The 10 best schools
When it comes to an architecture school, anyone with a degree in the subject already knows the exercise: late nights and the start of a lifetime with caffeine (or more potent stimulants). Of course, this is not the image painted by literature and school websites. These documents all extol what must be the three great descriptors of today: durable, digital, and interdisciplinary. (“These are pretty standard buzzwords,” admits University of Michigan dean Doug Kelbaugh.) We’ve tried to scratch under the surface of the best programs – both undergraduate and graduate – chatting with deans and principals and even browsing the Archinect school blog. Project (archinect.com/schoolblog/index.php) to get a feel for what’s really going on in these elite institutions. Here is what we found.
1. VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY, BLACKSBURG, VA .;School of Architecture + Design; College of Architecture and Urban StudiesDirector: Scott poole
Prominent alums: Suzanne Lovell, Lee Polisano (President, Kohn Pedersen Fox)
Bragging rights: At Virginia Tech, first-year architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and interior design students are mixed in studios where they learn basic design together throughout the year. Additionally, Poole says, “We put our most experienced teachers with the freshmen. ”
2. CORNELL UNIVERSITY, ITHAQUE, NY College of Architecture, Art and Town Planning
Dean: Mohsen Mostafavi (outgoing)
Prominent alums: Edmund Bacon, Peter Eisenman, Arthur Gensler, Richard Meier
Website buzzwords: “Simulacrum”, “evocation”
Bragging rights: Cornell’s four-year architecture course was the country’s first when it was established in the 1870s, and the current five-year program dates back to the 1920s.
3. UNIVERSITY OF SYRACUSE, SYRACUSE; new YorkSchool of Architecture
Dean: Mark Robbins
New building: THE WAREHOUSE, Gluckman Mayner Architects, 2006
Prominent alums: Bruce Fowle, Richard Gluckman, David Rockwell
Website buzzwords: “Rigorous”, “dialogue”, “integrated”
City and dress: Fourteen construction projects are currently underway in the 140,000-strong city of Syracuse. Last summer there were enough activities for the students to stay and work with the teachers. “It was an old school tradition that hadn’t happened [in many years]According to Robbins.
4. CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIF.; Department of Architecture
Head of Department: Henri de Hahn
Bragging rights: A recent, unrestricted bequest of $ 60 million by an anonymous donor who has already participated (but has not completed) the architecture program appears to transform it in ways as yet unknown.
5. UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI, CINCINNATI, OHIO.; College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning
Acting Dean: Robert probst
Notorious building: the Aronoff Center for Design and Art, Peter Eisenman, 1996
Bragging rights: UC’s co-op program puts students to work. When you call the college and are put on hold, a registered student is enthusiastic: “Having a real work experience will be so enjoyable on my resume! “
6. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS IN AUSTIN, AUSTIN, TEXAS;School of Architecture
Dean: Frederic Steiner
Prominent alums: Michael Dennis, Reed Kroloff, Craig Dykers
Bragging rights: As each school jumps on the green train, Steiner notes that Austin was one of the first incubators. “The Austin Green Building Initiative laid the groundwork for LEED and involved our faculty, students and alumni,” he says, adding that first-year architecture students have the best academic credentials of all new students. first year of UT.
7. CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY, PITTSBURGH, PA .;School of Architecture
To manage: Laura Lee
Prominent Alum: Roger Duffy (design partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)
The campus: Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture shares a turn-of-the-century Henry Hornbostel building with art, design, theater, and music. CMU’s new business is a six-story structure dubbed “Building as Power Plant”. “We are proposing a building that is not only zero energy, but will actually provide electricity to the campus,” Lee said. It is expected to end in 2010.
8. KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY, MANHATTAN, KAN .;Department of Architecture; College of Architecture, Planning and Design
Head of Department: Pierre Magyar
Bragging rights: The college’s award-winning, quarter-century-old journal ounce proves that there is fantasy in the heart of the country.
Expiration date: K-State’s time on this list will be short-lived. The undergraduate program in architecture is phased out from 2011.
9. PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, STATE COLLEGE, PA .;Department of Architecture; School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Head of Department: Daniel Willis
New building: Stuckeman Family Building for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Overland Partners, 2005
Bragging rights: Guest speakers often comment on the high level of craftsmanship in student work, according to Willis.
9. PRATT INSTITUTE, BROOKLYN, NY
School of Architecture
Dean: Thomas hanrahan
New building: Section of the Higgins Hall Center, Steven Holl Architects, 2005
Website buzzwords: “Conceptual possibilities”, “flexible typologies”, “a complex ecology of interests”
Snack disaster: In 1996, a vending machine caught fire during a renovation of the existing building at the Victorian School of Architecture in Pratt, prompting Hanrahan to hire Holl.
The campus: Hanrahan recently put her own stamp on the Pratt campus, designing the all-new pavilion at the Juliana Curran Terian Design Center with her partner, Victoria Meyers.
Director, School of Architecture and Interior Design, University of Cincinnati
For Michaele Pride, social responsibility is paramount to the practice and study of architecture: “We don’t do our job if we don’t answer the problems and questions that are in our own backyard. A student at Arizona State University and then at Harvard University, she studied the socio-political realities of urban design. She put this research into practice for seven years as a director of Los Angeles firm re: architecture and led the volunteer efforts of the design community in LA, her hometown, following the riots of 1992.
When she had the opportunity to move to Cincinnati in 2003 (from Lexington, Ky., Where she had run the Downtown Design Center at the University of Kentucky), Pride jumped at the chance. “It’s important to me that school is linked to the profession,” she says. “Having been a practitioner myself, I was drawn to the curriculum, the faculty, and the co-op program.
The University of Cincinnati was the birthplace of cooperative education in 1906. Today, undergraduate architecture students complete six quarters of professional experience before graduating. Unsurprisingly, they are proving to be highly employable: According to the website of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, of which Pride School is a part, more than 800 American architectural firms rank Cincinnati as their first global recruiting institution. . The graduate program at UC has long been a staple of Design Intelligencethe list of top schools, but this year is the first since 2004 that its undergraduate program ranks among the top 10.
Pride believes that the continuing strength of the school lies in preparing students for an ever-changing workplace. “If we focus on imparting a skill set, those skill sets will quickly be outdated,” she says. “The most crucial thing we can do is help our students get out of here by asking the right questions. “- Elizabeth A. evitts
DEANS ON …
The top three emerging concerns in the design professions
- Sustainability in education and practice
- BIM and other project delivery models
- Integrated practice
Most important pedagogical approaches (ranked in order of importance)
- Practical application
- Technical training
- Internships / Cooperatives