Architecture Design and

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  • Program Credential


  • Program Duration

    72 Weeks

  • Program Location

    vancouver Campus

Program Overview

Careers in architecture design and technology give you the opportunity to combine form and function as you use your creativity and technical expertise to create amazing designs. The 72-week Architecture Design & Technology diploma program at VCAD will give you the focused, hands-on training you need to make your mark in the industry.

In this program, you will study the history of architecture, the environmental aspects of architectural design, and explore the theoretical and practical aspects of architectural practices in Canada.  You’ll also explore project management, construction industry standards, and building materials and specifications.


  • Construction Firms Construction Firms are businesses responsible for constructing buildings, bridges, and various forms of architecture.
  • Interior Design Firms Interior Design Firms functionally and aesthetically improve various interiors, such as homes or commercial spaces.
  • Project Management Firms Project Management Firms manage budgets, relationships, resources, and schedules to ensure the completion of large projects.
  • Engineering Firms Engineering Firms offer expertise on various systems, such as a building's electrical, structural, mechanical and technological aspects.
  • Quantity Surveying Firms Quantity Surveying Firms advise clients on the selection and preparation of bills, contractors, supplies, and overall project costs.


  • Apply critical thinking, problem-solving and design thinking to architectural design and planning problems.
  • Articulate the differences between the roles and responsibilities of architects, civil engineers and contractors.
  • Produce architectural presentation drawings.
  • Produce construction presentation drawings.
  • Apply knowledge of materials to architectural design problems.
  • Apply specification knowledge to architectural design problems.
  • Apply Building Code specifications to architectural and construction problems.
  • Apply contemporary building construction and building technologies to architectural and construction problems.
  • Apply project management skills, techniques and technologies in managing a building project
  • Create digital blueprints using contemporary software.
  • Create 3D digital renderings of contemporary environments and buildings in response to a design problem.
  • Create an Architectural Study Model in response to a design problem.
  • Assemble and present a professional portfolio that showcases design skills and talent.
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Courses Timeline

Your program begins by introducing you to the industry by building up your fundamental skills like drawing and drafting by hand.

Now we build on the basic skills we have developed. Technology becomes more important as we move our work onto our computers. You begin to draw and draft at a higher level. The foundation is now in place.

 Get hands-on digital techniques and training to understand the next steps in development and how to bring your visions into reality utilizing current software and methodologies.

Expand your previous skillset and learn to visualize and conceptualize digital concepts. Through a series of projects and assignments, learn to synthesize your creativity with industry standards and subject matter experts.

Here you will start to learn about the specialties in our industry. You have the skills and foundation. Term 5 is about applying them and building your vision from scratch to execution. We introduce sustainability in-depth and start building your portfolio and skills.

This term is about honing your craft and getting ready to enter the industry. This semester consists of final projects, portfolio building, and job preparation through career development and training. Here you present to the industry and begin your career.

  • Colour & Design

    Understanding colour and design principles through exploration and application across media, visual, and applied design genres. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of colour theory through design, such as layout, composition, balance, colour science as well as a diverse range of colour theories, and how to employ them creatively. These concepts will be reinforced through specific practical exercises, and activities that will serve to d...

  • Photoshop I

    Through this 'hands-on' course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, advanced features and tips to prepare images for digital output and print. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated images using raster editing tools and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space; and prepare files for export to various applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.

  • Architectural Drafting

    This course introduces students to the preparation of 2D architectural drawings. Topics include identification and use of drafting equipment, drafting in scale, basic lettering, line weights, dimension techniques and standard notation conventions, including orthographic projections related to floor plans, elevations, and ceiling plans. Students will prepare drawings of residential and commercial buildings, typically used for construction and obtaining building perm...

  • Architectural Design & Practice

    This course will familiarize students with architectural design and practice and introduce ideas, principles, and architectural problem-solving methodologies emphasizing urbanism and landscape as influenced by the rapidly changing landscape of the arts and sciences. In this course, students will develop critical design thinking skills and the ability to imagine solutions in four dimensions.

  • Drawing I

    This course develops students' perceptual and descriptive skills through drawing media, techniques and subject matter by focusing on elements and organization principles of drawing. Students will learn contour lines, positive & negative space, perspective, sighting of angles and measurements of relationships. By mastering basic skills and experimenting with techniques and materials, students will begin to explore creative expression beyond preconceived boun...

  • History of Architecture

    This course explores the history and dichotomy between utilitarian structural design and the influence of art and design in architecture. The course will examine how designs, structures, and buildings have evolved and influenced each other throughout history and the impact this influence has had in the 21st century.

