Friday, August 5, 2016

AXP Architectural Experience Program

AXP More alphabet soup?
As of June 29, IDP Intern Development Program is no more; in its place is AXP Architectural Experience Program.  To best learn the changes of the program (aside from the name), visit the website of NCARB (see below) and download/read the AXP Guidelines.

Architectural Experience Program (AXP)
All of NCARB’s 54 U.S. jurisdictions require you to gain and document a certain amount of experience before becoming an architect. That’s where the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®) comes in. 

Through the AXP, you will learn about the daily realities of architectural practice, acquire comprehensive experience in basic practice areas, explore specialized areas of practice, develop professional judgment, and refine your career goals. 

The AXP is developed and administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). In most jurisdictions, completion of the AXP is a requirement for initial registration. The AXP identifies the tasks that are essential for competent practice. The program is structured to prepare you to practice architecture independently upon initial registration.

This week, I will be attending the Architect Licensing Advisor Summit to learn more about the program.  I will be back later to share more details as I learn the details of the new program.


Dr. Architecture

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Architecture and Beyond - Series of Three Articles

Architecture and Beyond

In less than a week, I have posted the following three articles to my Becoming an Architect Facebook []. 

All three highlight the power of an architectural education; they highlight the myriad of career paths one can pursue after an architectural degree.

Delicious by Design

This article in the UVA News highlights Stephanie Connock, an architectural graduate and her entry into the culinary arts.

“In Architecture, you have to stand up and present your ideas in front of a lot of people at once and then let them critique you,” she said. “Having that experience has definitely made me more comfortable talking with people and trying to get them interested in my products.”

Guide to Alternatives to Architectural Practice

In contrast, this article in Architizer highlights six different career paths - 1) Film, Video and Animation, 2) Tech and Web Design, 3) Fashion, 4) Jewelry, 5) Interdisciplinary Research, and 6 Ice Cream.

#6 Ice Cream has a parallel with the UVA article.


This last article is a summary of a panel discussion of previous architects as they transitioned into careers in technology.

All three are worth reading regardless of your career path as you see the power of design.

Dr. Architecture


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Discover Architecture: A Program for All Aspiring Architects

Charlotte Wyman
Hamilton College, Class of 2018

Discover Architecture program at the Illinois School of Architecture was a highly valuable experience for me. As a rising college sophomore, I decided to take two weeks off from my summer internship position at an architecture firm in Chicago. This was a decision my employer highly encouraged and one that I found to be ultimately rewarding. By the end of the two weeks, I had gained both an understanding of what my experience as an architecture student would be, and a reaffirmation of why I wanted to pursue architecture as a career.

I remember on the first day we were put into groups and challenged to build the tallest standing structure from spaghetti that could support one marshmallow at the top. Not only was this a great bonding activity, but it also encouraged a new level of innovation and experimentation that would come in handy in the next two weeks. 

Throughout the program we were challenged to think creatively and abstractly, but also work under strict time constraints. For both of the major projects assigned, we had to translate abstract figures into renderings. Initially we experimented with paper cutouts, each creating our own walls that formed a repetitive, multidimensional pattern (as pictured below). Our second project was coming up with our own three-dimensional cardboard cutouts. We were able to use a laser cutter to produce our shapes.  We were then challenged to create a site plan, elevation, and multiple sections to finish by the end of the program. Both of these projects served as great introductions into the basics of creating renderings. At the same time, working under a schedule challenged us all at some points to work under pressure, while still being able to produce high quality work.  


Attending lectures and working in the studio consumed most of the day and evenings were always full of activities. We were often able to explore campus; planned events included scavenger hunts, movie nights, bowling, or just playing games; there was also a field trip to Chicago with a walking tour of the skyscapers, a river and boat tour of the city, and a visit to an architecture firm. Meals were served at the dining hall right across adjacent to residence hall, and the School was only a ten-minute walk away. I found the program to be very well-organized, and there was never a moment where I found myself with nothing to do. 


All in all, Discover challenged me to learn quickly and question my way of thinking about building, shape and design. Not only did I leave the program with well-formed basic level skills in drawing and rendering, I could finally picture myself as an architect and designer. This summer, I am in a six-week architecture program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and the skills I learned in Discover have served me extremely well. 

If you are interested in architecture or design at all I would highly recommend this program. It was a great way for me to test the waters and explore my interest in architecture before committing to it.  

