top of page





Partnering with members of the community and city leaders, we will closely observe a location, measuring and documenting every detail before designing and building a series of experimental structures to transform them, to uncover and use design to create public awareness about an incredible secret, hidden in plain sight!


Tools will include measuring tapes, cameras, microphones, microscopes, and, most importantly, observing devices of our own invention.


Students will also visit renowned architectural sites, brainstorm ideas, build models, present their designs.


We want your energy, optimism, and ideas! 

in a world full of them,
we long for something true,
something we trust.
an unforgetable experience,
a singular moment.
great artists
and designers
see through the noise
to taps into something
this summer
our teams
will go into the city
to find something real
they will observe it,
draw it, photograph it,
and make a series
of short films
to that capture the 
they will then design
and build structures
to share what
they have discovered
with the world.
Who:         Ages 15-20 Yrs. (no experience required)
Where:      Studio and Fabrication Lab
                  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
                  77 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

When:       Monday-Friday           9:00 - 3:00  
                  July 10-21 (2 wks)     $1,200  -  Spaces Available
​The Summer Design/Build for Teens @ MIT

Specifically for high school and first year college students, the Summer Design/Build Program is a unique introduction to design, building, and community based service.


Located in the Architecture Department at the Massachusetts Institure of Technology, in Cambridge, the program is built around the design/fabrication experience. Participants spend a portion of each week on a range of activities aimed at stimulating their creativity and broadening their understanding of the design fields, from daily design challenges, weekly field trips to significant examples of built architecture, and tours of small and large architecture firms in the Boston area. For six weeks, under the mentorship of a licensed architect/professor and trained staff, participants utilize both the design studio and construction site to conduct client interviews, conceptual and detail design, and construction.​


The core of Summer Design/Build program is the excitement of designing and building a real project for their own community. Complimenting the ongoing studio work, participants spend a portion of their week on a range of activities aimed at stimulating their creativity and broadening their understanding of the design fields, from daily design challenges, weekly field trips to significant examples of built architecture, and tours of  architecture firms in the Boston area. Following a review process similar to that in undergraduate and graduate level architecture programs, young designers develop and then construct their designs at full scale. The final challenge is to see if their design can be modified and built to meet a similar need in their partner community.​



Under the mentorship of an experienced architect/professor and team of Graduate Teaching Fellows, participants experience a condensed design/build project, from client interviews and brainstorming through design actual construction.

The URBANFRAME model leverages what is important to young people for what is good for all.

The project gives everyone a chance to try everything.

Everyone contributes to the final design.
The work is mental and physical.
The process is fast- and the results visible and long lasting.
The accomplishment is personal and... publicly visible.


Most communities remain underserved by skilled designers and must therefore adapt to the buildings or landscapes they can afford. Working in cooperation with other professionals and building trades, architects and designers can initiate community based projects. Because the making of architecture requires close attention to the specific needs of users, URBANFRAME's framework is designed suited to connect young people to the needs of their own communities.​


For those students curious about design or architecture or looking for a new experience, the summer program is a source of both.  For those considering a career in architecture,UF's Summer Program at MIT offers introductory exposure to architecture, landscape, graphic, and industrial design and are an opportunity to begin or add to the individual portfolio required for application to most accredited design programs.

Schedule & Fees​


URBANFRAME welcomes students from outside the Boston area to participate in its programs. We've had students from Saudi Arabia, Brazil, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as from many US states. However, because it is a day program only, we cannot provide or arrange for out of town students' room, board, or transportation. Visiting students stay with family, friends, or at local bed and breakfasts and use the many safe and simple options for public transportation to reach MIT's Cambridge location.

Follow the link below if you're interested in applying or learning more about the 2016 Summer Program for Teens @ MIT, Cambridge, MA. For those qualified families interested in applying for financial assistance, please submit a completed 2016 Request for Financial Assistance to dmh@​​.

design                                 build




Welcome & Introduction

Grad Fellows' Presentation to Students
Studio Set-up
Preliminary Design Challenges

Site Selection
Meetings with Community Members
Brainstorming & Concept Design







Urban Scale Interventions
3D Modeling

Installation, Use & Testing







bottom of page