Summer Programs

embARC Summer Design Academy

July 6-31, 2015

Video: embARC Summer Design Academy

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.

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 studio.

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 students will examine the history and theory behind current ideas in the realms of urban design, community development and sustainable city planning
  • Design:Build Studio, where students will work alongside trained shop staff and build full-sized structures for the benefit of a local community organization

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 the fields of architecture, urban design and city planning prior to college admissions.
  • Hone and develop professional and leadership skills through advanced coursework.
  • Build a design and academic portfolio to use when applying to college.
  • Be immersed in the college culture and experience.
  • Meet peers who have similar interests and work in a team environment.
  • Be exposed to real public policy issues.


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

embarc Student


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

Summer Programs Office, College of Environmental Design