Listing of architecture summer programs.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Career Days for Architecture

Summer has just begun, but now is the time to start planning for the fall and the three main Career Days for Architecture - in Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Having attended these for years as a representative from IIT, University of Maryland and University of Illinois, these events are great to learn first hand about an architecture program.  Even more so, you can meet with 35-50 programs in a single day.

Chicago Career Day - October 2015

Boston Career Day – Wentworth Institute of Technology
Boston, MA
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – 10:00am – 2:00pm

Chicago Architecture + Design College Day – Harold Washington College
Chicago, IL
Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 10:00am – 1:00pm

Philadelphia Design College Day – Temple University
Philadelphia, PA
Saturday, November 12, 2016 – 11:00am – 2:00pm

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Architecture Uncensored: The License Dilemma

Last night, I had the pleasure of serving on a panel entitled “The License Dilemma” sponsored the by the Emerging Architects Committee of AIA DC.  Joining me was Adam Schwartz, AIA, a recently licensed architect and Associate at HGA Architects and Engineers and the Washington DC Licensing Advisor and Harry Falconer, Jr., AIA, Director of Experience + Education at NCARB.  Moderating the panel was Elizabeth Kinkel, Associate AIA of View Dynamic Glass. …

The panel started with an introductory discussion on Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL).  As listed on the NCARB website, IPAL provides students the opportunity to complete licensure requirements while earning their degrees. 

However, the thrust of the discussion both from us as panelists and the audience, mostly emerging professionals, was on the value of licensure and how WE (the profession) could do more to ensure architectural graduates would pursue licensure.  Harry relayed statistics from NCARB by the Numbers that stated that the average age of an architect becoming licensed was 32 years of age.  With recent changes in IDP (soon to be AXP), the timeframe from graduation to licensure is decreasing.

Some of the discussion was on what architecture programs (schools) could do; as will be the case with IPAL, schools might provide or encourage students to gain experience during their formal education making them more valuable to firms upon graduation.  But also, many in the audience thought schools could provide more direct knowledge on practice.  However, I pointed out that our system of becoming an architect includes knowledge from education and knowledge from experience. 

Unfortunately, some firms are not equipped to “teach” their employees like a hospital might do with aspiring doctors.  For firms, it is a business proposition – my answer to firms is the “your people” are your most important asset.  One member of the audience specifically asked – what could WE do to help firms more value their staff as they work towards licensure; no one had an immediate answer.

Mr. Falconer furthered the conversation with the notion that an architectural should pursue licensure not for their current position, but for their next one.  Adam relayed the sense of accomplishment when he had achieved the title of architect.

Additional discussion centered on those architectural graduates that pursue an alternate path and not licensure.  We know that these individuals are NOT architects (in the legal sense), but are they are part of the profession.

Overall, the event was a success in terms of attendance, but more importantly in terms of conversation; attendees left with much to consider as each pursues licensure.  I am pleased to have been a part of the panel; I am sure this is not an exact summary, but it is a start.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Study Architecture - NEW

Just this past week, ASCA launched a new website -

From the home page.  
  • Have you ever wondered how you can make an impact? Ever imagined how to create sustainable communities, how to make urban spaces more personal, or how to use design thinking to improve how people work, live and explore? It is simple. Study Architecture. As an architecture student, the built environment is your canvas, and imagination is your only limit. Explore to find a wealth of resources, including where to learn, what to know, and the latest news in the global architecture community.
Below are the main sections.

Where to Study - allows you to search from the accredited programs that offer degrees in architecture.

What to Know - connects you to a number of resources.

What's New - links to a periodic blog on all topics related to studying architecture.

Your Journey - provides you a road map to becoming an architect and making an impact.

Check it out!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Portfolio Advice

I was wondering if you have any advise in regards to creating an architectural portfolio for graduate school for someone who didn't major in architecture. I'm trying to get a good idea of what the school would be looking for with the knowledge that my undergraduate studies were in another field. Any advise would be helpful, thanks!

With regards to creating a portfolio, I would suggest the following website --

Portfolio Design

This website talks about process; you may also want to obtain the book version by the same name.  As your undergraduate degree is not in architecture, do not feel you have to submit architecture; submit creative work --

Contact the graduate programs to which you are applying and see what they say.
Look at examples on

Search Google for Portfolio Requirements for ideas posted by graduate programs. 

