Design Matters! Camp Big Orange and Big Design

Design Matters! Summer Camp is July 12-18, 2020!

Registration is now open for summer camp!  Sign up today!


Curiosity is the sole prerequisite.

Come spend a week with us this summer on the amazing UT campus to learn about design and your place in it during our summer design camp for high school students. You’ll learn about architecture, interior architecture and graphic design and how they impact the world.

Design Matters! Camp is for creative, problem-solving, out-of-the-box thinkers. It’s a July design-immersion camp that offers motivated high school students an introduction to design and how design impacts the human experience.

You’ll also learn a lot about yourself and the world, and you’ll probably meet lifelong friends.


No Experience Needed

Previous architecture, interior architecture or design experience is not necessary.  If you’re a rising freshman, sophomore, junior or senior in high school and have an interest in design and how it impacts the world, this is your place.  Just bring your creativity and curiosity.


Check out our Design Matters! Camp Brochure


What’s a typical week?

There’s nothing typical about Design Matters! Camp. On Day 1, you’ll immediately begin in the studio, and during the week, you’ll be engaged in activities that challenge your thinking about design, hands-on instruction in design, field trips to area locations for design interpretation, a visit to our Fab Lab and activities on the UT campus.

Faculty-led studios and lectures will introduce you to different ways of thinking, seeing and re-imagining our built environment.

The days start early and end late (with a lot of design challenges, learning and laughter in between), and they are all well organized for a memorable experience.


Design Matters! Camp was fundamental to me entering the Architecture program at UT. It immerses you in the community environment of the studio. For anyone who wants to get a glimpse of any design program in the college or gain an advantage by having some experience with the 3D programs, Design Matters! Camp is invaluable.

Joanna Martin, 2016 DM!C Alumna, 2017 Architecture Student

Architecture…Interior Architecture…Design?

Don’t worry. Design Matters! Camp provides instruction in architecture, interior architecture and design, in general. We’ve got you covered.

Overnight vs. Commuter

We want to accommodate campers from near and far, so we offer overnight and commuter (day) packages. Tuition for overnight packages includes

  • Housing
  • All meals
  • Program instruction
  • Materials, equipment and access to digital technology
  • Field trip admission tickets
  • Transportation to and from off-campus sites
  • Walking tours of downtown Knoxville and the campus

Commuter packages don’t include housing, and meal options vary. All of these details (and more) are in the camp brochure.


Full and partial scholarships will be awarded for Design Matters! Camp.  Scholarships are open to high school students who will be entering their freshman, sophomore, junior or senior years this fall.  Please note: If you wish to apply for a camp scholarship, we recommend you do so before registering for camp.


For more information on Design Matters! Camp, please email Follow us on the Design Matters Facebook page to see updates, stories and images about the camp.

Design Matters Camp campers with designs

Registration and FAQs

Registration for Design Matters! Camp is open! Sign up today!


When is Design Matters! Camp this year?

Design Matters! Camp will be July 12-18, 2020

Where will I sleep?

Part of the experience in our week-long immersion is staying in an on-campus residence hall, just like our students do during the school year. You might just meet your new best friend.

Where will I eat?

All meals are provided for those who choose the “all meals plan.” Snacks are provided, as well, for everyone. Some meals take place in on-campus eateries, and some are at local restaurants.

How much does it cost?

Check out the camp brochure for this year’s fees, and be sure to read the information about scholarships above.


Once registered, you’ll receive forms and waivers by e-mail. Please fill out and return them to Julie Beckman at or mail them to Design Matters! Camp, UT College of Architecture and Design, 1715 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996.



E-mail us at

We hope to see you at Design Matters! Camp this summer. Come dream big in Big Orange Country.