  • Planning Theory

    This course introduces students to the environmental aspects of architectural design and the analysis of building landscape forms. Students will learn the creative, analytical and planning techniques and processes used in small and large site development, how architects can convey their ideas and societal values in built form, including the purpose of architecture as a cultural artifact.

  • Digital Drafting I

    This course is an introductory level course that will explore the fundamental features of industry-standard Autocad software. Through developing a small design project, students will learn to use the tools, features, and commands to create simple drawings.

  • Design Studio I - Single Dwelling

    By providing students with their first opportunity to create imaginative design solutions working on a single-dwelling design project under Type V Construction, this course aims to develop architectural design skills.

  • Drawing II

    This course builds upon Drawing I. In this course, the student continues to explore using complex shapes and drawing techniques. Topical coverage includes drawing styles, observation of reality, plans, elevations and projections, perspective views, shading, forms and structure, drawing architecture and working with colour and black and white drawings.

  • Building Construction I

    This course introduces students to the fundamentals of building construction and practices, the technology, materials, and techniques used in constructing small-scale buildings, the role of the environment, and the importance of considering what materials to use. Students will conduct practical structural modeling exercises and develop a basic understanding of the quantitative and qualitative behaviour of structures.

  • Digital Modelling & Rendering I

    This course introduces students to industry-standard architectural rending software that increases the level of detail in their 2D/3D drawings and renderings. Students learn Building Information Modeling (BIM)— a process that facilities the generation, sharing and management of 3D visual representations of physical space and functional components and systems found in them.

  • Digital Drafting II

    In this course, students will explore the advanced features of AutoCAD. They create and modify complex digital design documents representing detailed 3D interior and exterior spaces. Students start by exploring advanced drawing and modifying tools and techniques before moving to advanced drawing and modeling of 3D solids and surfaces.

  • Design Studio II - Multi-Dwelling

    This course leverages the knowledge and skills gained in Design Studio I by introducing students to additional design and building complexities in creating conventional and nonconventional multi-unit buildings. Students take into consideration environmental and urban issues.

  • Building Technology I - Lighting

    This course explores lighting as one of the fundamental elements in the design of interiors and exteriors. Students learn the principles and techniques of working with lighting to create a desired impact on space. The course will explore light sources, daylight, the layered approach to lighting and the different types of lighting applications for residential, office, and other specialty institutions.

  • Building Construction II

    This course builds on the skills and knowledge acquired in Building Construction I. Students apply their growing technical expertise in designing small to medium-scale buildings focusing on structural systems, building elements, materials, components, connections, construction methods and detailing. Students develop an understanding of the materials and technical dimensions of building design, current trends in the construction industry, and collaborative practices.

  • Digital Modelling & Rendering II

    This course introduces industry standard 3D computer rendering software. Students will use the software to produce three-dimensional renders.

  • Materials & Specifications

    This course introduces the types of materials used in exterior façade treatments and their usages, properties, and conformity. Students research, and analyze sample sources and cost materials based on specifications. The importance of material selection in the construction process is stressed.

  • Design Studio III - Commercial I

    This course builds upon Design Studio II by understanding the construction and design of commercial buildings. The course will introduce students to the accepted processes and design stages; concept study, space planning, research, analysis, code requirements, materials specification, construction and sustainability. Students will prepare a design package that includes models, drawings and reports — with emphasis on the design, function, efficiency and builda...

  • Construction Detailing

    This course introduces the next stage after the design process— a detailed technical drawing that comes into play after a building’s design intent has been established and approved. In this course, students will transform the design using their knowledge of construction methods into a series of technical drawings.

  • Environmental Design

    Human activity is having a significant impact on the planet’s resources, ecology and environment. This course introduces the student to the systems and ecologies impacted by global climate change and examines how this influences resource management, building design and construction practices.

  • Project Management

    Students are introduced to project management as it relates to building construction. Students will learn about the roles and responsibilities, procedures and protocols, meeting management, documentation, scheduling and inspections in a typical project from the initial phases of construction to completion.

  • Codes & Regulation

    This course explores residential, commercial and public building, fire and safety codes and how they apply to external building features and the immediate building environment and influence the application of building codes in a building's internal design and construction. Students will learn how codes and standards impact the design process and how they must be applied to ensure compliance in the final design.

  • Design Studio IV - Commercial II

    Students will consider material specifications, methods of construction and sustainability principles and prepare a design presentation package that includes models, drawings and reports. They will be assigned a high-rise mix-use commercial building with basement parking facilities under Type 1 Construction and conduct research, analysis, and space and concept planning studies. The assessment will focus on the design, function, efficiency and buildable construction...

