YArch runs for four weeks each July. The program has an intensive and rigorous full-time schedule that includes 20 to 30 hours of instruction and additional program activities per week, Monday through Friday. Participants are also expected to complete additional work on weekends and outside of program meeting times. YArch activities are coordinated to provide a well-rounded experience; for this reason, participants must be present for all parts of the program.
The 2021 schedule for both the online and hybrid tracks will be available by early summer. Both tracks will include programming five days per week, Monday through Friday. See below for sample schedules from previous years.
Studio (led by Stewart Hicks and Meghan Quigley): As the core component of the YArch curriculum, the studio introduces the tools, techniques, important concepts, and methods of architectural design. It includes both live meetings with all participants as well as one-on-one instruction and feedback. Successive studio exercises build upon one another through lectures, discussions, tutorials, design charrettes, pinups, etc., which introduce the fundamentals of the discipline while developing an architectural proposal. Participants become acquainted with broadly applicable design approaches, important vocabulary, computer programs (Rhino, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Cinema 4D), model making, spatial standards, and more.
Theory and history discussions (led by Jayne Kelley): These sessions cover selected theory and history texts and familiarize participants with the means by which architectural ideas circulate. Participants will be provided with assigned readings and brief pre-recorded lectures in advance; further discussion will take place in a live setting. Participants will also have the opportunity to complete short writing exercises with individual feedback.
Portfolio seminars: These sessions introduce students to the knowledge and technical skills necessary to design and produce a portfolio. These sessions will include software tutorials and instruction for documenting and communicating the work completed during YArch in a portfolio format.
Office visits and field trips: These events may include visits to architecture firms, a walking tour of the Chicago Loop, an architecture boat tour on the Chicago River, and so on. Some in-person programming may be available to hybrid students only.
Lectures: A series of guest lectures given by additional UIC School of Architecture faculty or other guest architects. Lecturers may present their research and discuss work from their own practices. YArch students are encouraged to engage in discussion with guest lecturers during a Q&A portion at the end of each lecture.
Resources and Requirements
Studio supplies: Participants may be asked to use everyday household supplies and to purchase basic materials. The School may provide some materials to hybrid students, while online students may be asked to purchase additional materials. Participants will receive further details about supplies in June.
Reading: A required and recommended reading list will be provided to students before YArch begins. Participants will receive PDFs of all required readings.
Computer and software: Both hybrid and online students must provide their own computer equipped with the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), and Rhino for the duration of YArch. Other software may be required or recommended. Student discounts or free trials of software are often available. Additional details will be provided to registered participants. Hybrid students who intend to work in the studio will need to bring their own laptops to the studio. Online students will be additionally encouraged to use a webcam for online instruction.
Housing: YArch does not include housing. Participants who need housing may apply for UIC’s on-campus Intern Housing.
Meals: Because of current COVID-19 restrictions, group meals will not be provided to hybrid students. Students who expect to spend time on campus will be provided with a list of recommended dining options in the area.
Transportation: Hybrid students will be responsible for their own transportation to campus and to off-campus office visits or field trip sites. The School of Architecture is easily accessible via the CTA Blue Line and various CTA buses. Parking is also available on campus. The School of Architecture cannot waive either CTA fees or on-campus parking fees.