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Open to the creative individual, inspired professionals, current college students and college graduates, as well as those newly admitted to SCI-Arc’s M.Arch 1 program, Making+Meaning is a four-week summer studio program that introduces students to architectural experimentation and transformative design techniques in a unique and lively studio setting.

Making+Meaning students learn basic skills in drawing and model making as they craft a short series of designs focusing on composition, color, pattern, form, shape, and function. The designs increase in complexity and scale as students engage in an intensive introduction to the latest in computer modeling and digital representation. The results are innovative, fresh, and beautiful—a great addition to a portfolio, a way to enliven a professional career, or a new beginning to a regular in-semester architectural education.

Making+Meaning is a growth program. Skills are expanded, but more than that, students push themselves to make and create what they could not have previously imagined. Students enrolled in Making+Meaning represent a broad spectrum of interests, and a diverse range of plans and goals. No previous architectural experience is required.

Those who wish to jump-start a career in architecture receive a number of the benefits of a SCI-Arc education:

  • One-on-one instruction with top design professionals and academics
  • Access to SCI-Arc’s state-of-the-art Robot House and the Magic Box, our 3D digital fabrication facility
  • Juried reviews and guest lectures with noted architects and designers

For students who only know that they have a drive and a passion to make and create, Making+Meaning is a perfect place to expand your horizons and challenge yourself, all within the vibrant, diverse setting of Los Angeles’s downtown Arts District.

The Making+Meaning program is equivalent to 3 units. Students who enroll in one of SCI-Arc’s degree programs after completing the Making+Meaning program will receive credit for one Visual Studies (VS) elective course.


Digital Tools Lab: Students explore diverse modes of two- and three-dimensional representation through a variety of digital tools and techniques.

Design Techniques Lab: Students are exposed to diverse design methodologies while experimenting with and exploring the properties of different materials.

Exploring Los Angeles: Weekly guided tours connect students with L.A.’s most innovative architecture, both historic and contemporary.

Portfolio Development: Focused workshops introduce layout design and material formatting compilation strategies.

Crits and Pin-Ups: Students engage in “desk crits” with faculty and weekly “pin-up” reviews with their studio group. At the end of the program, students produce a public group exhibition.

Making and Meaning student with wall models and objects on table
Making and Meaning student with wall models and objects on table