Birmingham Design: July 20-24, 2020
Rising 6th – 8th Grade

Please note: This is a DAY Camp located at Auburn University’s Urban Studio in Birmingham, Alabama. No overnight housing options are available.

Auburn University’s Design Workshop offers an engaging program for rising 6th-8th grade students interested in a career in design. Hosted by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and the School of Industrial and Graphic Design, both located in the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction, this week-long, day camp offers an intensive design experience while exploring the many disciplines of graphic design, industrial design, architecture, and landscape architecture.

Through a series of diverse but interconnected, hands-on exercises, students will learn the fundamental principles of design as well as essential skills such as sketching, model making and select aspects of digital design and fabrication. Each day students will learn additional knowledge that will increase their ability to think design. Working in the dedicated space of Auburn University Urban Studio, participants have access to specialized computer software, large-scale printing, and small-scale fabrication capabilities. In addition to their work in the studio, students will embark on a variety of exciting field trips and visits to professional design offices as well as site-based exercises within the rich, urban city of Birmingham, Alabama. The faculty’s diverse background ensures that participants receive a personally broad perspective on design.

Birmingham Design Schedule:

Monday – Thursday: 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM Drop-off | 4:15 PM – 4:30 PM Pick-Up
Friday: 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM Drop-off | 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM Final Check-out/Pick-Up


The Urban Studio (officially known as the Auburn University Center for Architecture and Urban Studies) was founded in 1991 by Associate Professor Franklin Setzer as a teaching and outreach venue for Auburn's School of Architecture. Birmingham is an excellent laboratory of study for future design professionals, and Alabama's largest metropolitan area is home to many of our professional constituents and alumni.


The Urban Studio
221 20th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203


Students will have lunch catered to the Urban Studio.

Danielle Wilkens
Dr. Danielle Wilkens
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Danielle Wilkens, Associate AIA, FRSA, is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. She is a practicing designer, researcher, and educator who is particularly interested in bringing architectural engagement to diverse audiences through interactive projects. She was the Project Manager for the Learning Barge, the University of Virginia’s innovative design/build project for a floating classroom and sustainable field station on the Elizabeth River. The project was funded by grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Vested in the development of architectural education, she served on the Board of Directors for the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Her previous teaching positions include the University of Virginia, Queen Mary University of London, and Regent’s University London. She worked with Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) for several years as an Academic Coordinator and Architecture Instructor for Summer Studies Programs; her most recent project as an Independent Learning Curriculum Developer for an original course on architecture for gifted 5th–7th grade students was launched in late 2014.

Assistant Professor of Architecture, Valerie Friedmann
Valerie Friedmann.
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Valerie Friedmann, MLA, Associate ASLA, is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction. Valerie teaches studio and related support courses in the graduate landscape architecture program. Her primary pedagogical goal is to guide students through a critical reading of landscape so that they may become experts in detecting and seizing design opportunities. Paramount to this focus is teaching students to package complicated ideas for sharing through visual communication. Valerie is currently exploring animation software such as Adobe AfterEffects and sees time-based media as a fundamental component in the generation and representation of landscape projects.

Valerie’s current research interests include the flow and re-organization of resources at the regional and metropolitan scale, and the often-overlooked ecological productivity and services provided by remnant urban sites such as vacant lots and public rights-of-way. Valerie is forming a research agenda to be deployed during her appointment at Auburn that will focus specifically on the latent ecological productivity of rights-of-way in the Mobile Bay Drainage Area.


Registration for Summer 2020 opens December 2, 2019.

Register Now

Camp Fees are $580 and include the following items:
  • All meals, snacks and drinks while at camp
  • Program instruction, materials and equipment
  • Transportation to and from off-campus field-trip sites
  • Recreational activities

Cancellation/Transfer Policy:

All cancellation and transfer requests must be submitted via email. Please send your request to or call (334)844-5100.

Cancellation Policy:

  1. Cancellation request received at least 4 week prior to the start date of the program: Full refund, less $40.
  2. Cancellation request received less than 4 weeks prior but at least 2 weeks prior to the program start date: Refund of 50%
  3. Cancellation request received less than 2 weeks prior to the program start date or “no show”: No refund.

Note: Refunds will be issued to the individual/organization who made the original payment.

Transfer Policy:

  1. A camper’s registration for one program may be transferred to another program. Prior to May 1, 2020, there is no charge to change programs. After May 1, 2020, there is a $25 fee per transfer.
  2. A camper’s registration may be transferred to another person at any time for a $25 transfer fee per transfer.

Last Updated: December 3, 2019