For more than 15 years, Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies has opened it doors to high school students from across the country, providing a first-hand look at the disciplines of architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture. 

Led by internationally renowned faculty from the college, the one-week program provides hands-on experience modeled on the curriculums of the School of Architecture + Design’s nationally ranked programs and the award-winning first year experience course taken by all architecture, industrial design, landscape architecture and interior design students at Virginia Tech.

Inside Architecture + Design 2014 will be held July 6-11. Registration is available on the website. The tuition for the program is $530; a deposit of $50 is required with registration and the balance is due May 16. Participants can opt to stay in one of the university’s residence halls for an additional cost. 

Created for high school students entering grades nine through 12, the program provides insights into the ways designers think and work. Primarily a hands-on experience, students work with longtime educators and practitioners on exercises designed to stimulate discussion and discovery.

Studio design sessions involve studies of materials and process as well as model building to explore spatial conditions. Working with various materials and organizational principles, students gain a basic understanding of how design is linked to contemporary architecture and the related fields of industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture.

In addition, the program gives high school students the opportunity to experience life on a university campus, staying in residence halls, eating in campus dining centers, and taking classes in college facilities.

The program directors for Inside Architecture + Design are Donna Dunay and Robert Dunay.

Donna Dunay, FAIA, G.T. Ward Professor of Architecture, received the 2012-13 Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Her work has been recognized with three statewide Excellence in Architecture Awards from the American Institute of Architects and a Distinguished Planning Award from the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association. She is also the chair of the International Archive of Women in Architecture.

Robert Dunay, FAIA, is also an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor and is the director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Design Research. He served as a primary faculty advisor for the 2002 and 2005 Virginia Tech entries in the Solar Decathlon Competition sponsored by the Dept. of Energy and for Virginia Tech Lumenhaus, which won the 2010 Solar Decathlon-Europe Competition in Madrid, Spain, and received an 2012 AIA Honor Award for Architecture.

Inside Architecture + Design was created 16 years ago and has grown from four students in its first year to more than 100 in recent years. Close to 1,000 students have participated in the program with many going on to study architecture or design at the university level.