Portfolio Requirements:
A portfolio of student and professional work is required of all applicants demonstrating the applicant’s abilities in architectural design and communications. Examples of work should include undergraduate design studio work, sketches, free hand drawings, construction drawings, photos of architectural models, and digital models and drawings demonstrating the applicant’s abilities to use architectural graphic programs such as Sketchup, Sketchbook Pro, Rhino, and others.  Portfolio content should meet the following minimum requirements:
  • Show at least six [6] undergraduate design studio projects completed as a student.
  • Show introductory analysis, conceptualization, project context, and project development as well as final products for each project entry. A short narrative must accompany each entry.
  • Demonstrate two- and three-dimensional design development
  • Demonstrate increasing complexity across the projects
  • Demonstrate increasing attention to detail development of the design across the projects
Do your best and continue to ask questions and for help.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Becoming an Architect - Undergraduate in another Discipline

I was recently doing some research online about studying architecture and came across your blog. I can't seem to find a straight answer to my question which is: can you become an architect with a bachelor's degree in something that has nothing to do with architecture, and if so how? I would imagine that one could study anything during undergraduate years, and then apply for a master's architecture program. Is this correct? Also, what type of course work should someone enrolled in a master's architecture program expect?
Thank you very much in advance!


My expertise is in the process of becoming an architect in the U.S.; as such, my comments/answers are from that perspective.

To become an architect for more jurisdictions in the U.S., one needs to have 1) education, 2) experience, and 3) examination.

To meet the education standard, one must possess an accredited degree in architecture - a BArch, MArch, or DArch.  For the Master of Architecture, one can pursue what is typically a 3-4 year graduate degree following an undergraduate degree in most any discipline.

So, what you state below - I would imagine that one could study anything during undergraduate years, and then apply for a master's architecture program. Is this correct? - is correct.

As for what to pursue as an undergraduate, it will vary depending on the individual.  It is common that the degree would be related to design and architecture - civil engineering, fine arts, landscape architecture, etc.  But it could be completely unrelated - English, finance, etc.

Ultimately, I would suggest you and others pursue an undergraduate in which you will enjoy and do well academically to allow for graduate admission.  As well, most graduate programs require a portfolio for admission -- thus, take courses in fine art and design that will allow you to produce materials for a portfolio.

Best. Dr. Architecture

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Careers in Architecture

Careers in Architecture

Last April, I had the opportunity to be a part of the ACSA Creative Futures: Architecture Student Webinar Series.  Specifically, I presented on the topic of Careers in Architecture.

All totaled, the presentation is 30 minutes in length and covers both traditional careers in architecture and beyond.

ACSA Student Resources

Careers in Architecture Presentation.

If you want the slides of the presentation, access my page on

Dr. Architecture

Friday, January 29, 2016



Barnard College – New York, NY
June 26 – July 23, 2016 (4 weeks)

Boston Architectural College - Boston, MA
July 2016 - Contact School for Dates

Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA
June 25 - August 6, 2016 (6 weeks)

Catholic University of America – Washington, DC
July 11 – 29, 2015 (3 weeks)

Center for Architecture - New York, NY
June 20 – August 26, 2016 (week long Architecture Camps Grades 3-12)

City College of New York – New York, NY
June 27 – July 29, 2016 (4 weeks)

Columbia University - New York, NY                          
July 6 – August 5, 2016 (5 weeks)

Cooper Union – New York, NY
July 5 - 29, 2015

Cornell University - Ithaca, NY
June 20 – August 1, 2016 (6 weeks)

Design Science Lab - Chestnut Hill College - Philadelphia, PA
June 19–27, 2016 (1 week)

Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA
July 10 – 23, 2016 (2 weeks)

Harvard University - Cambridge, MA                                      
June 13 – July 22, 2016 (6 weeks)

Fallingwater – Mill Run, PA
July 9 – 16; July 24 – 30, 2016

Maryland Institute College of Art
June 25 – July 23, 2016 (4 weeks)

Maryland, University of - College Park, MD
July 10 – 29, 2016 (3 weeks)

Marywood University – Scanton, PA
July 18 – 29, 2016 (2 weeks)

Massachusetts Amherst, University of – Amherst, MA
July 10 – 30, 2016 (3 weeks)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Boston, MA
Contact School of Dates

National Building Museum - Washington, DC
July 5 – 8; July 11 – 22; August 1 – 12, 2016

New Jersey Institute of Technology - Newark, NJ       
July 10 – 15, July 17 – 22, 2016 (1 week)

New York Institute of Technology - Old Westbury, NY
July 6 – 28, 2016 (4 weeks)

