Summer immersion Program

The School of Architecture, founded by Frank Lloyd Wright as the Taliesin Fellowship in 1932, is pleased to offer our Summer Immersion Program for a third year from July 8 - July 28, 2024. This immersion program is open to adults of all ages who are interested in architecture and urbanism. A background in the field is not required.

Apply by April 22 to Receive a $100 Program Discount
Final Deadline to Apply is May 15

Charles F. Glore House by Frank Lloyd Wright


The Summer Immersion program based in Chicago combines design studio work, field trips, a short performance class, and daily community life into a continuous experience, capturing The School of Architecture's unique holistic learning approach over a course of 3 weeks. The School of Architecture will be hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology, where students will work and live out of iconic campus buildings by modern architect Mies van der Rohe.

Through a design studio, our Summer Immersion program will explore notions of collective space in architecture and urban design. Alongside the coursework, participants will engage in tours of significant buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright and other renowned architects in Chicago.

A 2-day trip to Spring Green, Wisconsin from July 14-15 will introduce students to the rural landscape of the driftless region, offering an expanded perspective on important cultural sites that span between Chicago and Wisconsin. The trip includes a visit to Taliesin, the birthplace of Wright's Taliesin Fellowship that TSOA evolved from.

Summer Immersion Studio

Design Studio

At the heart of the Summer Immersion program will be a short design studio. Students will design a small public proposal, informed by site visits, speakers, and study tours. They will imagine how design can inform, engage, and improve the quality of public spaces in neighborhood communities.

The Project

Students will respond to a vacant lot in the Bronzeville neighborhood with a public park proposal. The park will host two architectural pavilions, a library kiosk and cafe. The design serves as a complement to an imagined future public library within the Chicago Public Library system. The park design will consist of a hybrid approach that couples hardscaped architectural elements and green landscaped regions. The design process will be aided by geometric patterning and precedent studies, expressed through drawings, study models and experimental design media. Students will be expected to present their work during pinups, mid-session, and final reviews.

Field trip to Wrightwood 659 Museum

Field Trips

Chicago and Southern Wisconsin are home to an expansive collection of buildings by renowned architects, of which our program will focus on Frank Lloyd Wright. Study tours of Wright’s works will structure much of the program’s activities, including Unity Temple, Wright Home and Studio, the Coonley House, and Glore House. Rarely-accessible private homes will be hosted by the homeowners themselves. Additional visits to significant modern and contemporary works by Tadao Ando, Jeanne Gang, Renzo Piano and others will complement the Wright sights. Students will have an opportunity to meet local architects through exclusive firm visits.

Guest Lecture by Daniel Ayat

Design Seminars

Design seminars or workshops conducted by faculty and guests speakers will take place outside of studio hours in coordination with themes presented across studio exercises and field trips.

Performance Rehearsal at the Wyoming Valley School by Frank LLoyd Wright

Performance Class

Alongside studio, participants will explore imagination, creativity, and the social context of design through a performance class. Students will rehearse and perform a one-act play for the public, to be performed at a formal dinner during the Wisconsin Trip. The chosen piece will offer the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary areas of knowledge and skill.

Weekly Family Dinner

Community Life

The School’s small scale facilitates an individualized experience and fosters a close and dynamic relationship between students, faculty, visiting guests and staff.

As a part of the Summer Immersion Program, students will contribute to daily community life and activities such as preparing meals, planning events, and engaging with a larger design community.

The majority of community life activities will take place at IIT's dormitories, where student housing is located.

Weekly Schedule

Please contact for a detailed schedule. All Immersion participants will be expected to participate in:

Summer Immersion Studio
(4 days/week, 1:30pm - 5pm)

Field Trips and Seminars
(varies weekly, see schedule)

Performance Class
(3 sessions)

Community Life
(weekly dinners, events, and/or group student activities)

Second Year Studio Model

wyoming Valley School by Frank Lloyd Wright

Wisconsin Trip

The program includes a weekend visit to significant Wright sites in Wisconsin and the “driftless” region of the state (a three-hour drive from Chicago) from July 13-16. This dramatic landscape fundamentally informed Wright’s work, including his theories on organic architecture and his early Chicago-based projects through which he defined his quest to establish a uniquely American architecture.

While in Wisconsin, students will have access to the historic Wyoming Valley School as home base, which was built by Wright in 1956. Students will engage local community and culture through a special event and a formal dinner.

