Beginning in fall of 2012, WSU’s School of Architecture and Construction Management will be joined with programs in interior design and landscape architecture, creating a unique school for the design and construction management disciplines.
“We’ve had a tradition of collaboration and integration that I don’t think is happening anywhere else in the country,” said Gregory Kessler, AIA who will direct the new school. “The faculty is positive about the collaboration and excited about what we can offer our students. The resulting school will be more efficient, yet it will provide a more enriched pedagogical model.”
The idea for the new program came about last year when WSU administrators asked for ways to increase efficiency while also creating new opportunities of educational models. The proposal to develop the new school was in response to the critical budgetary climate.
“This was a way to turn something negative into something really positive,” said Kessler.
The School of Architecture and Construction Management already has a culture of collaboration and integration with other programs, recently working with civil engineering researchers in sustainable design and developing an annual symposium integrating architecture and construction management students.
Kessler suggested combining the programs as a way to increase efficiency but also to improve collaborative possibilities.
“Combining the design disciplines into one school along with the College’s engineering programs means that every discipline required for the built environment will be housed within one college. The university will really benefit from this,” he said.
As the program gets underway, representatives from each of the four disciplines are serving on five different committees that are looking at the program’s undergraduate studios, doctoral program, research, graduate studies, and technical courses. Each committee is making recommendations and presenting those to the entire faculty. Students in the program will take some common, integrated courses along with specialized courses for their majors.
The program will be housed mostly in Carpenter Hall on the WSU Pullman campus.
The new school will have more than 700 students and will be unique in the U.S. Kessler in conjunction with the faculty is working to establish a curriculum and research program. Students in the program will benefit because they will have a good understanding of a collaborative design environment before they enter their professions, he said.
“This is a program that doesn’t exist anywhere else – it’s a truly exciting opportunity,” he said.
“We’ve had a tradition of collaboration and integration that I don’t think is happening anywhere else in the country.”
—Gregory Kessler, AIA