YArch runs for four weeks each July. The program's rigorous schedule includes 20 to 30 hours of instruction and related activities each 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 2023 schedule will be available by early summer. See below for sample schedules from previous years.
Studio, taught by Spencer McNeil: 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 seminars, taught by Zehra Ahmed: These sessions cover selected theory and history texts and familiarize participants with the means by which architectural ideas circulate. Participants are provided with assigned readings, which are the basis for further discussion in a seminar format.
Portfolio seminars: These sessions introduce students to the knowledge and technical skills necessary to design and produce a portfolio. These sessions 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, walking tours of the city, an architecture boat tour on the Chicago River, visits to cultural institutions, trips to architecturally relevant sites in Chicago, and so on.
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: The School provides the bulk of required program supplies and materials. Students may be asked to purchase some additional materials to supplement what is provided.
Reading: A required and recommended reading list is sent to students before YArch begins. Participants receive PDFs of all required readings.
Computer and software: Participation in YArch requires a personal laptop computer equipped with the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) and Rhino. 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. The school is not able to provide laptops to YArch students.
Housing: YArch does not include housing. Participants who need housing may apply for UIC's on-campus Guest Housing or Intern Housing.
Meals: The school provides several group lunches during the program (approximately one per week). Students will be responsible for the rest of their meals. A list of recommended dining options on campus and in the surrounding area will be provided.
Transportation: Students are 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.