Summer Programs

embARC Summer Design Academy

Program Dates: July 5 - July 29, 2022


embARC is an immersive summer design program at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design that brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds to explore architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning through integrated components: an Architecture + Urban Design Studio, a Sustainable City Planning Workshop, a Digital Design Workshop, an Environmental Design Conversation Series and a Materials Exploration Workshop. No prior experience in environmental design is necessary.



embARC high school student in Architecture & Design Studio

Why should I attend?

  • Explore architecture, urban design and city planning as possible college majors and careers

  • Develop technical and time-management skills through college-level coursework

  • Work 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 credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript


I want to thank all my teachers, the staff and Deans for the chance to be a student in the summer virtual embARC program at UC Berkeley. As a student in the architecture, urban design and sustainable city planning program, I learned so many new things including: technical skills - learning how to create 3D structures in Rhino 6 and use Adobe Illustrator; creative skills - creating a portfolio design; time management - participating in a college class; and collaborative skills - giving and receiving feedback. The breakout groups gave me a chance to connect with my peers who have similar interests. Thank you again. It was great!

--embARC Student


The Program

embARC students work on real design projects and engage as genuine participants in a process to develop solutions to authentic urban planning questions. The program's multi-disciplinary approach provides a comprehensive framework for "placemaking."

Architecture + Urban Design Studio 

Instruction in freehand sketching, drafting, model building and digital representation teaches students how to conceptualize and communicate two and three-dimensional design ideas.

Sustainable City Planning Workshop 

Students engage as genuine stakeholders and participants in a community change process through site observations, research and the development of an authentic urban planning question.

Environmental Design Conversation Series

Presentations and talks by invited professional practitioners and CED-based guest lecturers provide a framework for the ideas and methods that support the theory and practice of environmental design. Students are given the opportunity to engage in the discourses of the discipline in guided discussion groups.

Digital Design Workshop

Building skills in digital representation, this series of focused workshops prepares students for technology-driven college-level design curricula, while also introducing participants to the latest software and digital tools available in the profession.  

Materials Exploration Workshop

Students will explore how a full building physically comes together - from foundation to finishes - through multiple precedent studies and drafting exercises.Students will learn how to represent and decipher details, think critically about how materials come together, and ultimately design their own tiny house.



“[The Architecture and Urban Design Studio] really taught me how to widen how I thought about things. It showed me very many different aspects of what really goes into architecture design. It also gave me a feel for what it would be like to take studio in college and what that atmosphere is like. Also the GSI's were always encouraging and would help push students to new levels. That way we spent time improving and learning...”


-embARC student


Students who fulfill the course requirements receive credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript upon course completion.


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