Kean University has announced plans to open a new architecture school based on the design philosophy of Michael Graves. Following the footsteps of a man who laments the “loss of drawing,” the new Michael Graves School of Architecture will prioritize hand drawings as a key to design process.
“In our technologically savvy world, to this day, Michael Graves’ philosophy is to draw by hand first so that the students see, ‘feel’ and experience the new building spatially. Then, only after the drawing is complete will the students transfer the design to a computer so that the computer becomes an execution tool, not an ideation tool,” describes acting dean and former student of Graves, David Mohney.
With two sites, a headquarters in New Jersey and a satellite campus in the Wenzhou region of China, the school will have a global focus, utilizing its locations as a pedagogical competent of the curriculum.
“Students will develop a well rounded understanding of the role of architecture in society, with a respect for its history and clear vision for the future,” stated Graves.
“One of the market differentiators of the Michael Graves School of Architecture will be the ability to study architecture abroad such as the classically designed buildings in Italy and some of the oldest buildings in the world in China,” added Dean Mohney.
However, as Architect Magazine points out, the new school faces criticism. As reported by the New Jersey paper The Record, some believe the school is unnecessary considering its close proximity to the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) architecture school, who also issued a statement claiming the Graves’ school has yet to receive state approval.
Regardless, the Michael Graves School of Architecture plans to host its first class in the fall of 2015 in the newly opened Green Lane Academic Building at Kean’s Union Township campus, as well as construct a Graves-designed school building in Wenzhou.
Students will be encouraged to complete a 4-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Architectural Studies, followed by a 2-year professional Master of Architecture degree.