Summer Programs

embARC Summer Design Academy

July 6-31, 2015

embARC students work on real design projects in a studio environment, and engage as genuine stakeholders and participants in a process to develop solutions to authentic urban planning questions.

Video: embARC Summer Design Academy

embarc Student
embARC is an intensive, four-week summer design academy for rising junior and senior high school students held at the College of Environmental Design (CED). embARC brings together students from diverse backgrounds to CED to study architecture, urban design, and sustainable city planning through a series of lectures, field trips and a design-build.

The Program

The embARC program is comprised of four components that together provide a comprehensive framework and multi-disciplinary approach to "placemaking."

  • Architecture and Urban Design Studio, in which instruction on freehand sketching, drafting, model building and digital representation will teach students how to conceptualize and communicate two and three-dimensional design ideas
  • Sustainable Planning Workshop, where students will engage as genuine stakeholders and participants in a community change process by developing solutions to an authentic urban planning question
  • Lecture Series, in which CED faculty and professionals in the field of environmental design will introduce students to the history and theory behind current ideas in the realms of urban design, community development and sustainable city planning
  • Design-Build, where students will work alongside trained shop staff to build full-sized structures for the benefit of a local non-profit community partner

Students who fulfill the course requirements will receive one Berkeley credit and an official UC Berkeley transcript upon course completion. All classes are held at the College of Environmental Design at Wurster Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Classes will meet Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Community Partnerships

True to UC Berkeley’s public mission, embARC will include an overall theme of civic responsibility by partnering with a local community organization to tackle an authentic community improvement project. Through this partnership, students will employ the tools they learn in studios, workshops, and lectures to make a difference on real-world community development and design issues.

Why Should I Attend?

  • Explore architecture, urban design and city planning as possible college majors and careers
  • Hone and develop skills through advanced coursework
  • Immerse yourself in design studio culture and the college experience
  • Work in a team environment with peers who have similar interests
  • Build a design portfolio to use when applying to college
  • Be exposed to actual public policy issues and make a real impact on your world
  • Earn a certificate of completion and 1 unit of credit (pass/no pass) on an official UC Berkeley transcript


embARC Student

"This program guided my first attempts to design, model and draft my perception.... I had found a voice and a spunk within me that I did not know I possessed."

Meixi L., embARC Alumna

Typical Schedule

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9 am Architecture & Urban Design Studio Architecture & Urban Design Studio Architecture & Urban Design Studio Architecture & Urban Design Studio Field Trips/CAD CAM Lab
10 am
11 am
12 pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1 pm Planning Workshop Design-Build Planning Workshop Design-Build
2 pm
3 pm
4 pm

embarc Student


If you have additional questions or require assistance, please contact:

Summer Programs Office, College of Environmental Design