SCI-Arc's Design Immersion Days (DID) is a 3-week online summer program that introduces high school students of varying backgrounds to design and architecture. The intention is to inspire curiosity about the world of design, introduce basic design knowledge and critical thinking skills.
In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, SCI-Arc is proud to announce that the DID programs will be accessible to students worldwide throught a new virtual platform.
Design Immersion Days (DID) is an immersive three-week summer program that introduces high school students to design and architecture. It is intended to inspire curiosity about the world of design, introduce basic design knowledge and critical thinking skills, and familiarize students with the expansive architecture and design culture of Los Angeles.
“DID 2020 addresses this strange and novel time through a lens of optimism. The theme for this summer is In the Clouds, an idea that explores new forms of creative collaboration within the context of play and fun.” — DID Coordinator Mira Henry
Throughout the program, DID students are exposed to examples of design and modes of production at all scales, from analog physical building and traditional drawing to multiple forms of digital output—augmented reality, 3D modeling, 3D printing, and more. In the classroom and beyond, participants explore ways of seeing, thinking, and making that are essential for anyone interested in pursuing a career in architecture or design.
Experiencing Architecture School
Simulating a college-level architecture studio experience, DID students create design projects which are developed through one-on-one discussions with SCI-Arc faculty during desk-crits and through collegial collaborations with other students. Students regularly present their work to juries of instructors and peers in discussion-based pin-ups and group review sessions, receiving guidance and feedback that help to jumpstart an interest in the process of design.
An Introduction to Architectural Thinking and Production
DID’s curriculum is built to articulate projects within three different formats and scales, from analog models to digital renderings, presenting scenarios in which students are challenged to think analytically, use different tools, and imagine nontraditional approaches to design. Through projects emphasizing visual studies, design lab, and portfolio building, students are introduced to a range of skills essential to exploring, discovering, describing, and producing design work.
DID students refine a design acuity and hone a visual vocabulary through techniques and tools that include freehand sketching, mechanical drafting, computer drawing, Rhino, Photoshop, Illustrator, physical model making, 3D modeling, and virtual and augmented reality. This exposure enables students to conceive their designs through a mode of production that fluidly moves between physical and the virtual workflows.
Exploring the Design Culture of Los Angeles
Showcasing the robust creative economy of Los Angeles, including the industries of film, fashion, and design provide a way for DID students to make connections not only between creative fields, but the critical professional economic dynamics within the city as a whole.
Students get to know the city’s visual, structural, and cultural context through the lens of those most deeply engaged with shaping the cityscape: prominent architects who call Los Angeles their home. Lunchtime chats bring students in direct conversation with leading architects and designers.
DID participants also have access to private virtual tours of museums, design firms, and galleries during weekly field trips to landmark architectural sites in Los Angeles, including Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hammer Museum, Eric Owen Moss Architects, and many others.