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


2015 "Water Charrette: Food Deserts" begins Jan. 23 
The Department of Architecture will sponsor the 2015 Water Charrette: Food Deserts, to explore issues including urban agriculture, water harvesting and storage. The three-day event, starting Thursday, Jan. 22, will give students an opportunity collaborate and propose innovative design strategies for solving them. As grocery stores have become bigger, they have also disappeared from many low-income neighborhoods, making residents’ access to fresh, healthy produce limited. The problem is often compounded by poor access to public transportation. These locations are considered “food deserts.”

The event will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at The Commons at Spooner Hall, where Mary Pelletier, of Park Watershed, West Hartford, Connecticut; Roberta Vogel-Leutung, Environmental Protection Agency, Lenexa, and Amy Kincaid, ChangeMatters, Washington, D.C., will have a plenary dialogue on these topics. Andrew Moddrell and Christopher Marcinkoski, architects from PORT Urbanism, Chicago, will join them for a panel discussion.

On Friday, Jan. 23 Moddrell and Marcinkoski will present selected works from their many public design projects, which include the Denver City Park City Loop, the Los Angeles Green Way 2020 Plan, and a redesign of the Helsinki South Harbour. The lecture will take place at 9 a.m. at The Forum at Marvin Hall.   

Following the keynote, teams of students will participate in a design “charrette.” Charrettes are intensive design sessions in which participants attempt to solve complex problems in short periods of time. This charrette challenges students to incorporate integrated systems-thinking into water harvesting and urban farming prototypes. They will present their projects at 4 p.m. at The Commons.


KU Design Week offers students a plethora of design-related activities, Jan. 23-30 

The School's second annual Design Week begins on Thursday, January 23, and will conclude on January 30thThe event is put together in its entirety by Department of Design students. One of the organizers, Katie Whiteman, said, “It’s a seven-day series of multidisciplinary events, lectures, workshops, and competitions. They are intended to appeal to students enrolled in any one of the broad spectrum of majors offered at KU's School of Architecture, Design & Planning, but the events are open to all KU students.” Besides architecture and urban planning, students who are studying in the Design Department may be specializing in visual communications, photo media, illustration,industrial design, and environmental design. 

Among the activities are a puzzle workshop, scavenger hunt, dollhouse challenge, paper-engineering workshop, and a drop-cap-battle tennis match will include a movie night. Participants may also spend an afternoon working in the Design Department’s letterpress lab; tour the Lawrence Public Library with the architects and graphic designers, and attend a discussion about the design process experts from Useagility, a user-experience design firm from Kansas City, Mo.   

Accompanying the event will be an exhibit of Design student work opening at Jan. 23 at the Kansas Union Gallery. For more information see the Design Week website.  

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


Water Charrette: Food Deserts. Saturday morning. Final presentations. Congratulations! Wonderful work everyone.

Congrats Katie Whiteman, Sydney Goldstein, Kristen Leigh Myers, and Aliaa El Kalyoubi whos work was selected by a jury for The Flux 2014 Student Design Competition! Congrats to Katie for taking home the BEST OF in the entire competition and the Best of in the Publication category. Congrats to the Design Week team for taking home the Best of in the Identity category. Sydney for Honorable Mention in Publication and Identity. Kristen Myers for Best of in the Web/Interactive category! Katie Whiteman publication: The Book of Presidents (Category Winner) publication: The Encyclopedia of Women publication: Cockoo’s Nest Book Cover publication: Paradox a Visual Essay poster: It’s simple math KU Design Week team Identity: KUDW (Category Winner) Sydney Goldstein publication: the Station (Category Honorable Mention) Identity: South Rose (Category Honorable Mention) web/interactive: Momento packaging: Granny Sue’s Sauces web/interactive: Loot Kristen Leigh Myers web/interactive: Civil CoParenting App (Category Winner) Aliaa El Kalyoubi publication: How to get things Done poster: Design Translated
What's that saying? "Behind every great elected official are great planners." Today, President Obama had KU Urban Planning student Sean Tapia (upper right corner of photo) and Kansas Association of Planning Students' president Hilary Hershner (just to Sean's right) right behind him.


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RT @missjenbeck : Letterpress Workshop @ku news @ku _sadp #kudesignweek http://t.co/BuYRNYJnBi
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