U. of Utah College of Architecture: ecologically-aware strategies For our first school, we look at a trend that is gaining critical mass: ecologically-aware strategies and materials. It is, as one professor at the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning calls it, a building ecology. The school, which offers both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees (2 and 3+ years), contains many unique programs. One of them is ITAC, which stands for the Integrated Technology in Architecture Center. This research hub offers faculty and students the opportunity to be “an agent of change toward better buildings.” Through a myriad of collaborative research projects and studios, ITAC continues to provide different ways for students and professionals to envision and engage the design and building process. What does that mean? Well, it includes designing and producing different building materials that are recycled and sustainable and flexible to analyzing and providing different rating systems. Students and faculty even collaborated on an energy efficient house that is not only inhabited by one of the directors of ITAC, Jörg Rügemer, but serves as an ongoing example and case study of passive energy efficient strategies. The pedagogical approach is comprehensive, actively combining practical, real world experience with research and theory. Says Director and Professor Ryan Smith in an interview, “We often incorporate examples from basic and applied research and professional practice into the classroom demonstrating the full social and economic impacts of environmentally led decisions. We also allow students to investigate architectural design as a research question, exploring, probing, and integrating thinking outside of their discipline… Confronting students with such facts in a positive classroom environment, and allowing them to see actual research examples from the center of simulated and monitored buildings, sharpens their understanding and prepares them for the profession to be systemic thinkers and have an ability to perform research-based design.” DesignBuildBluff Another unique program at the University of Utah is called DesignBuildBluff (DBB). This offers students a different opportunity to design and build that results in real buildings. Begun as a single Design+Build Studio by adjunct professor Hank Louis, the goal is to improve the lives of citizens of the Navajo Nation and its Red Mesa Chapter. What can be more inspiring for students then to work in a studio whose design might be chosen for people with immediate needs?
It’s clear that there is some very interesting and innovative education going on at the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Design. If you or someone you know is interested, then just know that for undergraduate admissions, the applications period is between March 1 to the end of April. For the MArch degrees, the application deadline is December 1st. Tuition B. Arch Residents: from $5375 US to $5432 US for 25 credit hours. Non-residents: from $17373 US to $17583 US for 25 credit hours. M.Arch Program Residents: $9757 US for 25 credit hours. Non residents: $24349 US for 25 credit hours. Application deadlines B.Arch: 01-april. M.Arch: 01-december. Beginning dates B.Arch & 2 years M.Arch: fall 3+ years M.Arch: summer.