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Every summer the University of Washington, like many other architecture schools, offers a Summer Introduction to Architecture Program (ARCH 100). The  UW program is an 8-credit design course for students contemplating architecture as a field of study. Undergraduate students and college graduates with degrees in other fields have the opportunity to learn more about architecture and the experience of design education. The program is a studio based course with lectures, drawing exercises, design instruction and field trips.


Participating in the summer program was a defining moment for me. I was a working professional that contemplated an architectural education for many years and reached a point where going back to school for a Master’s degree became an option. I decided to enroll in Arch 100 to make certain that a design education was what I wanted and something worth investing the next several years of my life. Over the course of a few weeks, we were immersed in design, drawing, history and physical model making and I discovered the joys of a design studio environment where you learn from your peers as much as you learn from the studio teacher. I also discovered how demanding and equally rewarding a commitment to a design project could be and my newfound love for building physical models.


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Midway through the program, I was hooked. I realized then, that I could never turn back and had to apply to the MArch program. The projects completed in the Arch 100 program provided a lot of material for my portfolio. The Arch 100 program also laid the groundwork for the work that would be asked of me in the Master’s program and I started the program prepared.


IMG_0998Having just completed my MArch thesis presentation, and with graduation just around the corner, I am reminded of my Arch 100 experience at the start of this venture into architecture. Attending Arch 100 was a life changing experience for me and I encourage anyone interested in pursuing a career in architecture to consider enrolling.

For more information on the ARCH 100 program please visit the program website.

Written by Queena Yi, MArch Candidate 2013
All photos courtesy of Judith Swain, Program Director

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