High School Design Studio

For students entering grades 9-12

About High School Design Studio

Registration is closed for 2023.

High School Design Studio (HSDS) is a two-week program for High School students grades 9-12 interested in exploring the many fields of study that fall under the umbrella of design. This immersive studio simulates a collegiate level design studio experience that acclimates students to learning and practicing skills used for developing creative and unique design solutions. Students will work closely with design educators and professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, city and regional planning, interior design, graphic design, industrial design, and engineering.


2023 Theme: Figure vs. Ground

Students participating in this summer’s program will investigate the role of figure vs. ground to uncover the relationship between all various elements that compose the built environment.

The use of figure-ground is often thought of in terms of psychology to reference the known information (figure) in contrast to the unknown, void, or unaccounted space (ground). This derives from the Gestalt theory of perception, which proposes that people make sense of the world around them by taking separate and distinct elements and combining them into a unified whole.

This concept of figure vs. ground applies across a multitude of scales, from the layout of a room to the urban design of a city. What is perceived as either object or void can begin to inform how one experiences a space (as an object, as a field, as a building, etc). Students will investigate how the use of figure/ground begins to affect form, space, and order of the built environment.

As the week progresses, activities will hit many topics, including Architecture, City Planning, Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, and Industrial/Fashion Design.  With the help from counselors and professionals from various industries, students will learn about each field and valuable tools and techniques through the production of 2D drawings and physical models.


June 12-23, 2023

Weekly Schedule:

June 12
Introduction to HSDS

June 13 – 16
Introduction to Design Professions

Architecture, City Planning, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic, and Product Design

June 19 – 23
Design Charrette

Camp Fees:

$590; Scholarships available for eligible students as funds allow.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do campers need to provide their own lunch?

Campers must bring their own lunch and water bottle daily. NOTE: Refrigeration will not be provided.


Where do Camp Architecture and High School Design Studio take place?

Both programs take place at the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University, where the school’s studio spaces and other resources can be utilized.

What are the hours of the camps and is there an after care option?

Camp runs 9am-3pm daily. Daily flexible drop off from 8am-9am and flexible pick-up from 3pm-4pm is provided for Camp Architecture participants. Supervision is not provided for High School Design Studio participants before 9am or after 3pm, but HSDS participants may participate in Camp Architecture before/after care if needed. A late fee of $1 per minute, per child will be collected if your child is picked up after 4pm. Please note that on the last day of each program (Friday), there is no flexible pick up and camp ends following the parent exhibition.


How will campers be split into groups?

Campers in both Camp Architecture and High School Design Studio will be split into groups based on grade level. While Camp Architecture is open to children entering grades 3 through 8, campers will only be in groups with campers close in age. Programming and activities will be appropriately tailored to each group. High School Design Studio participants will generally be divided with rising high school freshmen and sophomores in one group, juniors and seniors in another.


When can I find out more information about the programming my child will be doing as part of Camp Architecture or High School Design Studio?

Our programming committees are currently working hard to develop a fun, educational and enriching camp program for your child. More specific details including the schedule for the week will be available prior to the start of camp.


Who will be overseeing my child during camp?

Campers will be placed into groups with 5-8 other children and will be directly overseen by a Camp Counselor. The Camp Counselors are college students studying architecture, design, landscape architecture, or city and regional planning. All Camp Counselors go through training and are required to obtain both BCI and FBI background checks. The Camp Counselors are overseen by a Camp Director who is in charge of the day to day running of the camp.


How does parent pick-up and drop-off work? How do I park on campus?

Pick-up and drop-off happens along Ives Drive, to the south of the Knowlton School of Architecture. This is a No Parking zone, so we will have counselors available to greet parents and bring their child(ren) into the building and out to the waiting car at the end of the day. We do ask that parents park and come into the school on the first day of camp to meet the camp directors and counselors and to make sure we have all of the necessary paperwork for their child. On the last day of the camp, we have a parent open house and presentation/exhibition of the activities done throughout the camp. For these days, public parking is available in the nearby Tuttle Park garage across the street from the Knowlton School.


What is the cost of Camp Architecture and Design

The cost of the one-week Camp Architecture is $350 / camper.

What is the cost of High School Design Studio?

The cost of the two-week High School Design Studio program is $590 / camper.


Do you provide scholarships for Camp?

Yes, need-based scholarship requests can be found at this link: https://www.columbuscfad.org/camp-architecture-and-design/scholarships/

To be considered for a scholarship, campers will need to have a teacher, principal, or non-family member adult fill out a recommendation form, found here: https://www.columbuscfad.org/camp-architecture-and-design/scholarships/recommendation/

Our Partners

Platinum Partners

AIA Columbus

GPD Group
TRIAD Architects

Moody Nolan

Grant Support

AIA Ohio Foundation
Ohio Arts Council

Battelle STEM Grant
The Columbus Foundation

Greater Columbus Arts Council