Chicago Studio


The CHICAGO STUDIO program is offered to 4th-year undergraduate students in the College of Architecture & Urban Studies, for the fall or spring semester.

The program is a semester-long interdisciplinary collaboration in Chicago (architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, interior design, industrial design) in Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture & Urban Studies.

CHICAGO STUDIO creates a neutral platform for the discussion of architecture and urbanism in Chicago, and the curriculum is guided by the collaboration with Chicago’s visionaries in an effort to generate innovative ideas for the city. This powerful mechanism directly integrates education and practice by embedding students within some of Chicago’s top architecture and urban design firms. Real voices, real problems, and real stakeholders inspire the curriculum to create real opportunity by using Chicago as the design laboratory where students test ideas.

The program is structured in a virtual campus — the design lab and lecture halls are located within a network of shared spaces in design firms, civic institutions and other private companies. The program has active partnerships in the public and private sector, ranging from global leaders in practice to the city government to the local community. The process intentionally takes the university, the profession and the city out of a familiar setting to drive true creativity and broad community-focused architectural solutions that are relevant to the contemporary city.

CHICAGO STUDIO has established an amazing network in Chicago — directly engaging some 500 professionals, more than half of them local architects and urban designers (many VT alumni) that are enriching the students experience. Together, we are making Chicago a better place through the collaboration of these passionate students and established leaders. This collaboration engages the city — from the Mayor to local Chicagoans — to confront real issues that architecture and design can help solve.


10 weeks - Design Lab - 7cr, Urbanism Course - 3cr
5 weeks - Internship/Applied Research, ProPractice - 3cr

Furnished, shared apartment in downtown Chicago
Weekly events with local design firms, daily engagement
Monthly overnight / day trips, incl. trans, room & board
Several architectural tours, events in and around Chicago
Membership to the the Art Institute
Unlimited subway/bus pass for the semester
Several group studio lunches & dinners

Virginia Tech Tuition
Meals outside of group meals
Travel to & from Chicago
Regular studio materials & equipment
Personal expenses

The application process and timeframe will be presented with other VT CAUS/A+D travel programs.

More info. from VT Spotlight on Innovation…

Andrew Balster