Parsons The New School For Design – New York, NY
June 27 – July 29, 2016 (5 weeks), July 11 – 29, 2016 (3 weeks), August 8 – 19, 2016 (2 weeks)

Pennsylvania State University - State College, PA
July 10 – 14, 2016

Pennsylvania, University of – Philadelphia, PA
July 3 – 30, 2016 Residential (4 weeks); July 4 – 29, 2016 Day (4 weeks)

Pratt Institute - Brooklyn, NY
July 5 – 29, 2016 (4 weeks)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Troy, NY
July 10 – 22, 2016 (2 weeks)

Rhode Island School of Design – Providence, RI
June 25 – August 6, 2016

Roger Williams University - Bristol, RI
July 3 – 30, 2016 (4 weeks)

Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY
July 3 – 30, 2016 (6 weeks)

Temple University – Philadelphia, PA
July 11 – 22, 2016 (2 weeks)

Yale University – New Haven, CT
June 26 – July 16, 2016; July 17 – August 6, 2016 (3 weeks)

AIA Memphis/University of Memphis - Memphis, TN
Contact School for Dates

Auburn University - Auburn, AL
June 19 – 24; July 10 - 15, 2016 (1 week)

Clemson University - Clemson, SC
June 12 – 18 (1 week), June 26 – July 2, 2016 (2 weeks)

Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton, FL
June 13-24; July 11-22; July 25 – August 2, 2016 (2 weeks)

Florida, University of - Gainesville, FL
June 19 – July 8, 2016 (3 weeks)

Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA                        
June 20 – July 1, 2016 (2 weeks)

Kennesaw State University
July 12 – 28, 2016 (3 weeks)

Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, LA
June 12 – 17, 2015 (1 week)

Miami, University of - Miami, FL
July 5 – 25, 2016 (3 weeks, full-time in-residence)

Mississippi State University - Starkville, MS
June 10 – 17, 2016 (1 week)

North Carolina at Charlotte, University of - Charlotte, NC
June 12 - June 17, 2016 (1 week)

North Carolina State University - Raleigh, NC
June 27 – July 1; July 11 –15, 2016; (day)
June 12 – 18; July 24 – 30, 2016 (overnight) (1 week)

Savannah College of Arts & Design – Atlanta and Savannah, GA
June 20 – July 22, 2016 (5 weeks)

Tennessee, University of - Knoxville, TN
July 10 – 15, 2016 (1 week)
Tuskegee University – Tuskegee, AL
Contact School for Dates

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Blacksburg, VA
June 26 – July 1, 2016 (1 week)

Andrews University – Berrien Springs, MI
June 11 – 22 (2 weeks) June 13 – 17; June 20 – 24; June 27 – July 1; July 4 - 8; July 6 – 17, 2016 (1 week)

Ball State University - Muncie, IN                 
July 10 – 22, 2016 (2 weeks)

Cincinnati, University of – Cincinnati, OH
June 6 – 10, 2016 (Day); June 19 – 25, 2016 (Residential)

Cranbrook Summer Art Institute – Bloomfield Hills, MI
July 18 – 29, 2016 (2 weeks)

Detroit Mercy, University of – Detroit, MI                    
June 20 – 24, 2016 (1 week)

Drury University – Springfield, MO
June 6 – 17, 2016

Lawrence Technological University – Detroit, MI
June 20 – 24, 2016 (1 week); July 11 - 15, 2016 (1 week); July 18 – 29, 2016 (2 weeks)

Miami University - Oxford, OH
July 3 – 15, 2016 (2 weeks)

Michigan, University of - Ann Arbor, MI
July 11 – August 1, 2016 (3 weeks)
Notre Dame, University of – Notre Dame, IN
June 12 – 24, 2016 (2 weeks)

Institute of Technology – Chicago, IL                                    
July 4 – 15, 2016 (Commuter); July 17 – 30, 2016 (Residential) (2 weeks)
August 1 – 15, 2016

Illinois at Chicago, University of - Chicago, IL (college students/working professionals)
July 5 – 29, 2016 (4 weeks) (high school students)
July 11 – 15, 2016 (1 week)

Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of - Champaign, IL
June 19 – July 2; July 10 – 23, 2016 (2 weeks)

Iowa State University – Ames, IA                        
June 22 – July 2, 2016 (1 week)

Iowa State University – Ames, IA
July 10 - 15, 2016 (1 week)

Judson University - Elgin, IL
July 10 – 15, 2016 (1 week)

