The Department of Architecture educates students in an active culture of service, scholarship and invention. Uniquely situated at the crossroads of Chinese heritage and global influence, the Department takes the approach that design is best explored from a sophisticated understanding of both. Through a multidisciplinary curriculum emphasizing technology, history and culture students gain broad expertise in the management of the environmental, social, and aesthetic challenges of contemporary architectural design. Through opportunities for international exchange, study travel, and community workshops, the Department of Architecture prepares graduates for participation in an international community of design experts at the highest level.
Design education in the Department of Architecture is based on the studio model of instruction, with students organized in small groups working directly with staff tutors on guided research and design projects over the length of a full term. At the undergraduate level, an emphasis is placed on training in drawing and physical model-making as well as in mastery of the software used in the architectural profession. Students learn the process of design from conception, to representation, to presentation of a coherent idea. At both the undergraduate and graduate level, the studio is the testing ground for training in history and technology that students receive in the classroom, with increasingly more sophisticated solutions being sought.
Research programs at the graduate and postgraduate level offer students a unique opportunity to study the conditions of the contemporary city in the dense and active region of south China. Programs in architecture conservation, sustainable cities, rural construction, housing and architectural fabrication form a base for our research agenda. The Department offers specialized program of study through its Architecture Conservation Program. These programs provide resources for students with an interest in focused work in two aspects of the discipline which are of growing importance in East Asia.
The Department offers students a variety of opportunities for international study and travel. Study tours take undergraduate design studios to foundational sites of East Asian architecture and urbanism. Every undergraduate student in the Department spends one term at the Faculty of Architecture’s Shanghai Study Center, learning in the context of one of China’s most dynamic cities. The Department hosts undergraduate academic exchange programs with leading institutions in North America and Europe, while joint graduate level studio programs with universities abroad offer opportunities for students to engage their peers from around the world.
Staff at the Department of Architecture include both scholars and practicing professionals, and the Department is dedicated to community involvement through design. Through the Faculty of Architecture’s Community Design Workshop, students have opportunities to participate in design projects in China ranging from school construction to the design and repair of rural bridges.