Design Discovery: Online

Through the Design Discovery online option, you will build skills, develop projects for a portfolio, and – most importantly – learn if a career in design is right for you. Prior to the course, you will receive a package in the mail with everything you need to complete the assignments. You’ll develop foundational skills in drawing and modeling through several activities before taking on a more significant final project. Throughout the program, SALA faculty members, current students, and professionals from Vancouver’s design community will give presentations about their practice, and their journey through a career in design. You will also be taken on live virtual tours (by bike and on foot) through some of Vancouver's most remarkable spaces.

You’ll learn from SALA faculty member and practitioner, Bill Pechet. Bill has taught Design Discovery since its inception in 2017, including the online version for the past two years. In addition to regularly teaching design studios at all levels at SALA, his private practice engages in a wide variety of projects ranging from strategic urban planning studies, to residential and retail design, and public art installations.

You’ll also have the chance to learn more about our programs, find out what our faculty and students are working on, and connect with other participants from around the world. 

 "I am very grateful for this course and feel ready to chase an education in architecture/design."

2021 participant

"Being able to share and compare ideas throughout all times was perfect for an online course like this...Overall an amazing past two weeks."

2021 participant
Frequently asked questions

What does the daily schedule of the program look like? Can I attend school or work part-time and still enrol in the program?

The class typically meets live in the morning and then again mid-afternoon with some reviews scheduled in between. Students will also need to commit some time during the week to work on design projects. Provided your work or course fits in with the program schedule, you are welcome to attend both.

Can I attend from another time zone? How will that be accommodated?

Yes, we have scheduled the programing in a way that it can accommodate many other time zones, with programming primarily in the morning and later afternoons (Vancouver time). Where there is difficulty attending live, we will record content for later viewing. Your individual project reviews can be scheduled around your time.

I don't have any previous design experience, should I do anything to prepare for Design Discovery?

We don’t ask you to undertake any formal preparation prior to the start of the course and have designed it to be accessible to a wide range of abilities. Having said that, we know many of you would like to learn more before getting started, so we will be sending out a series of links to help with some basic skills leading up to the course.

Is the application competitive?

The application is not competitive. We have designed the course in a way that will challenge a variety of abilities and therefore do not require you to have any skills prior to attending. Once you complete the application you will be directed to pay a $250 deposit. This deposit secures your spot in the course.

Do you have a maximum number of seats available in the program?

Our virtual Design Discovery program does not have a maximum. To give you an idea of numbers, last year we had 40 students participate.




July 4 to July 15, 2022



The program fee covers instruction, course supplies, and shipping. 

Contact information

If you have any questions, please contact:

Tara Deans
Manager, Student Services and Recruitment