Architectural Studies Department Mission & Goals
The Department’s mission is to educate future design practitioners, advance research of the built environment, and disseminate knowledge to improve quality of life for people. The Department of Architectural Studies embraces the synergy between architecture and interior design to contribute an added exceptional value to the built environment. The faculty in both fields conduct systematic inquiry into 1) the design process, 2) its products, and 3) the interaction between people and the built environment. Through teaching and service the faculty use the results to 1) create environments that meet the needs of diverse people, 2) evaluate and explain the value, effectiveness and utility of design processes and products, and 3) educate future design practitioners. The program is an interdisciplinary combination of architecture, the human sciences and aesthetics.
In educating future professionals, the program blends architecture and interior design to amalgamate the design disciplines. In its goals, the program provides students with experiences and design skills that allow them to design meaningful interior spaces to enhance human life. The program emphasizes a quest for true artistic beauty, use, and, techniques based on precision, truthfulness, and sincerity. We believe good design bonds the pleasure of beauty, stimulation of the mind, and reasoned adaptation to existing conditions. Good design addresses life’s complexities and contradictions in order to create physical places that surpass their visual compositions, creating magical mediating structures that evoke meaning in the act of occupying and inhabiting matter, gravity and light.
Undergraduate alumni in both emphasis areas will know:
- The terminology and fundamental principles (e.g., function and purpose, utility and economy, form and style, and concept and meaning) of art and design;
- Theories of design and how design relates to human behavior;
- Characteristics of both standard and sustainable materials and practices for use in design and construction;
- Appropriate laws, codes, regulations, standards (including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—LEED), and practices that protect the health, safety, and welfare of clients and the public;
- Foundational principles of business and professional practice;
- Three-dimensional, computer-aided design software and animation systems to display and communicate architectural and interior design.
Undergraduate alumni in both undergraduate emphasis areas will be able to:
- Apply the fundamental principles of art and design, as well as theories of design, within physical and social environments, using appropriate materials and products;
- Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences, including clients and colleagues in allied fields, using appropriate media (e.g., oral and written presentations, 3-dimensional scale models, computer-aided design);
- Apply the laws, codes, regulations, standards, and practices that protect the health, safety, and welfare of clients and the public throughout the design and building processes;
- Demonstrate attitudes, traits, and values of professional responsibility, accountability, and effectiveness.
Graduate Program Strengths
- Environment and behavior design focusing on physical settings responsive to the culture, income, life span, and diversity of people.
- Design communication with digital media as an integral part of the design process, focusing on graphic ideation and application of computer technology.
Graduate student alumni should be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of recent scholarship and its impact in environment/behavior or design with digital media;
- Explain formal environmental design theory, including historical precedents, current aesthetic trends, and design processes;
- Investigate philosophical influences of designed settings, the techniques they employ, and how designers communicate them;
- Apply environment and behavior research to professional practice and research;
- Apply appropriate research methods;
- Design, propose, conduct, and report independent research that leads to a creative project or thesis (for MA or MS) or dissertation (Ph.D.).
In addition to the above, graduates at the doctoral level should be able to:
- Integrate learning from an outside area into research;
- Communicate effectively with both academic and general audiences;
- Design, propose, conduct, and disseminate the results of original, independent dissertation research.