The School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) brings together the disciplines of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban and Environmental Design.

What you might expect/course format

For the Vancouver Summer Program we offer course packages that look at different aspects of architecture, landscape architecture, or urban design. Our packages consist of interactive lectures, in studio design projects, along with touring of the local region and are taught by many notable instructors, including the former Mayor of Vancouver and practitioners working in the field.

July 2024 Course Packages

Design Thinking

The built environment is full of design problems. From products to cities, these problems do not have correct answers, but rather a range of possible solutions. To tackle these design problems, we need to explore different ways of thinking. In this hands-on course, students will learn to approach open-ended problems through the lens of a designer and will explore the built environment through a series of design projects. Blending together theoretical knowledge and practical skills, participants will tackle each project in stages, from initial concept to final result, with interim reviews along the way. They will learn to communicate their ideas both verbally and visually and to critically analyze the work of classmates. Drawing from examples in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and product design, students will cultivate abstract thinking skills and increase their visual literacy. No previous design experience required.

Design Making

In this course students will build on their knowledge to actively participate in real-world design endeavors, honing their ability to navigate and innovate within intricate contexts. Through a series of engaging lectures, immersive field trips, and hands-on studio sessions, students will learn how to create effective design, ranging from conceptualization to execution. Participants will visit and learn from a variety of local professionals that are dedicated to the social and ecological transformation of Vancouver and participate in reviews with real-world client. This course not only equips students with practical design skills such as drawing, iterative modelling and fabrication prototyping but also fosters a deep appreciation for the ethical, social, and environmental considerations of design by empathizing with their client, user group or design subject. Serving as a solid foundation, these combined courses are ideal for those considering a future in design disciplines.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites

Green System Planning

Vancouver is a beautiful and sustainable city in a dramatic natural setting. What role do the natural areas in and around the city play in sustaining a metropolitan area such as Vancouver? This course will introduce how urban natural areas clean air and water, sustain wildlife and provide psychological and other health benefits to people. Students will learn about the most important environmental services and human benefits provided by the large parks and natural areas in the Vancouver region; and students will hike or bike on guided field trips to some of the region’s most important and instructive landscapes, open spaces and parks.

Design in the Public Realm

Vancouver is known as a liveable and sustainable international city. An important aspect of the city’s liveability is the design of its public realm — publicly owned parks, greenways, waterfronts, streets and squares. A well-designed public realm provides places for people to gather, socialize and recreate; encourages active transportation; maintains spaces for the urban forest and vegetation to thrive; and contributes other environmental services to the city. In this field-based course, students will learn how a well-planned and -designed public realm supports liveable neighbourhoods and provides important social and environmental services to the city. Students will learn how to document and assess public spaces in the city and, through daily field trips and guest lectures, will study the city’s best examples of public realm design.

For more information

For VSP Architecture & Landscape Architecture-specific questions, email Tara Deans, Manager of Student Services and Recruitment, at

Student testimonials

“It was super fun! I would definitely do this again or something similar to it. All the instructors were very nice and helpful.”

– VSP SALA Student

“Very interesting approach to the entire topic of design from an architectural perspective. Creativity and expression was greatly encouraged and elicited from students of all walks and backgrounds. Most enjoyable experience.”

– VSP SALA Student