Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design


Program Description

[IN]ARCH is an intensive six-week program designed to immerse students in the foundational theories and practices of architectural design. The program is structured as an introduction to studio culture and architectural discourse, and serves as a vehicle for further academic pursuits within the field.

architecture summer program student work

[IN]ARCH is primarily concerned with fundamentals. Students start with first principles, investigating what it means to "speak" architecture through representation, to literally describe a form into a state of being. Architecture is a philosophical as well as technical pursuit, with a deep disciplinary history that participants are exposed to through a series of essays and exercises.


"It is clear that the [IN]ARCH program has evolved into a finely-tuned state of curriculum. There was a directness and clarity that showed in each component of its structure. Even with the fast-paced nature, there were many moments to engage in questions, concerns, and talking through problems and ideas. In that regard, I am extremely thankful for the openness and patience of all the instructors."

2019 [IN]ARCH student survey respondent


What Does Virtual [IN]ARCH Look Like?



The [IN]ARCH program is mainly comprised of two linked but distinct components: studio instruction and media instruction. These will be supplemented by a lecture series, readings and project reviews.


Studio culture is a defining element of architectural education and, by extension, architectural practice. The [IN]ARCH program centers around the studio - expansively defined in this time of sheltering in place as any area designated for the pursuit of studio work - as the locus of design activity and intellectual debate. The studio space is where students spend the majority of their time—both during studio instruction and independently developing projects. Putting significant time and effort into the development of projects between scheduled studio sessions is an essential component of the program.


Representational issues are of paramount importance to the discipline of architecture. Architects do not build buildings, they represent them. The media component of the course provides historical/conceptual context for, and a practical knowledge of, various modes of representation. These techniques are both analog and digital, covering two- and three-dimensional representational concerns through drawing, modeling, and presentation/portfolio development. The media lectures and tutorials are given in parallel with studio instruction and reading assignments to create an integrated pedagogical framework.


Various reading assignments are given over the course of the program. Participants are immersed in the culture of architectural thinking through a series of critical texts that support their physical production. The weekly readings introduce students to the more theoretical and historical aspects of the field, with engaging discussions with classmates and faculty to follow. 


A major part of an architectural education is the project review, in which an invited jury of academics and professionals discuss the work at hand. At the end of each of the three projects students present their work to their peers, instructors and an outside panel for collective discussion in a more formal manner than the typical pin-up. This experience is meant to be a learning opportunity and a way to engage a group of experts seeing students' work for the first time.

Summer Institute


[IN]ARCH 2020 Academic Lead

Jennifer Ly


  •     M.Arch, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

  •     B.A in Architecture, University of California, Berkeley


Jennifer Ly is an architectural designer and the recipient of the 2017 Rotch Travelling Scholarship. She is fascinated by collections of objects, things, and even junk, and their relationship to architecture and the built environment.
She completed her graduate studies at Harvard Graduate School of Design where she received the Faculty Design Award, and her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley where she received the Alpha Rho Chi Medal. Jennifer has worked on high-profile projects at Foster + Partners, Adjaye Associates, and SHoP Architects. Her work has been featured in publications such as Log, CLOG, and The Architectural Review.