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 Arts in 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 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, emphasizing policy planning and analysis within the context of urban environments. Graduates are equipped to analyze, create, and implement policies at all levels of government and the private sector. They may concentrate studies in planning for housing and development, sustainable land use planning, transportation planning, or environmental planning. Additional degree options include joint degrees in American studies, architecture, architectural studies, business, geography, and law.


On October 14, School of Architecture, Design and Planning's alumni convened at The Forum in Marvin Hall to make presentations on issues that are facing the design and architecture professions today. For full videos of each session described below please see the 12000 Who Innovate Alumni Symposium Video Page. 

Session 1. “The Business of Design” kicked off the day as alums who have built multidisciplinary and collaborative firm cultures shared the ways they have created organizations that produce exceptional work. Speakers included Kelly Jones, president, Lighting Design Alliance; Krista Masilionis, creative director, Hallmark, and Jeff Vaglio of the building façade manufacturer Enclos. They were moderated by Arjun Bhat of CannonDesign and School of Architecture, Design & Planning Dean Mahesh Daas. 

Session 2. “Designing Outside the Design Bubble” in this session alums talked about how their work engages society and uses design to address its challenges. Speakers were Mike Hauser, founder of DesignHaus Studio; April Pottorff, an architect whose firm, CGL RicciGreen, specializes in justice facility design;  and John Wilson, House Minority Policy Chair in the Kansas Legislature. They were moderated by Amy Slattery, principal of Odimo, and Professor Mahbub Rashid.

Session 3. “Connecting in a Connected World” looked at the ways firms are leveraging the power of the Cloud to connect emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles, Smart Cities, the Internet of Things, digital fabrication, robotics, and virtual reality. Presentations were made by urban futurist Cindy Frewen; Matthew Hufft, principal of Hufft Projects; Garmin concept designer Todd Register; Jeremy Williams, creative director of Dimensional Innovations, moderated by Jay Vaglio of Cerner Corp Labs and Professor Michael Eckersley. 


The School of Architecture, Design & Planning will present its first Global Impact through Design Research Symposium Friday, April 22 in The Forum at Marvin Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend this day of presentations documenting current research being done by faculty and graduate students. “The breadth of the research here in the school is extraordinary,” Daas said. “But, as we often share what we are doing only informally, sometimes we are unaware of the specifics and depth of what our own colleagues are doing. We want to change that.”

Seventeen faculty and graduate students from all of the school’s departments will make 20-minute presentations on topics such as healthcare design, urbanism, community participation and pedagogy, and building science and technology. In addition posters and artwork produced by faculty will be on display.

“In bringing our colleagues together to present their research we are fulfilling one of the most important goals this same group set for itself during our visioning retreat last summer. That is to be the measure of excellence in design, teaching and research,” said Dean Daas.

For a complete schedule please see the Global Impact Research Symposium Schedule. We ask that you RSVP for the Symposium by emailing Patti Baker.


Julián Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., and School of Architecture, Design & Planning Dean Mahesh Daas, will engage in a conversation on the use of architecture and design as tools for institutional leadership and transformation on March 23. The event will take place in The Forum at Marvin Hall at 10:15  a.m.

The use of design as a change agent is a passion for both Zugazagotia and Dean Daas. Zugazagoitia was born in Mexico and educated at the Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre in France. While serving as the director and CEO of El Museo del Barrio in New York City, a leading institution in the field of Latin American and Latino art, he worked with the architecture firm Gruzen Samton to transformed the institution through a $44 million renovation project.

Dean Daas is the author of Leading With Aesthetics: The Transformational Leadership of Charles M. Vest at MIT, and an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished ProfessorHis book tells the story of Massachusetts Institute of Technology president Charles Vest. Vest’s work with architects such as Frank Gehry, Steven Holl and Fumihiko Maki helped restore MIT’s reputation as innovative and cutting edge, at a time when it had become conservative and staid.

“An institution without its architecture is like a soul without a body or a person without a face,” said Daas. “Like Charles Vest, Julian Zugazagoitia is demonstrating how a principled leader, with a supportive and collaborative team can use architecture to engage and motivate people by helping articulate a common purpose and the highest expectations for excellence.

“We are looking forward to a great conversation,” he concluded.



Want to start up the next Makerbot, Google, or Tesla? Find out how at “Startup Your Startup,” a special entrepreneurship event sponsored by the School of Architecture, Design & Planning. Jenny Miller, KCSourceLink Network Builder, and SADP Dean Mahesh Daas will make presentations at the event. Attendees will learn about a surprising number of resources available from KCSourceLink, everything from help with conceptualization to financing.

KCSourceLink’s mission is to help small businesses in the Kansas City region grow and succeed. It provides small business with free, easy access to the help they need. The organization has also been leading the effort to make Kansas City America’s most entrepreneurial city.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation through design-thinking are so much a part of what we do in our school that we wanted to take the opportunity to begin sharing the work we are doing in this area with the university community,” said Dean Daas.

The event is being held Tues., Mar. 1 from 5- 7:00 at LEEP2, Room 1420. It is limited to 60 KU students and faculty. Send an RSVP to Patti Baker, pmbaker@ku.edu by Fri. Feb. 26. Please include your email address, whether you are a student or faculty member, and which KU department you are from. 


Fifty-five firms are recruiting at this year's Career Fair, which is being held on the fifth floor of the KU Union from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 23rd. Thanks to the firms who are offering employment opportunities to our students.

The firms included Bates; bcDESIGNGROUP; Beck; Black & Veatch; BNIM Architects; BRR Architecture; Burns & McDonnell; Butler, Rosenbury & Partners; Cannon Design; Christner Inc.; Corgan; CRB; Cushman & Wakefield; Dimensional Innovations

DLR Group; Finkle + Williams Architecture; Forum Studio; GBA Inc.; Gensler; GFF; GLMV Architecture; Hastings+Chivetta Architects; HDR Architecture Inc.; Health Facilities Group; Helix Architcture + Design; HKS Inc.; HNTB Corporation; Hoefer Wysocki Architects; HOK; Hord Coplan Macht; Hufft Projects; HTK Architects; Jacobs; INVISION; Johnson Nathan Strohe  
Klover Architects; LK Architecture; Manica Architecture; Oculus Inc.; OWH Architects; Paragon Architecture; Pendulum; PGAV; Populous formerly HOKSVE; Raymond Harris & Associates; Ross & Baruzzini; Sabatini; Schwerdt Design Group; SJCF Architecture; Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture; Tevis Architects; TK Architects Inc.; Treanor Architects; US Army Corps of Engineers; Vessel Architecture and Design; Yaeger Architecture Inc.

Your support of our programs is truly appreciated.


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