What is Build Lightly Studio?
Build Lightly Studio is a design/build collaborative pairing architecture professionals with participants to design, construct, and deliver projects to community clients in various locations around the world.

Who should participate in Build Lightly projects?
Whether you are an emerging professional, licensed architect, or architecture, construction, planning, landscape, or environmental design student enrolled in a university program, Build Lightly Studio courses and workshops will provide an unforgettable, unique, and full-immersion learning experience. Past participants have included intern architects, junior designers, carpenters, builders, and licensed architects from Oregon, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. Graduate and undergraduate students representing University of Hawai’i, Iowa State, University of Virginia, Tulane, and University of Colorado in Boulder have participated in Build Lightly Studio courses and workshops.

Can I get university credit for my Build Lightly participation?
Yes! Students of past Build Lightly Studio projects that were administered through the University of Hawai’i at Manoa received three credit hours for the semester long course. Depending on the length of the course or workshop, each participant will be responsible to coordinate the transfer of credit with their host College or University. Participants not currently enrolled in a College or University will receive a certificate indicating their successful completion of the studio. A course syllabus will be made available prior to registration and application so students may seek pre-approval for credit hours with their host College or University. We are also willing to work with students to complete internship opportunities or even independent studies. Contactu Build Lightly using the form below for further information or assistance.

Can I receive IDP (NCARB’s Intern Development Program) Credit for my Build Lightly participation?
Yes, under the leadership of a licensed architect, you will be able to receive service hours for your work on Build Lightly Studio projects, if you are not already counting the hours towards university credit.

What type of experience is required to join Build Lightly?
Interested Build Lightly Studio participants are not required or expected to have a background in building or construction. Participants should have an ability to think critically, problem solve, generate solutions, listen, communicate well, be open to different perspectives, and be team/group-oriented. Regardless of whether Build Lightly Studio is hosting a 17-week semester long course or a two-week intensive workshop blitz, it will be a highly intensive, collaborative process that will involve many stakeholders. Build Lightly participants are flexible, adaptable, hard-working, humble, and committed. Hand sketching, model building, 2D and 3D drafting, carpentry, and wood-working are not required, but desirable. Experience with community engagement, fluency in relevant foreign languages, and leading volunteer groups is a plus!

What is the selection process like?
Build Lightly Studio participants typically submit an application form, paid application fee, letter of intent -OR- register for the course if hosted through a university. Participants are notified via email of acceptance, available scholarships (if any). Finally, confirmed participants complete registration with full payment, signing of health insurance and liability waivers, and travel itineraries, if applicable. Build Lightly Studio will contact all accepted applicants via email, and will confirm registration with participants over the phone.

What does it cost to join a Build Lightly project team?
The actual price of project participation varies depending on program sponsorship, build location/length/scope and team size, but we do everything in our power to provide participants and team members with a fun, rewarding and exploratory experience — inclusive of most meals, lodging and an invaluable team-building atmosphere — at a cost that’s mindful of even conservative budgets. Past participants have expressed that Build Lightly projects are as fun as (if not more than!) a typical vacation abroad and cost about the same or less. Of course, travel costs to and from the project home base vary depending on location and are the responsibility of individual participants.

Do you have examples of past Build Lightly projects?
Absolutely! To-date, we’ve completed Build Lightly projects in Costa Rica and Hawai’i . Details on each project are available on their respective Project pages:

When is the next scheduled Build Lightly Studio project?
We’re currently working with future project hosts and sponsors to compose a program for Winter or Spring 2016. For more information — and to stay in the loop about this and other Build Lightly programs — just contact us.