Nebraska-Lincoln, University of - Lincoln, NE
June 5 - June 11, 2016 (1 week)

Oklahoma, University of – Norman, OK
Check School for Dates

Oklahoma State University – Stillwater, OK
June 13 – 18, 2016 (1 week)

School of the Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago, IL
June 13 – 24, June 27 – July 8, 2016 (2 weeks)

Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, IL
Contact School for Dates

Taliesin – Summer Immersion Program – Spring Green, WI                                          
May 31 – July 29, 2016 (8 weeks)

Washington University in St. Louis - St. Louis, MO              
July 10 – July 23, 2016 (2 weeks)

Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Univ. of - Milwaukee, WI
July 31 - August 6, 2016 (1 week)

Weisman Art Museum - Minneapolis, MN
August 1 – 5, 2016 (1 week)

Arkansas, University of – Fayetteville, AR
June 13 – 17; June 20 – 24; June 27 – July 1, 2016 (1 week)

Houston, University of - Houston, TX
June 13 – July 15, 2016 (5 weeks)

Prairie View A&M University – Prairie View, TX
Contact School for Dates

Rice University – Houston, TX
Program has been suspended for Summer 2016; check back for 2017.

Texas A&M University - College Station, TX
July 3 – 9, 2016 (1 week)

Texas at Austin, University of - Austin, TX
June 13 – July 15, 2016 (5 weeks)

Texas at San Antonio, University of – San Antonio, TX
June 6 – 17, 2016 (2 weeks)

Tulane University - New Orleans, LA
July 10 – 29, 2016 (3 weeks)

Architectural Foundation of San Francisco – San Francisco, CA
Contact AF for Dates

Architecture + Design Museum – Los Angeles, CA
Contact A + D Museum for dates of workshops

Arcosanti – Mayer, AZ
Contact Arcosanti for Dates

Arizona State University – Phoenix, AZ
June 27 – July 1, 2016 (1 week)

Arizona, University of – Tucson, AZ
June 6 – 10 (6th-8th); June 13 – 17 (9th-12th);
June 20 – 24 (6th-8th); June 27 – July 1 (9th-12th) (1 week)

California Baptist University – Riverside, CA

June 20 – 24, 2016

California at Berkeley, University of - Berkeley, CA
July 5 - August 12, 2016 (6 weeks) – College Graduates
July 5 – 29, 2016 (4 weeks) – High School
June 5 – August 5, 2016 (5 weeks) - College

California at Los Angeles, University of - Los Angeles, CA
July 5 – July 19, 2016 (4 weeks)

California College of The Arts - San Francisco, CA                    
June 27 – July 22, 2016 (4 weeks)

California Poly State Univ. – SLO - San Luis Obispo, CA
June 19 - July 15, 2016 (4 weeks)

Idaho, University of – Moscow, ID
June 19 – 25, 2016 (1 week)

La Jolla Historical Society Young Architects Summer Camp – La Jolla, CA
Contact for Dates

Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design

Newschool of Architecture and Design - San Diego, CA
June 22 - July 2, 2015 (2 weeks); July 6 – 17, 2015 (2 weeks)

Oregon, University of - Eugene, OR
July 11 – August 5, 2016 (4 weeks)

Oregon, University of – Portland, OR
Contact the School for Dates

Project H Design / Camp H for Girls – Berkeley, CA
April 7 – May 26, 2016 (Thursdays)

Project Pipeline NOMA Chapters – Various Cities

Southern California Institute of Architecture – Los Angeles, CA
Contact School for dates (college students)
June 20 – July 18, 2016 (4 weeks) (high school students)

Southern California, University of - Los Angeles, CA
June 19 – July 16, 2016 (4 weeks); June 19 – July 3, 2016 (2 weeks)

Taliesin Preservation – Spring Green, WI
June 6 – 10, June 13 – 17, June 20 – 24, June 27 – July 1, 2016 (1 week)

Washington, University of - Seattle, WA
June 20 – August 19, 2016 (9 weeks)
Contact School for dates

Architectural Association – London, ENGLAND
July 4 – 22, 2016 (3 weeks)

CIAO!  Center for Introduction to Architecture Overseas – Pontano, ITALY
July 2-23, 2016 (3 weeks)

International Summer School – Tamil Nadu, INDIA
Contact for dates!

The Tasis Summer Program - France
June 25 – July 16, 2016 (4 weeks)

Design Quest / Design Day / Skill Up Workshops (RIBA) – London, England
February to April 2016