Students will gain a special focus on Wright’s works, including Taliesin, the Jacobs I House, the Unitarian Meeting House, and others.

Students will experience unique relationships of architecture and landscape through the lenses of scale and organization, program, materials, and environment, all of which inform the role of architecture within culture and society. The trip will be complemented by readings around Wright’s works and thought.

Top: Bojk House by Frank Lloyd Wright
Right: Taliesin Living Room

Program Leader
Stephanie Lin

Stephanie Lin is the Dean of The School of Architecture and the founder of Present Forms, a design practice that explores the techniques and reciprocities of materials, media, and space. Present Forms is a member of design collective Office III, a 2017 finalist in the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program. Stephanie was named the 2023 awardee of the WOJR/Civitella Ranieri Architecture Prize and the recipient of the AIA AZ 2023 Design Pedagogy Award.

Program Leader
Chris Lasch

Chris Lasch is the President of The School of Architecture, and is a teacher, practitioner, and researcher dedicated to experimental architecture. Established in 2003 with Benjamin Aranda, his studio Aranda\Lasch approaches design through a deep investigation of structure and materials. Recognition includes the United States Artists Award, Young Architects Award, Design Vanguard Award, AD Innovators,and the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award.

Immersion Faculty - Studio Project

Gideon Schwartzman is an Architectural Designer and educator at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Born in Israel and raised in Chicago, Gideon received his Master of Architecture with distinction from the University of Michigan and his SMarchS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at MIT, Gideon received the institute wide Marvin E. Goody Award for his thesis Many Mini Model Homes and the Louis C. Rosenberg Travel Fellowship to study Hundertwasser in Western Europe.

Gideon has been published in Dimensions, Plat, Pool, Fresh Meat, and Room 1000 with writings ranging from pop reference to the consequences of material abstraction. His work has also been exhibited at the Sao Paulo Biennale, the A+D museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary art in Detroit, and at the Durker design gallery at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Gideon has worked professionally for Johnston Marklee in Los Angeles, the Critical Broadcasting Lab at MIT, Howeler and Yoon in Boston, and Dirk Denison Architects in Chicago.

Immersion Faculty - Study Tours
Lloyd Natof

S. Lloyd Natof is a furniture designer who specializes in veneered furniture and casework, selecting and applying the wood veneer himself. His new studio for furniture design and woodworking is in Oak Park, Illinois and he is continuing his commissioned work for private collectors, architects and corporations. He teaches Compositional Design and assists in student Shelters at TSOA, where he is a returning faculty member.

Immersion Faculty - Performance Class
Terry Kerr

Terry Kerr leads a double life as a theater artist and an arts administrator. She is an actress and director, and a Teaching Artist for Arts for All and Disney Musicals in the Schools. She has taught theatre skills to students from preschool to Masters programs. A member of the inaugural acting company at American Players Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin, she performed with the company for twelve seasons in works by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen, Moliere, and Marlow. She has directed traditional plays and created original devised works. As an arts administrator, Terry has served as Education Director at the Children’s Theater of Madison, and as Director of Education Development at First Act Children’s Theater. She currently manages the volunteer program and children’s programming at the Wisconsin Film Festival and operates the gallery and education program at Arts Lab, Spring Green.

Program Costs and Logistics

Key Dates

July 8 - July 28, 2024

Monday, July 8, 2024
Chicago Arrival

Saturday, July 14 – Tuesday, July 15, 2024
Trip to Wisconsin

Thursday, July 25, 2024
Final Studio Review and Dinner

Sunday, July 28, 2024


Participants Should Bring

Sketchbook, preferred drawing tools, camera or camera phone, laptop or iPad, Rhino/Adobe software (optional for non-background participants), comfortable walking shoes, business casual


Apply by April 22 to Receive a $100 Program Discount

Final Deadline to Apply is May 15

Program Fees

Option A - Housing and meals included

Option B - Housing and meals outside of field trips not included

The Program Fee includes:
Student housing (Option A), meals on weekdays (Option A), studio space, basic materials for required exercises, transportation for required field trips

Not included:
Airfare, transportation to/from airport, transportation outside of required field trips, final project materials, and parking are not included. Ridesharing can be coordinated for participants without cars. Please ask about options upon applying.

Program Fees will be credited toward tuition should a participant decide to enroll in our Master of Architecture degree program. Participants will receive 2 elective credit hours toward their degree at TSOA.

Apply Today

For more information on the Summer Immersion Program, please contact

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