By Joey Mazzaferro

Every summer, prospective architecture and design students flock to the University of Florida School of Architecture to learn in the amazing environment of the Design Exploration Program (DEP). This year, due to COVID-19, the program will be completely online but the experience promises to be just as rewarding.

“We know that much of the program fun is in studio immersion, meeting friends and field trips, but we feel that will also happen in virtual space,” UF Architecture professor Jason Alread said. “We’re teaching our summer design studios fully online and are using some of that experience to work with high school students in DEP.”

This program allows prospective students the chance to learn about design studio and our School of Architecture. Students get to experience the style and pace of design school, which is very different than anything they have probably ever done.

The program will begin on June 21 with a meet and greet/orientation and will end on July 3 with final presentations. In between, these students will get the full studio experience from the comfort of their own home.

“We’ll do two daily sessions, morning and afternoon, with faculty and a number of current and former students assisting,” Alread said. “We can then cover both group and one-on-one instruction. We’re making a materials and tools packet that will be sent to each participant, so we’ll all have the things needed to make models and drawings, rather than depending entirely on digital tools. The UF SoA is a Making school and we want to convey that.”

Students will create three projects they can use in a portfolio and there will be a virtual celebration and public show of the work at the end of the two-week program.

We look forward to offering a great experience for students in an entirely new format. To learn more about the Design Exploration Program, including the cost for this year’s virtual session, click here.

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