For College Students

Students work in teams or independently to create projects. William Staffeld / AAP
Working in Milstein Hall
Students are assigned studio space in Milstein Hall. William Staffeld / AAP
Model assembly
Model assembly during open studio hours. William Staffeld / AAP
College student during review
SYZ prepares for a review during the 2016 summer program. William Staffeld / AAP
Review presentation
Students present their work to faculty and visiting critics at various stages. William Staffeld / AAP
A weekly review with faculty and visiting critics is held every Thursday. William Staffeld / AAP
Field trip
Weekly field trips to local museums or other sites of interest take place each Friday. William Staffeld / AAP
Student working with faculty
Instructors work closely with students during project development in open studio time. William Staffeld / AAP
Final review
Final reviews take place in the Milstein Hall dome. William Staffeld / AAP
Students working
Students collaborate on a project during open studio hours. William Staffeld / AAP
Luben Dimcheff
Luben Dimcheff, the Richard Meier Associate Professor of Architecture and one of the summer program instructors. William Staffeld / AAP
L. P. Kwee Studios
A view of the L. P. Kwee Studios in Milstein Hall during the summer program. William Staffeld / AAP
Final projects in Milstein
Final projects are displayed in Milstein Hall. William Staffeld / AAP

The Introduction to Architecture Program for college students is an intensive six-week class that introduces ideas, principles, and methods of exploring architectural problems in a studio setting. Through a graduated sequence of exercises culminating in a final project, students study architectural concepts of space, form, function, and technology. Field trips investigate contemporary architecture within the context of Upstate New York sites of production, fabrication, and resources.

College students spend mornings in lectures and integrated workshops exploring architectural principles including composition, history, preservation, landscape architecture, planning, and urban design. The afternoon studio includes focused seminars featuring discussions of contemporary architectural theories and practices. The studio is taught in the Rem Koolhaas–designed Milstein Hall, by Department of Architecture faculty members and recent graduates of Cornell’s esteemed bachelor’s and master’s programs, and also incorporates periodic reviews by invited faculty and guest critics. Intensive individual instruction and regular progress reviews prepare students for a final project presentation.

Concurrent with the studio, drawing classes provide additional support in experimental architectural drawing and pragmatic drafting, while small design seminars and discussion groups contextualize the design process in relation to contemporary architectural practice.

The final portfolio review will strengthen and advise prospective graduate school application portfolios.

Students can expect to learn the fundamentals of the architectural program including:

  • The art of making and the importance of craft
  • The relationship between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional design
  • Drawing as a means of discovery and exploration
  • Analog and introductory digital representation
  • Conceptual clarity and expression
  • The basics of architectural composition

The program is open to college students seeking to study architecture at a graduate level, or as a minor at their home institution. The course requires no specialized knowledge or background beyond a serious interest in architectural design.

Student Work


  • Cube model project
  • Drawings
  • Cardboard model
  • Landscape model
  • Performative model
Testing 123
Testing 123