  • Building Technology II - Mechanical & Safety Systems

    This course introduces students to Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing systems (MEP), where they will learn each system and how they play an integral part in efficiency, the relationships between the building envelope and mechanical system design, particularly sustainability, energy use and human comfort. Mechanical systems include HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, fire protection, electrical and mechanical building codes, indoor air quality, communications, life sa...

  • Contract Administration

    Students learn the construction industry standards, procedures and requirements owners, consultants, contractors, and trades are subject to on a construction project. Students will become familiar with the required standards for all contracts and agreement specifications concerning the supply and installation services, materials and products, as well as the importance and implementation of liabilities, penalty damages and other legal issues.

  • Portfolio

    This course will prepare the student for graduation and final portfolio completion by focusing on content that showcases primary skills. The portfolio will showcase the strengths and talents of each student in a visually-appealing branded presentation.

  • Construction Documentation

    This course introduces the construction drawing documentation process. Students will become familiar with developing the initial part of the documentation through tee-up sheets, drawing lists, contents, formats, sheet numbering, labels, annotations and procedures as per Construction Industry Standards. The emphasis is on understanding the legal issues concerning accurate documentation.

  • Design Studio V – Thesis A

    This course prepares students by introducing relevant research, methodology, and design themes. Students are provided with a detailed project brief where they apply knowledge and skills acquired in the program to produce an architectural design thesis, emphasizing planning, function, efficiency, buildability, and sustainability. Students are mentored through the process and will present their final project to a review committee.

  • Design Studio V – Thesis B

    This course builds upon Final Thesis I, the student's final thesis compiled into a completed final presentation package that includes all supporting drawings and documentation, which will demonstrate an innovative solution to a design problem. It will be presented and defended to a panel of instructors and industry professionals.

Costs & Requirements

High school graduation or equivalent (From an English language teaching institution)


Mature student status  (19 years of age upon starting classes, and pass college’s admissions test

To learn more about tuition, click here.
For international student tuition, click here.


VCAD's Refund Policy abides by the Private Training Regulation of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) Private Training Act.
For more information, click here.

Check out and connect with some Alumni on LinkedIn.

  • Alumni 1 Noel Gabriel Ambrosio 2020
  • Alumni 2 Nikki Katouzian 2022
  • Alumni 4 Dryden Sereda 2022
  • Alumni 4 Madison Prangnell 2020
  • Alumni 5 Tuong Kim Thuy Nguyen 2020

Student Testimonials

  • The instructors are really helpful, even outside school projects. They gave me a lot of advice about improving my skills as a graphic designer.

    - Maricel Benjamin
  • The most valuable part of the program is the one on one time with the teachers. They are always willing to go out of their way to make sure you understand what you are doing.

    - Katrina Selkirk
  • We have very important classes that are very useful in the industry. Really good hands-on and technical classes.

    - Jae Esmane
  • The teachers, being a part of the industry, have really amazing contacts with people working in the industry, and I have been able to take advantage of opportunities that I have received through VCAD.

    - Alisha Rempel
  • Coming to VCAD allowed me to have an international environment around me, international influences in my learning and international instructors. That was my goal because you can't learn design in a silo; I wanted influenc...

    - Crystal Dauphinee
  • VCAD was very hands-on. We were constantly working on our portfolio. I had classes with actual game designers - teachers who taught animations and were actual working as animators in the industry.

    - Carlos Alejandro


Learn from graduates what it's like to study at VCAD.

  • Student Portfolio

    Eric M.
    Architecture Design and Technology

  • Student Portfolio

    Sarah W.
    Architecture Design and Technology

  • Student Portfolio

    Anthony d.
    Architecture Design and Technology

  • Student Portfolio

    Harley N.
    Architecture Design and Technology

  • Student Portfolio

    Deron D.
    Architecture Design and Technology

  • Student Portfolio

    Cayman T.
    Architecture Design and Technology

  • Student Portfolio

    Rebekah B.
    Architecture Design and Technology

  • Student Portfolio

    Jenna S.
    Architecture Design and Technology

Meet our Instructors

  • Heather Arthurs

    Architecture Design and Technology

    Heather is the director of VCAD's Interior Design and Architectural Design Technology programs. With more than 25 years within the industry, Heather has a wealth of knowledge to bring to the classroom and her approachable personality make her a beloved instructor. 

  • Ricardo Piedrahita

    Architecture Design and Technology

    Hailing from Columbia, Ricardo brings an international perspective to the Interior and Architecture programs at VCAD. With more than 30 years of experience his wealth of knowledge provides an invaluable resource for students.

  • Elena Schneider Barnes

    Architecture Design and Technology

    Elena has more than a decade's experience designing spaces for some of the world's biggest companies. This background, talents, and global scope make her an incredible addition to the Interior and Archtecture Design Technology programs.

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