Design Discovery is our two-week summer program that introduces high-school students, college students, graduates, and second-career professionals to a potential career in design.

You will build skills, develop projects for a portfolio, and – most importantly – learn if a career in design is right for you. Sessions with SALA faculty, current students, design professionals, and your peers will introduce you to what an education in design looks like.

SALA’s facilities on the UBC Vancouver campus will be your home base for the program. You’ll develop foundational skills in drawing and modeling through several activities before taking on a more significant final project. Throughout the two weeks, 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 tour some of Vancouver’s most remarkable spaces, as well as visit some of the city’s top design offices. 

You’ll be guided through the program by SALA alum and educator Sam McFaul. Holding degrees in Environmental Design, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture, Sam has unique design experience across disciplines. He is also a teacher, leading courses in visual art, architectural design, and drawing. You will also be assisted by current SALA students, who will share their first-hand experiences of design school. 

You’ll also have the chance to learn more about our programs, find out what our faculty are working on, and explore architecture and landscapes at UBC and around Vancouver.

Great instructor. I enjoyed the introduction to the material that was representative of the typical course work in a design program.

2019 participant

[Design Discovery] opened me up to a broader spectrum of architecture and the principles of design.

2020 participant


July 2 to 13, 2024



The program fee covers instruction and course supplies. Students are responsible for their accommodation and meals during the program. Accommodation is available on the UBC campus through Suites at UBC

Frequently asked questions

Contact information

If you have any questions, please contact:

Tara Deans
Manager, Student Services and Recruitment