Career Explorations in Architecure is a summer pre-college program for high school students interested in exploring the fundamentals of design and thinking at the architectural scale. This studio-based architecture program provides a fun and rewarding experience, and encourages participants to explore the world around them from the design perspective. No specialized knowledge or background is needed, beyond a serious interest in architectural design.

Preparing students for positions of leadership in their communities.

By exposing students to the unique urban landscape of New Orleans, students begin to see how architecture blends history and culture. Over the course of the program, Tulane design faculty will work with each student to develop a set of projects through models and drawings resulting in a portfolio of work they can use for their college applications.

Program Highlights

Hands-on coursework

Learn from talented faculty in the heart of New Orleans

Explore potential careers in architecture

Receive college credit

Two session dates—ideal for busy families

Reasons to Choose the Tulane Pre-College Architecture Program

As high school students consider careers, they may not yet have been exposed to the unique blend of visual orientation, creative process, academic investigation, and professional training that forms an architectural education. Tulane Pre-College students will explore architectural ideas, methods, and issues with Tulane faculty and local practicing architects. Lectures, studio time, digital workshops, field trips, discussions, and critiques will be supplemented with regular design exercises to be completed outside class time.

The Tulane School of Architecture's location in uptown New Orleans provides an unmatched cultural and urban context within which to study architecture as a creative, cultural and social practice.

Courses

The Tulane School of Architecture offers two studio based summer courses that introduce high school students to the study and practice of architecture. Each course is offered as a two-week residential session. Students can enroll in one or both courses.

At the completion of each course, high school students will receive 3 credit hours and an official Tulane transcript. Students who opt to participate in both sessions will receive 6 credits along with a great introduction to the full spectrum of design and making.

Architecture: Tactile Design - this two-week course embraces the tactile facets of the creative design process utilizing hand drawing, mixed media exploration, and physical model making. Students will explore the city with their sketchbook, experiencing the spatial, environmental, and cultural context of New Orleans.

Architecture: Digital Design - this course explores the realms of digital design, representation, and production as a means of communicating information in a visual and compelling way. Students will learn the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) as well as 3d modeling software to express their design ideas. Students will have the opportunity to work with innovative digital tools within our digital laboratory to compile a portfolio of work that is lively, relevant and professional.

Students who pursue a degree in architecture at Tulane may use up to 3 credit hours toward major requirements in the Bachelor of Architecture or Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree.

Applying to Career Explorations in Architecture

The Pre-College Architecture program is a residential program designed for students entering the 11th and 12th grades. Younger students who demonstrate the academic maturity to be able to thrive in a college environment may also apply. A completed application consists of an essay, transcript and letter of recommendation.

The School of Architecture offers a special tuition rate - a 10% savings - to all students who enroll in both courses.

Tulane's School of Architecture offers scholarship opportunities to students with demonstrated need. In order to be considered for scholarship opportunities, you must submit your scholarship application by the financial aid application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application or have questions about scholarships, email summer@tulane.edu for more information.

Application

Applying is Easy

Click the “Apply Now” button to start your application. A completed application consists of an essay, transcript and letter of recommendation. The School of Architecture offers a special tuition rate to students who enroll in both courses.

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Residential Experience

Life on Campus

A big part of your experience will be getting a real feel for college life and independent living. Immerse yourself in a campus setting that will inspire you, with the added benefit of caring supervision and guidance from our program counselors.

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Extracurricular Activities

Have Fun This Summer

Our program counselors will ensure that your summer is not only academically enriching but also a lot of fun. We offer an assortment of recreational and educational activities, both on and off-campus.

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Program Description

Our first day of class will be Monday, 6th. Your Teaching Assistants (TAs) will meet you after breakfast and walk you over to the Architecture Building. All of our classes will be in the Architecture Building, which is also called Richardson Memorial Hall – a beautiful Neo-Georgian building located in the Academic Quad of campus near St. Charles Avenue.

Sample Daily Schedule:

Classes meet daily, Monday thru Friday. Below is a typical schedule:

  • 9:30am-10:00am Sketching
  • 10:15am-11:30am Lecture
  • 11:30am-1:00pm Lunch and Open Studio time
  • 1:00pm-3:30pm Design Studio Instruction
  • 3:30pm-5:00pm Open Studio Time (TAs available in studio for help sessions)

Some field trips and academic excursions have been planned during class time, evenings and Saturdays.

Homework:

There will be projects to complete each day in preparation for a final presentation at the end of each week. The studio is available during the times listed above for students to work on their projects outside of class.

Field Trips:

The class takes several field trips to learn about the city of New Orleans, visit different neighborhoods, see important architectural works, and sketch from observation. Trip destinations may include the French Quarter, the Garden District, City Park, the Tulane URBANbuild houses, and Laura Plantation. Depending on the field trip destination, we will either take the streetcar or a Tulane shuttle. On field trips we will bring Tulane boxed lunches or provide meals for you on site.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • When we leave campus, you will be asked to bring your sketchbook, pencils and pens for sketching and taking notes; so you’ll want to bring a bag or backpack to carry these items.
  • NOLA (New Orleans, LA) summers can be HOT and HUMID so please be prepared for hot weather. Bring water bottles, hats, sunscreen, bug spray, and anything else you may need to stay comfortable outdoors.
  • We will be doing a lot of walking on field trips. Bring comfortable shoes and clothes as well as an umbrella or rain jacket in case of a summertime rain shower.

Materials:

On the first day we will show you around your new "home away from home" in the Architecture building and you will settle in to your individual studio desks. Just like in architecture school, you will have your very own desk for the duration of the program. We will provide all materials needed for the program and they will be waiting for you at your desk - except for the item used for the project described below.

