Summer Design discovery City edge Logo

The School of Architecture, founded by Frank Lloyd Wright as the Taliesin Fellowship in 1932, is pleased to offer a Summer Design Discovery 2021 program organized in collaboration with the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

The program, titled City Edge, will explore notions of collective space in architecture and urban design through the examination of both historic examples and contemporary projects across rural and urban landscapes in the midwest. Participants will engage in tours and private events at a number of significant Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Chicago and Wisconsin, as well as activities around the upcoming 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial, The Available City.
Over the course of 4 weeks, home base will move between two iconic workspaces, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wyoming Valley School in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Mies van der Rohe’s Crown Hall in Chicago, which will serve as the program’s studio space for a short design project related to the upcoming Biennial.


  • Program dates: July 11 – August 7th
  • Open to all adults and college-level students interested in architecture and urbanism
  • Throughout the course of the project, students will gain experience with the fundamentals of architectural design, production and representation
  • Design discovery participants will receive an Official Certificate of Completion
  • Detailed Program Summary

Applications are now closed

$50 application fee

$2,500 off-site program cost


$3,500 program cost with housing included

Contact the Office of Admissions

Tel 1-480-750-4475


APPlications are now closed

photo courtesy of Wyoming Valley School and IIT


Through site visits and planned activities in Chicago and Wisconsin, along with a final design project, participants will explore the themes of the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial. The 2021 Artistic Director is Chicago-based designer, researcher, and educator David Brown. The concept and title for the 2021 edition, The Available City, asks us to consider the impact collective space can have in cities today, focused at the intersection of architecture and design and such critical issues as health, sustainability, equity, and racial justice.

The Available City is the identification of the 10,000 city-owned vacant lots as a large, dispersed urban landscape, and proposes its potential as a collective space system. Informed by organizational structures in improvised music, The Available City is an improvisational framework that is intended to develop over time and operates at two scales—individual sites or spaces developed by community organizations, and the ensemble, the diverse collection of those spaces. Taken together, the 10,000 individual city-owned lots of The Available City comprise a space about twice the size of the Chicago Loop, the city’s renowned downtown business and cultural district.

Chicago, its surrounding area, and Southern Wisconsin are also home to an expansive collection of buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright including his early Prairie Style houses and the first Usonian home. His important institutional buildings in the area include Unity Temple in Oak Park, Taliesin in Spring Green, and the Johnson Wax Headquarters in Racine Wisconsin. Study tours of Wright’s work and other significant buildings will structure much of the program’s activities. 

Special events will include tours of privately owned and rarely accessible Wright homes along with a series of dinners and social events hosted by the homeowners themselves. Students will conduct a series of short design and documentation exercises to analyze significant buildings using themes drawn from Wright’s work and issues outlined by The Available City. Through a range of historic and contemporary examples, students will contemplate themes such as domestic vs. public space, relationships between architecture and landscape, issues of climate and sustainability, urban vs. suburban form, spatial organization, material effects and atmosphere and the role of architecture in culture and society…

For more information on the Summer Design Discovery schedule, please download the detailed course brochure and schedule here:

Chicago Biennial

photos courtesy of: Chicago Architecture Biennial // // Owen Xie