Special Programs

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Experience architecture through our intensive special programs that are designed to introduce or deepen your understanding of the built environment and how we as architects shape this experience.

The School of Architecture promotes the use of the urban environment as a laboratory of learning. We encourage and support travel experiences throughout the curriculum and in co-curricular events bring onsite and online students together.

Degree programs are designed to integrate foreign study and collaborative learning with students in other departments.

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Hands-on Learning

Contemporary Architecture Study Abroad
This seven week class focuses on contemporary built works of architecture culminating in an intensive two week travel throughout central Europe. The comprehension of these seminal buildings will be supported through discussions, guided tours, and lectures on site.
Art and Architecture of the Renaissance
The AAU seven week residency summer abroad program in Florence, Italy invites architecture students to experience Italian art and architecture. Students will share fine art and history courses with students from other schools within the Academy of Art University.
Pre-College Art Experience
Academy of Art University offers a scholarship based Pre-College program available to all current High School students proficient in English. Scholarships cover tuition costs of up to 2 classes for Fall/Spring and up to 4 classes for Summer semester.
AIA Architecture + the City Festival
Every Fall Semester in September the School of Architecture participates in the AIA Architecture and the City Festival that is running annually since 2003, by organizing a themed exhibition that contributes to this major event promoting architecture all over the city of San Francisco.

Lecture Series

Our international lecture series brings a diverse mix of highly distinguished guests and interesting young practices to our school to engage with faculty and students and to talk about their work. Recent speakers include:

  • Frank Barkow (Barkow Leibinger – Berlin)  
  • Michael Bell (Bell Seong Architecture – New York)
  • Jennifer Bonner (MALL – Boston and Portland)
  • Peter Busby (Perkins and Will – San Francisco)
  • Sir Peter Cook (Crab Studio – London)
  • Neil Denari (NMDA)
  • Jules Dingle (DIGSAU – Philadelphia, PA)
  • Simon Frommenwiler (HHF Architects – Basel)
  • Sascha Glasl (spaceandmatter – Amsterdam)
  • Johanna Hurme and Sasa Radulovic (5468796 Architecture – Winnipeg)
  • Andés Jacques (Andés Jacques Architects – Madrid)
  • Wes Jones (Jones Partners – Los Angeles)
  • Julian Lanoo (Architectural Photographer – Belgium)
  • José Mayoral Moratilla (PRACTICA – Seville & Madrid, Spain and Santiago, Chile) 
  • Mauricio Pezo & Sofia von Ellrichshausen (Pezo von Ellrichshausen – Concepcion Chile)
  • Georg Rafailidis (Davidson Rafailidis – Berlin and Buffalo NY) 
  • Takaharu Tezuka (Tezuka Architects – Tokyo) 

Social Engagement

Many of our students are change makers and leaders, who are able to advocate for social equity. Engagement with issues that confront our contemporary society, particularly in the public urban context, is intertwined with the architecture curriculum supporting students with a passion to build for good.

Design Build Studio

The Design Build Studio takes the mission of B.Lab into the curriculum inviting 4th and 5th year B.Arch and BA students to engage real clients and users, investigate real sites and propose and build real solutions that harness all of the skills learned in the architecture program.

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