for studio work. During our program, you will initiate and work on an architectural design, developing a project for a final review by faculty and guest critics.
In addition, you will take weekend field trips to some of the finest examples of architecture in the St. Louis region, including the Gateway Arch by Eero Saarinen, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts by Tadao Ando, and our very own Kemper Art Museum by Fumihiko Maki.
Catalina Freixas, Assistant Professor
For the past few years, Catalina Freixas, LEED AP, has served as the lead faculty member for ADP. She has over 10 years of experience teaching design studios and core courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Sam Fox School. She has focused both her research and teaching on the field of biomimicry—which involves studying nature's best ideas and then imitating them to solve human problems—as a vital path for sustainable design. As an architect, Freixas has worked for a number of national and international firms on a range of projects such as corporate office, housing, hospitality, educational, and residential facilities. In 2010, she opened laulab St. Louis, an office she shares with her husband, senior lecturer Pablo Moyano Fernandez. The two are currently working on the implementation of HUB: Hybrid Urban Bioscapes in Old North St. Louis. The project includes the creation of a gathering space to promote social interaction among residents, a hardscape with varying degree of permeability to promote different kinds of activities while permitting water infiltration, and a nectarine garden to promote pollinators and help surrounding community gardens in the area. Full bio>>
Lindsey Stouffer, Senior Lecturer, Design Studio
Lavender Tessmer, Lecturer, Drawing
Tuition, Room, & Board
Estimated cost for the Architecture Discovery Program is $2,947. An additional $100-$200 should be budgeted to cover the cost of books, supplies, and equipment. You will be notified upon acceptance to the program, and a non-refundable deposit will be required to confirm your admission. If a student withdraws from the program after classes begin, no portion of tuition will be refunded.
You will live in one of our secure modern residence houses and participate in organized weekend activities with other members of pre-college programs. There are study rooms, kitchenettes, laundry facilities, floor lounges, and a computer lab available for use. Program Assistants (PAs) living in the halls provide advice and information, in addition to leading weekend activities and ensuring the rules and regulations of the program are maintained. A meal plan will allow you to enjoy a variety of food choices available across the campus.
To apply to our Architecture Discovery Program, please submit the following materials:
1. Completed application form; click here to download the form.
2. A 500-word essay expressing your interest in the program.
3. A letter of recommendation on official letterhead from an academic teacher, art teacher, principal, high school counselor, or artist/architect who knows you well.
4. Official high school transcript (most recent).
5. (Optional) Copies of official PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores.
6. A check, made payable to Washington University in St. Louis, for a $35 non-refundable processing fee. You will be notified upon acceptance, and a deposit will be required to confirm your admission to the program.
Please mail application and all materials to:
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1031
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
For more information, please contact: