Welcome to the School of Architecture, Design & Planning 

Envision. Imagine. Collaborate. Plan. Design. Build. They’re words that capture what our students have been learning to do for more than 100 years. Our mission is to provide our graduates with an educational foundation for exemplary professional practice and personal career fulfillment; to prepare them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers who will serve, enrich, and sustain their professions and communities.

The Department of Architecture offers Bachelor of Architecture Studies, Master of Architecture, Master of Arts in Architecture, and PhD degrees. Our graduates are known for their design acumen, mastery of architectural technology and construction, and skill in environmental analysis. Our final year options include the Studio 804 design-build program, specialization in Health and Wellness Architecture, and internships in architecture firms overseas. 

The school’s Department of Design offers students foundations in the practice of design thinking and visualization to create beautiful, innovative solutions that enhance the quality of everyday life. The Center for Design Research does research for Bayer Healthcare, Garmin International, Ford Motor Company, Sprint, and others. We offer Bachelors of Fine Arts degrees with specializations in environmental design, illustration and animation, industrial design, photo media, and visual communication design. We also offer Master of Arts degrees in environmental designdesign management, and interaction design.

Our Department of Urban Planning offers a Master of Urban Planning degree. We emphasize policy planning and analysis within the context of urban environments. Our graduates are equipped to analyze, create, and implement policies at all levels of government and the private sector. Students may concentrate their studies in planning for housing and development, sustainabile land use planning, transportation planning, and environmental planning. Additional degree options include joint degrees in American studies, architecture, architectural studies, business, geography, and law.

Reception to celebrate the opening of The Forum

An event to celebrate the completion of The Forum, an addition to Marvin Hall, will take place from 3-5 p.m. Friday, March 27. The extension, located on Marvin’s second floor just south of its main entrance on Jayhawk Boulevard, includes a 121-seat lecture hall, commons and breakout space. “This new space has significantly enhanced the culture of the school by providing a place of arrival, interaction and exhibition for all of our programs and students, faculty and staff,” Dean John Gaunt said. “These are amenities that the school has lacked throughout its 100-year history.”

The building uses state-of-the-art technologies and is further distinguished because it was constructed by students enrolled in the Studio 804 program. It is directed by of J.L. Constant Professor of Architecture Dan Rockhill and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Its last seven buildings have received the United States Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating, the most stringent sustainability award available. Other facilities the studio has constructed at KU include the Hill Engineering Research and Development Center, and the Center for Design Research on KU’s west campus.The Forum is distinguished from other buildings because it was designed and constructed by 18 fifth-year students enrolled in the Department of Architecture’s Studio 804 program.

Makers and Creative Class exhibit at KCDC March 26-April 6

As a part of the Kansas City Design Week celebration, everyone is invited to view an exhibit titled Emerging Economies: KC Makers and the Creative Class Mar. 26 through April 6 at the Kansas City Design Center. University of Kansas architecture students produced the design research and proposals which focus on transforming the Linwood Midtown Neighborhood into a district of creative, collaborative maker-spaces. 

These, in turn, would stimulate the growth of amenities in the area such as pop-up stores, farmers' markets, bike shops and housing. The work was produced in studios taught by KU Associate Professor Shannon Criss and Adjunct Professor Matt Kleinmann. The Kansas City Design Center is located at 1020 Baltimore, Kansas City, Mo. A reception will be held opening night, March 26, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

[Re] Engaged Architecture Symposium March 28 

The School of Architecture Design & Planning and Studio 804 will celebrate its 20th anniversary with the [RE] Engaged Architecture symposium. It will be held in Lawrence on March 28th at the East Hills Construction Innovation Building. We are hosting six internationally renowned architects, each of whom will lecture. They include Brian MacKay-Lyons, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects; Frank Harmon, Frank Harmon Associates; Andrew Freear, The Rural Studio; Ted Flato, Lake | Flato; Brigitte Shim, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, and Marlon Blackwell, Marlon Blackwell Architects, with remarks by Susan Szenasy, editor, Metropolis magazine. Seating is extremely limited, so register today for this one-of-a-kind event at studio804.com/symposium.

MoCoLab to display student work March 27 at Kansas City Design Week 

Save March 27th, 8:00-11:00 p.m. for an appearance by the MoCoLab at the Kansas City Center for Architecture & Design, 1810 McGee, Kansas City, Mo. It's part of Kansas City Design Week Celebration. Associate Prof. Shannon Criss said that the MoCoLab will be outfitted with an exhibit of KU Department of Architecture student work with a special emphasis on public interest design. More KU student work will be displayed at the Kansas City Design Center, 1020 Baltimore. The MoCoLab (short for "mobile collaboratory) is an Airstream trailer that was restored into a mobile community center by students enrolled in Assoc. Professor Nils Gore's Studio 409 class last spring and summer.


Winter 2015 School newsletter now online

The Winter 2015 School of Architecture, Design & Planning Newsletter is now a click away. Read stories about such things as The Forum, DirtWorks Studio's new Armitage Pavilion at the KU Field Station, how The Design Department was named Best School at the National Student Show, and Ford's donation of a van in support of the Center for Design Research's WellCar. Follow links to stories about the many awards, scholarships and fellowships won by students and faculty, including an award-winning watershed management plan developed by Urban Planning students. To view the newsletter in your browser, click here.

    The Forum at Marvin Hall opens 

In the fall of 2013 students enrolled in the Department of Architecture's Studio 804 began construction of The Forum, an addition to Marvin Hall, the home of the School of Architecture, Design & Planning. Its 117-seat auditorium, student commons, and breakout spaces foster the exploration, idea sharing, and engagement that are so much a part of the School’s educational culture.

