Pre-College Design Camp

teens looking at architecture model

Registration will open in Spring 2024. Please click here to join our mailing list and we'll send you more information as it becomes available.

Join us for KU Design Camp from June 9–15, 2024 and enjoy a valuable educational experience while working on projects that enhance your creative portfolio. KU Design Camp is a pre-college summer program offered to high school students who are entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year and are interested in Architecture or Design. Students learn in hands-on workshops taught by KU School of Architecture & Design faculty. 

Camp Dates: June 9–15, 2024

Format: In-person at KU's Lawrence Campus

Registration Fees: $1,000 — This fee includes housing in a University of Kansas residence hall, meals, studio fees, project materials, and evening activities. $150 deposit due at time of registration. 

KU Design Camp qualifies for Kansas Education Enrichment Program (KEEP) funding. KEEP provides qualifying parents and guardians with a $1,000 award per eligible child to pay for a variety of educational goods and services that promote learning recovery and facilitate academic enrichment opportunities. Learn more here.


Workshop Topics

Campers select a morning and an afternoon workshop topic during registration. Please note that the availability of workshops is subject to enrollment numbers. Placement in workshops is based on a a first-come, first-served basis.  

Morning Workshops 


Architectural Design Utilizing Digital Fabrication Tools

Instructor: Amy Van de Riet

This introductory class teaches spatial thinking and how to utilize digital fabrication tools to generate creative architectural outcomes. In architecture, the ability to communicate ideas is an important part of the design process. The visual representation of a design is how we share concepts and ideas for feedback and discourse in architecture. Projects in this class use 3D printing and laser cutters to create different learning outcomes.


Jayhawk Boulevard: Present and Future

Instructor: Marianne Remboldt

Jayhawk Boulevard is the centerpiece of KU’s campus, a thoroughfare lined with historic buildings that is activated by student life. In this workshop, campers will explore, document and analyze the architecture and space planning of Jayhawk Boulevard and tell its story through collage. Next, they will reimagine the central core of campus through their own eyes, dreaming up spaces they would want on their future college campus.

Through this workshop campers will explore topics of campus master planning, architectural styles, landscaping, public space, environmental factors, and transportation as they go on a guided walk of Jayhawk Boulevard that includes frequent stops to photograph and sketch what they see. Campers will share what they saw, felt, smelled, and heard by creating collages to tell their story. The second half of the camp will be focused on imagining a new version of campus as they compile a second collage that showcases how they believe Jayhawk Boulevard can evolve to better serve students today. The goal of this workshop is to show students the impact architecture and master planning can have on the human experience, to learn how to compile stories to communicate ideas and to engage in a low stakes method of visual communication: collage.


Brand You

Instructor: Sam Meier

Participants will explore personal branding in a workshop where they will learn about brands, logos, and graphic design. The workshop includes lectures, technology demos, and a final presentation where participants share their uniquely created responsive logo system and brand assets. The goal of this workshop is for student participants to develop a critical perspective on the technological, cultural, and aesthetic qualities of logos and branding through an exercise of creating a personal brand.


Afternoon Workshops


Architecture: A Spatial Journey

Instructor: Anne Patterson

Students design a sequence of spaces that explore entry, path-space relationships, threshold, and destination using a predetermined kit of parts. Each journey is connected to others at a common space which is a scale model of an existing space in Marvin Hall, offering an opportunity to do scale drawings. The development of each individual project is energized by collaborative sessions where the students connect their models together to see the effect of their decisions at a larger scale, connecting the models in both ‘urban’ and landscape context. The goal of this workshop is to introduce students to architectural design through model-making in a hands-on workshop.


Creating Concept, Character, and Creatures

Instructor: Kent Smith

Through creative expeditions to the campus museums (Natural History, Spencer, Wilcox, etc), and various media experiments, students will find new inspiration and ideation methods for developing next-level characters and creatures. Each day will hold a new character challenge and students will learn to take drawings from sketches in the field to a refined digital drawing with color and light. Students in this workshop will explore methods to bring dynamic characters to life through collaboration, game-play, and deep-dives into various prompts and challenges. Whether designing an alien from a far-off world or the mascot for a children’s cereal, we can engage illustrative design principles like composition, pose, color, lighting, shape-play, textures, and more to add details, meaning and story to your characters. Students will gain skills in Adobe Creative Suite, and traditional media as we first create unique, unexpected characters rich in personality.


Web Design for Beginners

Instructor: Titus Smith

Dive into the creative world at KU Design Camp, where you'll explore the fundamentals of design through hands-on projects and innovative techniques, all tailored for high school students. This introductory class is your gateway to unleashing your imagination and discovering the endless possibilities of design. The goal of this workshop is to introduce the basics of design principles and practices as it relates to web design and equip students with the foundational skills and creative confidence needed to pursue further education or careers in web design.