Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design
To implement the School of Architecture’s vision and mission, the Environmental Design curriculum focuses on conceptualization, use and content, building technologies, professional responsibilities and developing a critical position in regard to the environment and architecture.
With open enrollment into the first year of the Environmental Design program, students can explore the opportunities and expectations of an environmental design education. Students acquire the fundamental math, science, writing, and design skills that are the foundation of their future learning as well as develop their knowledge of contemporary practices and philosophies in architecture. Particular emphasis is placed on conceptualization and systems thinking in the first year of the curriculum. At the end of their first year, students apply for formal admission to the Environmental Design program. Acceptance into the program is based on a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a portfolio submission of work from the first year design studio courses.
During the second year of our undergraduate program, students complete their university core requirements to ensure a broad perspective from which to engage their environmental design education. Within the second-year Environmental Design curriculum, students acquire both a historic understanding of architecture in both its cultural and technical imperatives and an ability to utilize architectural graphics to communicate design concepts. The design studio introduces fundamental strategies of precedent analysis, the organization of human activities and principles of sustainability while applying the knowledge acquired in building construction and graphics courses. Particular emphasis is placed on use and context during the second year of the curriculum.
Throughout their third year in the program, students develop an understanding of structural systems, environmental controls systems and building assemblies as well as the ability to utilize advanced graphic communication strategies. The third-year design studios tackle complex urban issues and projects—developing student’s understanding of ways to integrate these systems into their design solutions. Particular emphasis within the third-year curriculum is placed on building tectonics. During fall semester, all third-year students enrolled in a design studio participate in a one-week field trip to an urban center in the United States.
Built upon the foundations of the initial three years, the fourth year of the program consists of courses in professional practice, research methods, sustainability, and electives as well as an option studio and a senior capstone studio. For their option studio, every student chooses between the Foreign Study Program, the Architectural Residency Program, the Community Design Center, a Design/Build Studio, or an approved off-campus program of study. Following the completion of their option studio, every student completes a capstone design studio in which students synthesize program development, site development, structural systems, environmental controls systems, principles of sustainability and graphic communication. With the satisfactory completion of the fourth year of study, students receive a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design.