School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture


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

SALA is made up of 300 graduate and 60 undergraduate students as well as 24 faculty members. To find out more about SALA please visit

June 4 - July 4 Course Packages

Design in the public realm
Vancouver is known as a livable and sustainable international city. An important aspect of the city's livability 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 course students will learn how a well-planned and designed public realm supports livable 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 will visit and study the City's best examples of public realm design.
Landscapes and parks of the Vancouver region
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 will hike or bike on guided field trips to some of the region’s most important and instructive landscapes, open spaces and parks.
Fabrication techniques for design
This course introduces foundation techniques of fabrication used by designers in design studio settings. Students will learn techniques and processes of visualization and modelling useful to the rapid conceptualization and iteration of ideas and prototypes customary in a design studio. These include manual techniques (such as diagramming, concept drawing and model making) and digital techniques (such as laser cutting, 3-d printing, computer numeric controlled cutters and robotics).
Integrating design and fabrication
This course teaches students to integrate foundation techniques of design studio scale fabrication (from Course 1) with a creative design process. This course meets in design studio format in which students learn to design and produce a prototype of a smaller scaled product or construction (such as a toy, birdhouse or furniture piece).

July 15 - August 15 Course Packages

Design thinking and strategic design
This course introduces students to key concepts, methods and tools of design thinking and strategic design. Part creative ideation, part critical analysis, and part innovative thinking, students learn essential knowledge, skills and tools of strategic creative thinking applicable within many fields such as business, engineering, design and policy. Course format includes lectures, workshops and studio based activities that bridge theory and application.
Design thinking as a practice
This course teaches students to apply techniques of design thinking and strategic design to a real problem in a practical context. Students will learn to adapt creative techniques of problem definition, analysis, concept generation, visualization and presentation to the particular circumstances of a case study project.
Wood as a Building Material
Vancouver has been a global centre of innovation for the cultivation, processing, engineering and manufacture of wood building materials and wood building design for over 100 years. In this course, students will learn how scientific, engineering and technical knowledge about wood informs creative processes and concepts of design with wood. Course format combines classroom based lectures, presentations and exercises with field visits to study contemporary places and techniques of wood production, processing and construction.
Case studies in building with wood
This field-based course connects creative and technical understandings of wood as a material from Course 1 to the design of innovative wood buildings and structures. Students will learn to document, analyze and illustrate the integration of design and technical concepts within a contemporary wood building. Course format combines classroom based lectures, presentations and lab demonstrations with field visits to innovative buildings and design and engineering firms.
Sustainability by design
This class introduces the basic principles of sustainable urban design with tours of internationally significant local examples. Relevance of these examples to global development is isolated and discussed. A typical day includes a lecture focusing on one principle of sustainable city design, followed by a tour of a place in the region where this principle is obvious. Students will see and experience examples of significant contemporary urban design practice in suburban, urban, and downtown contexts.
Perspectives on city making
This class uses the development of the City of Vancouver to illustrate how many social, political, economic, creative and natural forces combine and interact to make a city. Students learn and experience these forces through the eyes of those who were a part of it. There will be tours and special presentations from those who played a role in specific development projects. Students will gain an insight into both the practical and theoretical considerations that have led to the city as we know it.