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Under the Youth Academic Outreach initiative, Pop-Arc is a one- to two-day workshop that introduces high school students to architectural thinking and design methods, and offers them an opportunity to explore careers in architecture and design. The curriculum challenges students to think critically about formal decisions, take risks, and have fun. Students need no prior background in architecture or design to participate.

These workshops are intended to encourage students to investigate the relationship between creative thinking and making, explore three-dimensional relationships, and build a vocabulary around form and space that challenges typical notions of architecture. Students will be exposed to hands-on model making as well as SCI-Arc’s fabrication labs, including the Robot House. Pop-Arc is facilitated by SCI-Arc Design faculty. Current SCI-Arc students engage as peers with participating Pop-Arc students, sharing their individual experiences with applying to architecture school and becoming architecture students.

Pop-Arc workshops are held both on-site at SCI-Arc’s campus as well as at partner locations – both domestically and abroad. When at SCI-Arc, students are immersed in the culture of an architecture school, allowing them to get a better sense of what architectural education is like. The schedule and location of each workshop will be tailored to best fit the availability and number of students participating.

creativity summit work by students
Creativity Summit 2018. Students working on proposals for urban pavilions for Downtown Los Angeles

Local Pop-Arc workshops are part of SCI-Arc’s growing outreach efforts to attract and engage LA’s diverse youth population across the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), inspire curiosity about the world of architecture and design, as well as familiarize students with the academic environment at SCI-Arc.

The Youth Academic Outreach initiative at SCI-Arc is dedicated to building connections with high school students both locally and internationally by providing program opportunities which expose youth to design tools and architectural thinking.

Our Youth Academic Outreach Program is continuously seeking to grow future collaborations and partnerships for POP-Arc and beyond. Past institutional partners which have hosted Pop-Arc workshops include Inner-City Arts, The Institute of Contemporary Art, and many more. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming an institutional partner for future programs and workshops.


  • Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts
  • Marina High School, Huntington Beach
  • Jordan High School, Long Beach
  • Van Nuys High School
  • Boyle Heights High School
  • Culver City High School
  • Belmont High School


  • LAUSD Arts Branch
  • Inner-City Arts
  • IEA | Institute for Educational Advancement
  • ICA LA | Institute for Contemporary Art LA
  • Community Works | Creativity Summit
  • NOMA | National Organization of Minority Architects
  • ACE Mentor Los Angeles/Orange Counties


Pop-Arc On-Site | SCI-Arc

  • High School students came to SCI-Arc to work on-site using our fabrication lab such as the Robot House and the Magic Box.
Pop-Arc On-Site: Using the Robot House to apply textures, take photographs and make short videos of their massing model.

Pop-Arcs LA: 123 MAKE! | IEA

  • “1,2,3 MAKE!” is a two-week design workshop for high school age students interested in digital design and fabrication. In addition, students are given a portfolio workshop. The workshop is open to high school students that have already taken the Design Immersion Days program (DID. The work produced can contribute to students’ developing college portfolio.
  • This workshop is done in partnership with the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA). The workshop will also be open to students participating in their Explore mentorship program.
students presenting multicolored models to jury
123 Make 2018: Students presenting their projects to SCI-Arc Faculty

Pop-Arc LA - ZOOM | Inner City Arts

    • A partnership with Inner-City-Arts—students experience both campuses exposing them to various materials and techniques of working. Taught by SCI-Arc Faculty, students explore techniques of making through hands-on physical models, drawings, as well as SCI-Arc's digital lab.
    students collaborate building paper model design
    Pop-Arc at ICA 2017: Students working on their physical models.

    Pop-Arc LA – You Are Here | The ICA LA

    • A collaboration with an art museum—students are exposed to both art and architecture making connections conceptually while working on a hands-on project.
    students review paper models
    Pop-Arc at The ICA: Students presenting their work to their colleagues.

    Pop-Arc Vancouver | Young Guns Studio

      • A one-week workshop at the Young Guns Studio in Vancouver taught by SCI-Arc Faculty. Students explore various techniques and methodologies. The work produced can contribute to students’ developing college portfolio.
      pop arc vancouver students and Matthew Au
      Pop-Arc Vancouver at Young Guns Studio 2018: SCI-Arc faculty reviewing student work