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Architecture Summer Camp: Design Discovery

Architecture Summer Camp: Design Discovery

Design Discovery is a seven-day summer workshop intended to answer many of the questions about architecture and design as fields of study and as professions.

Next Camp: Summer 2025

The major goal of Design Discovery is to simulate the information, skill and intensity required for an architectural education and to give clear insight into the practice of architecture. With this experience, it will be possible for the participants to make an informed career decision about architecture and its related disciplines.


Admission into Design Discovery is open to high-school-age students (16 and above) and incoming college freshmen who are interested in the field of architecture and/or other related design fields. Older students are also encouraged to attend, but they must contact the school for specific instructions and arrangements before filling out the application. Neither school transcripts nor letters of recommendation are required.

Prospective students, as well as those considering a career in architecture, have found Design Discovery helpful in confirming their choice of architecture as a profession and in making a smoother transition into the first-year architecture studio. The dedicated faculty members and high-caliber students who work as counselors and instructors during the week provide knowledge, experience, and friendships that will be valuable to entering architecture freshmen. The School of Architecture highly recommends all those who have been accepted into the first-year architecture studio consider participating in Design Discovery.


Design Discovery is first-come, first-served, and space is limited. All registration formsshould be submitted by May 15. Anyone considering registering after this date should call the Mississippi State University School of Architecturefirst to see if space is still available.

Email me when registration opens for summer 2025 camp.

Dining and Housing

Students must stay in an Ҵýapp residence hall. The residence halls will be supervised by the counselors who will be assisting throughout the weekas well as by trained Ҵýapp residence hall assistants. Meals will be provided by the School of Architecture; one meal will be at the student’s own expense during a walking tour of downtown. Note: If food allergies or dietary restrictions are not listed on your application, the School of Architecture will not be able to accommodate.Roommate requests may be made at the time of application or at any time prior to registration deadline. No room assignment may be changed after 5 p.m. on May 31. All students MUST bring a pillow, bed-linens and towels.


The total cost of the camp is $700. This includes a non-refundable deposit of $100, which must be paid at time of registration. Upon notice of acceptance to Design Discovery, the remaining $600is due by May 15.

The cost of the program includes instruction by faculty and counselors, a t-shirt, supplies that the student will receive throughout the week, and university fees for health services, equipment, facilities, and libraries.

If for some unforeseen reason you must cancel your attendance, you will receive a full refund (of the remaining amount minus the deposit) prior toApril 15and 50% (of the remaining amount minus the deposit) prior toMay 15.No refunds will be available afterMay 15.


Toyota Wellspring Education Fund

Scholarships are availablefor rising 7th-12thgraders at public schools in Pontotoc, Union and Lee Countiesin Mississippi through thePlease contact us to inquire. Note: Students must be at least 16 years old to attend Design Discovery.

General Design Discovery Camp Scholarship

Scholarships are available for rising 10th-12th graders who are minorities or other under-represented populations and/or from rural communities and are genuinely interested in a career in architecture and related disciplines.

Eligible students should contact the School of Architecture to request a scholarship application at 662-325-2202 or kspence@caad.msstate.edu.

Note: All available scholarships have been allotted for the 2024 summer camp.

Program of Events


  • Registration at School of Architecture: 3-5 pm: Top Floor, Giles Hall
  • Dinner & Opening Remarks: 5:30 pm Presentation: Design Discovery at Ҵýapp (for both parents and students) Introduction: Lecture (The Instant Environment) Begin Project 1 (Conceptual Modeling)


  • Lecture/Workshop: Freehand Drawing I
  • Full Scale Construction of Project 1
  • Construction Ends (review projects) Film Series 1 (Auditorium)
  • Sketching (Church option)
  • Lecture: Begin Project 2 (3-D Spatial Study)
  • Intro to Structure (paper studies) Review Proj. 2
  • Field Trip: Modern Buildings (Field Sketch)
  • Lecture
  • Begin Project 3 (Product Design: Furniture)
  • Film Series 2 (Auditorium)
  • Drawing/Sketching Workshop II
  • Field Sketching in the Cotton District
  • Review Furniture Project (No. 3)
  • Film Series 3 (Auditorium)
  • Field Trip: to Campus Buildings
  • Discussion: The Profession of Architecture
  • Complete Miniature Site Model
  • Lecture: Final Project (Residential Design Unit)
  • Charrette
  • Studio Session: Final Project
  • Final Project Submission: 8 p.m., Thursday
  • Dinner / Party / Live Music
  • Film Series 4 (Auditorium)


  • 8:30 am Final Project Reviews: (Parents are encouraged to attend morning sessions to see the students present their work)
  • Closing Remarks: 11:00 - 11:30
  • Check-out: 11:30

*The schedule is subject to change.

Camp Galleries

Design Discovery 2023

Design Discovery 2022

Design Discovery 2021

Design Discovery 2020

  • Design Discovery 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design Discovery 2019

Design Discovery 2018

Design Discovery 2017

Design Discovery 2016


Dr. Karen Cordes Spence
Director and F.L. Crane Professor


(662) 325-2202

Building Construction Science

(662) 325-8305

Interior Design

(662) 325-0530

Dean's Office

(662) 325-5150