Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design


July 8 - August 16, 2019

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 in studio.


"[IN]ARCH was an incredibly inspiring environment and community to be a part of. If anyone is unsure of where, how, or what within the realm of environmental design they'd like to pursue, the Summer Institute is a great place to have those questions answered."

2017 [IN]ARCH student survey respondent



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, field trips, 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 as the locus of design activity and intellectual debate. The studio space in Wurster Hall is where students spend the majority of their time—both in class 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.

Field Trips

The Bay Area is an architecturally rich and diverse region, with its own particular history. While we encourage students to explore on their own time, there are also organized trips that the [IN]ARCH cohort takes collectively, including both historically significant and aesthetically important contemporary buildings.


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 introduc estudents 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

Typical [IN]ARCH Weekly Schedule

* Please note that most students spend additional evenings and weekends in studio

11AM Media Lab: Rhino/Illustrator Lecture: Oblique, sciography Media Lab: Solid/Void Relation Reading Discussion: Literal/Phenomenal Site Visit: SFMOMA
1PM Break Break Break Break
2PM Studio Studio Pin-up: drawing (virtual limit) Studio
4PM Desk Crit: drawings/models (iteration) Desk Crit: drawings (iteration)
6PM Dean's Roundtable

[IN]ARCH 2018 Academic Lead

David Orkand


  •     M.Arch., Princeton University

  •     B.F.A., Otis College of Art and Design


David Orkand is director of Atelier DOA. Orkand returned to California to set up his architectural practice after having spent four years living in Tokyo as a Monbukagakusho Fellow in the Tsukamoto Laboratory at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. During this time Orkand worked with numerous Japanese architects, including Toyo Ito, SANAA, Atelier Bow-Wow, Junya Ishigami, and Go Hasegawa. He spent the two years prior to this living in Madrid, working for Mansilla+Tuñón Arquitectos. Orkand has taught architecture and architectural theory at Princeton University, UC Berkeley, and California College of the Arts.

"David effectively articulates complex concepts in order to help us 'unlearn'. Very keen on visual communication and stretching your creativity to conceptualize outside the box."