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Making+Meaning 2020 Invites Students from Around the Globe to Discover Design

SCI-Arc has announced that its summer program Making+Meaning will be held online this year. Now open to applicants all around the world, students from across the US, Asia, Europe, and beyond will convene to delve deeply into the most cutting-edge techniques and processes advancing design and architecture today. Making+Meaning is a discovery career program for students that may or may not have any experience in architecture, or want to refine their own technical skillsets or design abilities.

student holding project colorful exhibition

Unlike previous iterations, the program will be divided into two modules, each two weeks long, during which participants will develop interactive content for a design portfolio, all while cultivating a creative community through the exploration of architecture. Upon finishing the program, students will present their design work and receive feedback from renowned architects and design professionals.

For over 30 years, Making+Meaning has provided a unique environment gathering together individuals from diverse academic and professional backgrounds to hone a keen interest in architecture and design, and culminating in the creation of a sophisticated portfolio that can be used to apply to programs in related fields. While this year’s Making+Making will be more digitally oriented in terms of software proficiency, there will be a dedicated website portal through which students will have access to live tutorials as well as on-demand Masterclasses and one-on-one instruction with SCI-Arc studio faculty.

Making+Meaning exposes participants to a wide range of tools and techniques that integrate digital representation and architectural design to jumpstart a profession in the field, expand existing skills, or inform a possible shift in career. By the end of four weeks in the program, students will have completed a series of complex design projects, having honed the ability to visualize them with digital tools, such as Rhino, Adobe Creative Suite, photographic documentation, 3D scanning, and augmented reality visualization. One of the benefits of conducting such a desirable program online is that it is no longer limited to those who live or are able to travel to Los Angeles, which also accommodates those maintaining a regular work schedule. Additionally, Making+Meaning grants three credits towards a visual studies elective at SCI-Arc.

Mirroring an architecture studio experience, students will not only receive critical guidance and feedback from SCI-Arc faculty and distinguished visiting lecturers in the development of their projects, but through regular lectures and presentations by leading architects and designers, as well as weekly virtual tours of landmark architectural studios in Los Angeles, students will gain a contemporary familiarity with the expansive and historic architecture and design culture of Los Angeles.

Making+Meaning is unique in that the teaching methodology of the instructors is much more product-oriented rather than simply covering the basics of architecture. As a result—and as representative of SCI-Arc itself—the work produced by Making+Meaning students is visually striking and technically refined. “There is an understanding of the value of aesthetic production, which I think is quite specific to Making+Meaning,” says SCI-Arc Graduate Programs Chair Elena Manferdini. “The fact that craft and the way of making is what the school does at large is fundamental to Making+Meaning, placing participants’ work at the edge of the sensibility of today. The program not only allows students the ability to think both spatially and visually, but gives them the tools to visualize projects, which is no small thing.”

“But it's also self-confidence that an idea can become reality through the tools that you gain in the program,” says Manferdini. “You don't know that you know how to do certain things until you find new limits of yourself, as a person.”

Registration for Making+Meaning is on a rolling basis until capacity is reached. To secure a place in the program, please complete the registration form here.