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YArch Summer Architecture Program

YArch 2024 will take place July 1—26 (note: we will be closed on July 4 and July 5 for the holiday).

YArch (pronounced “why-arc”) is a summer architecture program for current undergraduate students, recent graduates, and other adults who have an interest in architecture and design. It is an intensive, non-credit program spanning many facets of architecture study.
For those considering a career in architecture, YArch is a way to test the waters before jumping into graduate study. For those who simply wish to explore a lifelong interest, YArch's challenging curriculum equips participants with new ways of thinking, seeing, and making.

What YArch includes:

  • Faculty-guided studio work, including one-on-one instruction and feedback
  • Guided software tutorials
  • Architecture portfolio seminars
  • Weekly theory and history discussions
  • Guest lectures
  • Reviews with guest critics
  • Field trips and office visits
  • Access to School of Architecture graduate studio
  • Training and access to the woodshop and digital fabrication lab
YArch's curriculum mirrors the structure and rigor of graduate education at UIC. At the program's core is a studio project that immerses participants in the discipline of architectural design.
Beyond the studio, tutorials and discussions introduce participants to the basic history, theory, and practice of the field. A special emphasis on the graphic presentation of architectural work provides participants with the skills to create a portfolio of their work.
The program capitalizes on Chicago's rich architectural history while examining the metropolis as a site ripe for contemporary design speculation and experimentation.
YArch instruction is led by a core group of School faculty, with additional faculty serving as guest lecturers, jurors in studio reviews, and field trip leaders.

What former participants say about YArch:

"The YArch program was a great introduction to many aspects of architecture—studio, history, current practice, academic research, and more. It allowed me to better understand the discipline and what my options were both in graduate school and the profession."
"YArch helped me build a solid portfolio that was integral to my acceptance at graduate programs of architecture. It was also a great studio experience; really worth it!"
"YArch successfully delivered many different examples of what architecture may be. Through exposure to different environments, I was able to start to gauge what my personal expectations of architecture are, or what they may be. YArch obliterated my preconceived notions of architecture and enriched my understanding of the practice."
"Guest lectures and office visits were awesome—I thoroughly enjoyed asking questions to the firm owners."
"I would strongly recommend the program. YArch not only helped me to produce work for my portfolio, but the studio professors also helped me to clearly communicate the nature of my work in the finished portfolio. The history/theory component of the course also prepared me to better understand how to look at architecture critically now that I am in school."
"The YArch faculty and staff were passionate, incredibly helpful and accommodating to all students, and demonstrated great capacity to raise students to the next level."
"Although I decided not to pursue architecture [after YArch], I believe it gave me insight into why it was not the right fit for me. This saved me tons of time and money and I appreciate the experiences it provided me."