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.
This year, we’re offering two options to participate: online and in-person. In both programs, 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. While the two options will run concurrently, each will provide a unique experience to explore.
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. In-person 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
Some of the skills that you will be developing are hand drawing, drafting, model making, design thinking, site analysis, and learning how to assemble a portfolio.
During the program students will work on a total of three design projects. You will also participate in design studios, seminars, and field trips. Students will not be taught how to use any software in Design Discovery, however students are free to use software to assist them with their design projects if they wish.
Students are expected to be able to attend full-time hours (approximately 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) for the duration of Design Discovery.
Design Discovery is an in-person program, which means participants need to be in Vancouver, BC for the duration of the program.
The program is designed in a progressive format, and students typically work on their final projects collectively in studio during the two weeks, and then put on an exhibition of their work that family and friends can attend.
We strongly recommend that participants complete the full two-week program, and the full fee would still be required if you did not attend the full program.
Applications are non-competitive and we accept applications on a rolling basis. We will close applications once we reach capacity.
Design Discovery is an experiential program; participants are not graded on their work. The program does have a completion certificate which you can add to your records/resume, but it is not an official UBC certification.
The program is not accredited, therefore UBC does not grant credits for course completion.
We ask for a deposit of $500 CAD at the time of application. This deposit guarantees your spot in the course. The remaining amount will be due approximately two weeks from time of application.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Manager, Student Services and Recruitment