Block Week Program

Our program of one-week intensive electives courses allows you to tailor your education to your interests.  

Block week courses allow students to work with prominent practitioners and educators, architects, planners and landscape architects, from around the world in an intensive study. These block courses are a vital and essential aspect of the professional graduate programs. The one-week block course was pioneered by our faculty several decades ago, and they continue to provide a special opportunity for intensive courses (typically electives).

Global leaders in design supplement the learning experience through one-day, one-week and semester-long terms. Students have had the opportunity to work directly with guests such as Marc Fornes (THEVERYMANY), Koen van Velsen, Chris Sharples (SHoP Architects) and Dr. Jane Rendall from the Barlett School of Architecture.


Sample Block Week Offerings

March 2020 - Students working in the Digital Fabrication Lab, City Building Design Lab

March 2020 - Students working in the Digital Fabrication Lab, City Building Design Lab

Industrial Landscapes. MASS TIMBER block week, 2020

Industrial Landscapes. MASS TIMBER block week, 2020

2019 block week exhibition

2019 block week exhibition

Led by Lisa Landrum and Kris Kelly-Frere, this 2020 block week was titled “Arch Agency: The Future of Architecture and Human Thriving”.

Led by Lisa Landrum and Kris Kelly-Frere, this 2020 block week was titled “Arch Agency: The Future of Architecture and Human Thriving”.

Arch Agency Block Week - Group Film - March 2020

Devised in conjunction with the Canadian Architecture Forums on Education, and the CAFÉ forum held at the City Building Design Lab on March 12, 2020, the Arch Agency block week course at the University of Calgary speculated on the future of architecture and architectural agency through experimental play, social innovation, ethnographic adventure, videography, mise-en-scène, performance and storytelling.

This video installation takes inspiration from the 2015 Manifesto project by artist Julian Rosefeldt. Thank you to guest lecturers Kris Kelly-Frere and Lisa Landrum for leading students through the creation of adapted, exemplary manifestos of the last century, that influence public perception of architectural potential.

Arch Agency Block Week - Group Film - March 2020

Set up for BLOCKWEEK 2020 exhibition

Set up for BLOCKWEEK 2020 exhibition


Enrichment Lectureships

Three enrichment lectureships are designed for students in the Master of Architecture program. They are offered every year during the March block week. Architecture students must complete at least one lectureship as part of their degree requirements.

March 2020 - Olon Dotson block week course

March 2020 - Olon Dotson block week course

Olon Dotson, 2020

Gillmor Visiting Lectureship

The Douglas Gillmor Visiting Lectureship invites a prominent historian or theoretician to give a series of advanced seminars in architectural history and/or theory. It was established to recognize the contributions of Emeritus Professor Douglas Gillmor, the founding Director of the Architecture Program. The recipient of the lectureship also delivers a public lecture.

This course is only available to students in the Architecture Program, and by special permission of the course manager. The course may be repeated for elective credit. 

Previous Gillmor Lecturers:

2020     Olon Dotson
2019     Dora-Epstein Jones    
2017     Clare Lyster, Chicago
2016     Liam Young, Tomorrow's Thoughts Today 
2015     Dr. David Gissen, California College of the Arts 
2014     Dr. Mary McLeod, Columbia University 
2013     Dr. Vittoria De Palma, University of Southern California 
2012     Dr. Shelley Hornstein, York University 
2011     Dr. Jane Rendell, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London 
2010     Dr. Angela Piccini, Bristol University 
2009     Dr. Adrian Parr, University of Cincinnati 
2008     Dr. Karen Till, Virginia Tech 
2007     Dr. Setha Low, CUNY Graduate School

Read about how Vittoria De Palma, visiting lecturer, explored history and rehabilitation of wasteland during this block week.


Somerville Visiting Leadership

The William Lyon Somerville Visiting Lectureship, established in 1992, invites a prominent architect, academic, or critic to direct a design charrette with a group of students. It was established by an endowment given to the University of Calgary by the late Mrs. A.G. Burton of Calgary in memory of her father. William Lyon Somerville, ARCA, FRAIC, FRIBA, was a distinguished Toronto architect. He had a long, energetic, and successful career based in Toronto, practicing for a substantial period under the well-known firm name Somerville, McMurrich and Oxley.

The gift was matched by the University to create a fund for the maintenance of an annual visiting distinguished lectureship program in architecture, within the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. The recipient of the lectureship also delivers a public lecture.

Previous recipients:

2020     Chris Cornelius
2019     Florian Idenburg
2018     Grace La, Boston
2017     Mauricio Pezo & Sofia von Ellrichshausen, Chile
2016     Chris Sharples, New York City
2015     Rick Joy, Tuscon
2014     Scott Marble, New York City
2013     Brigette Shim, Toronto 
2012     Michael Weinstock, London, UK 
2011     Adam Caruso, London, UK 
2010     Mark Smout, London, UK 
2009     Hrvoje Njiric, Zagreb, Croatia 
2008     Koen van Velsen, Hilversum, Netherlands

Read about how the intellectual and creative approach to architecture used in the 2017 Somerville Block Course produced unexpected results.

Chris Cornelius, 2020
March 2020 - Chris Cornelius block week course

March 2020 - Chris Cornelius block week course


2014 Taylor exhibit

2014 Taylor exhibit

Taylor Visiting Lectureship

The more-recently established Dale Taylor Visiting Lectureship is an intensive one-week design workshop that focuses on digital fabrication, technology, or building science. It is named to honour Dale Taylor, FRAIC, a past Director of the Master of Architecture degree program, and Professor Emeritus. The Taylor Lectureship celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018 with the TaylorX Symposium. Read about the 2014 lectureship with Joshua Vermillion: "Fabrication and simulation expert on campus for student design workshop and public lecture".

Previous recipients include:

2020     Felecia Davis
2019     Julie Larsen 
2018     Dana Cupkova, Pittsburgh
2017     Tom Verebes, Hong Kong
2016     Ellie Abrons and Adam Fure, Michigan
2015     Mariana Ibañez & Simon Kim, Cambridge 
2014     Joshua Vermillion, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
2013     Alvin Huang, Los Angeles 
2012     Nick Puckett, Kentucky 
2011     Drura Parrish, Kentucky 
2010     Andrew Kudless, San Francisco 
2009     Marc Fornes, New York

Taylor X Symposium

Taylor X Symposium

Taylor X Symposium

Taylor X Symposium

Taylor X Symposium

Taylor X Symposium

Taylor X Symposium

Taylor X Symposium

Taylor X Symposium

Taylor X Symposium

Learn more about why our programs stand out.