Project:

At the root of the architecture discipline is the study of design. Any scale of design considers the program (what something is used for), the occupant (who uses it), and the context (how/where it is used). We will begin studio lessons with the documentation and analysis of an ordinary object - a shoe - in order to unravel the layers of complexity within a small designed object before translating these lessons to a much larger scale— the scale of a building! Deconstructing the shoes will give us the opportunity to study and explore design through careful representation and abstraction. This project will serve as the point of departure for the design of an architectural space! So stay tuned for more information about this project - we may ask you to bing an old pair of shoes with you that can be destroyed.

Portfolio Prep & Documentation:

We will discuss portfolio preparation throughout the program, look at sample portfolios and help students assemble their own portfolio of work they can use for their college applications. We will help students scan drawings and photograph models; all files are taken home on a thumb drive. The FedEx office on campus can help students ship their work home if necessary.

Course Credit:

At the completion of the course, students will have earned three Tulane credit hours. Participation in both the tactile and digital courses will earn students a total of 6 credits, 3 of which can be used as an architectural elective towards a degree in the Tulane School of Architecture.

Final Exhibition:

The program culminates is an exhibition on the final day of each session followed by a reception for students, faculty, parents and the Tulane School of Architecture community. The exhibition dates are Friday, July 17 and Friday, July 31.

Career Explorations Teaching Team

Emily Parsons, Director of Student Affairs

Director of Student Affairs Emily Parsons serves as the Program Director for the Career Explorations in Architecture summer program. During the year she works with the student body on all matters outside of that classroom including course planning, student organizations, and student health and wellness.

Emily received her Bachelor of Architecture from Mississippi State University and her Master of Science in Education from University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. She is particularly interested in understanding the cognitive development of students in a studio based curriculum and how interventions in student affairs can impact success in Architectural education and the profession.

Nicholas LiCausi, Digital Fabrication Specialist

Digital Fabrication Specialist Nicholas LiCausi is fascinated by emerging technologies and the possibilities for using them to push the boundaries of architecture and design. LiCausi received a Bachelors of Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he studied motion graphics, digital fabrication, and computational design alongside architecture. Prior to joining the Tulane School of Architecture, he worked in professional practice in New York City, where he specialized in 3D printing, virtual reality, and other digital technologies.

LiCausi moved to New Orleans in the Fall 2018 and looks forward to exploring the city by bike. As a FAA licensed drone pilot, he also hopes to explore the city from above.

Toni A. Dimaggio, Adjunct Lecturer - Preservation Studies Toni DiMaggio is an architect and preservationist who embraces the dialogue between historic and modern architecture. She believes preservation is an ideology that requires theoretical discussion simultaneously of the past and the present, and that the goal of a preservationist is to “inform progress,” rather than place a moratorium on new, innovative design. Her architectural design focus includes the adaptive reuse, expansion, and rehabilitation of historic buildings, as well as the analysis of new construction within an historic context. Her 15-year professional career in New Orleans also includes specialization in materials conservation, historic tax credit applications, and research.

Iñaki Alday, Dean of the Tulane School of Architecture, Richard Koch Chair in Architecture

Iñaki Alday received a Master of Architecture degree from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in 1992. Together with Margarita Jover, he founded aldayjover architecture and landscape in 1996 in Barcelona. The multidisciplinary, research-based practice focuses on innovation and is particularly renowned for its leadership in a new approach to the relation between cities and rivers, in which the natural dynamics of flooding become part of the public space, eliminating the idea of “catastrophe.”

He has taught at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University of Navarra and the University of Virginia. At the University of Virginia, he was the Elwood R. Quesada Professor of Architecture from 2011 to 2018, and Chair of the Department of Architecture from 2011 to 2016. Since 2016, he has been the co-director and founder (with Pankja Vir Gupta) of the Yamuna River Project, a long-term, interdisciplinary research program whose objective is to revitalize the ecology of the Yamuna River in the Delhi area. The project involves an interdisciplinary team with expertise in architecture, land planning, civil engineering, environmental science, public-private partnerships, anthropology, political science, history and cultural studies. The team’s objective is to engage the efforts of government agencies, experts and activists in an ongoing program to address the multidimensional challenges of Delhi and the relation with its river.

Both in academic research and in practice, Alday promotes a new attitude towards the transformation of our environment and how architecture can contribute to the inhabitation of the most challenged areas of the planet. He utilizes a multidisciplinary global vision and social and environmental ethics to examine the role of architecture and architects.

Frequently Asked Questions

I do not have any architecture experience. Can I participate?

You do not need any prior experience in or have studied architecture to participate in CEA - just an interest in architecture and design.

Are there any specific math or computer skills necessary?

Students who wish to enroll in CEA are not required to have specific skills beyond basic math and general computer literacy.

What equipment and/or materials will I need to bring?

We will provide all materials needed for the program. You may be asked to bring a commonly used item (like an old shoe) for the project.

What happens after the program ends?

The CEA program culminates in a professional portfolio that can be used for applying to colleges.

Do you offer a day session option?

Due to the intensive studio time and co-curricular activities, CEA does not offer a day option.

Can I take both courses?

Yes! Students who complete both sessions will receive 6 credits and a great introduction to the full spectrum of design and making.

For More Information

For more information, visit Career Explorations in Architecture or email Emily Parsons, Director of Student Affairs, at careerexplorationsarch@tulane.edu.

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Founded in 1834, Tulane University has the academic traditions and background in the scientific fields, humanities, and the arts to ensure the excellence of its programs. Dedicated staff and faculty, ties to the local community, and hands-on learning come together to provide a transformative educational experience for Pre-College students.

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