For The Forum to be comfortable, temperature, humidity, and lighting need to be predictable and consistent. Strategies for saving energy typically require occupants to be tolerant of temperature swings and varying levels of light that would not be allowable here.

This building solves these problems through the use of multiple sensors that measure conditions inside and out, and activate its natural ventilation system and louvers. These are constantly adjusted to adapt the interior to any combination of outdoor temperature, humidity, and exterior light levels. The building is always operating at maximum efficiency without using energy from the grid while maintaining human comfort. The green wall improves air quality and provides a pleasing atmosphere.  

The building is always operating at maximum efficiency while using little energy from the grid while maintaining human comfort. Sensors also assure that proper levels of carbon dioxide are maintained in the inside air, and manage the water levels in the cistern, which is used to water the green wall and exterior plants.

To view construction photos, learn more about the ventilated wall, and how to donate, see The Forum website.  

About Studio 804. The participants are Department of Architecture graduate students who work full time for an academic year, designing and constructing a building annually. J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture Dan Rockhill has directed the award-winning program for 20 years. 



Architecture, Design & Urban Planning Events


Tonight the MoCoLab will be at the Kansas City Center for Architecture & Design, 1810 McGee, Kansas City, Mo. from 5:00 to 11:00 pm. It's part of Kansas City Design Week Celebration. The MoCoLab will display an exhibit of KU Department of Architecture student work with a special emphasis on public interest design. More KU student work will be displayed at the Kansas City Design Center, 1020 Baltimore. The MoCoLab (short for "mobile collaboratory") is an Airstream trailer that was restored, and made into a mobile community center by students enrolled in Assoc. Professor Nils Gore's Studio 409 class last spring and summer.

Mahesh Daas, professor and chairperson of the Department of Architecture at Ball State University, will become dean of the KU School of Architecture, Design and Planning on June 15. He succeeds Professor and Dean John Gaunt, who led the school for more than 20 years. “Mahesh Daas is a leading designer and innovator whose wide-ranging background and experience are an exceptional fit for KU,” said Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor. “He will enable us to build upon and combine the creative energy and knowledge of the three departments of architecture, design and planning to great effect.” The School of Architecture, Design and Planning enrolls nearly 1,000 students and has academic programs that are more than 100 years old. The school is home to several highly acclaimed programs, such as Studio 804, the Center for Design Research and the Department of Design, which won honors as Best School at last year’s National Student Show, coordinated by the Dallas Society of Visual Communications. Daas’ design and leadership career spans two decades. He is well-known across the international design landscape for innovation in design computing, architectural robotics, design thinking, innovation methods and management. Daas is an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture distinguished professor, one of the highest national recognitions for an architectural educator. He has led the Department of Architecture at Ball State since 2008, also serving two years concurrently as the inaugural Emerging Media Fellow of the university’s Center for Media Design. Under his leadership, the department has come to be widely known for excellence in digital fabrication and social justice in design. He teaches courses in design thinking, innovation methods, advanced digital fabrication and leadership. Prior to joining Ball State, Daas served as associate dean for academic affairs and research of the College of Architecture at the University of Texas at San Antonio as well as a visiting assistant professor at Kansas State University. He also worked with professional firms in Chicago and Kansas City. Daas publishes widely in scholarly and popular forums and has delivered keynote speeches at conferences across the world. In addition to more than 80 refereed scholarly or design works, he is the author of the forthcoming book “Leading with Aesthetics: The Transformational Leadership of President Charles M. Vest at M.I.T.” Throughout his career, Daas has been honored for his creative achievements, leadership and innovative approach to teaching. In 2011, he became only the second person of Asian origin and the youngest educator to be named an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture distinguished professor. The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) has twice elected him as its president and recognized his leadership in 2013 with the ACADIA Society Award of Excellence. At UT San Antonio, he won the President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Creative Production. He is a co-recipient of a 2001 Kansas City chapter of the American Institute of Architects Merit Award for the Baron BMW Dealership building in Merriam and a 2007 recipient of International Fabrics Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award for the design and construction of Advanced Fabrics Exhibition. Daas has been a peer reviewer for the National Science Foundation and served on an NSF delegation to Israel in 2010 to explore bilateral research opportunities in sustainable materials and technologies. In 2011, he chaired an NSF symposium and workshop on Materials and Manufacturing for Extreme Affordability at Ball State. Daas also has served on research review panels for the Canadian government. He is involved in a broad range of professional organizations, including ACADIA, the Association for Robotics in Architecture, International Digital Media and Arts Association, and the International Journal of Architectural Computing. Daas is also an award-winning creative writer and poet with a particular interest in Latin American existentialist and magic realist literature. Daas earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India, where he is a licensed architect. He earned a master’s of architecture in urban design from Kansas State University and an executive doctoral degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Gaunt will step down from his leadership role of the school at the end of the spring 2015 semester. He will remain a faculty member and continue teaching at KU. “The KU community is extremely grateful for over two decades of leadership by Dean Gaunt. He has had an exceptional career,” Vitter said. “I also want to acknowledge the very good work of the search committee led by Dean of Journalism and Mass Communications Ann Brill.”

Associate Professor Bonnie Johnson was on that bus this morning! She's attending and presenting at the International Research Society for Public Management conference at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. First #IRSPM2015 bus - all aboard!! pic.twitter.com/3zMD5tJ7kT (https://twitter.com/SkelcherC/status/582427583956041729?s=17)
chris skelcher på Twitter
“First #IRSPM2015 bus - all aboard!!”


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Andrea Freear : "always a bit of sex in @RuralStudio projects." At # (re)engagedarchitecture symposium http://t.co/Rmk6ScE580
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