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 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. 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.

First annual Global Impact Through Design Research Symposium, April 22

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.

Nelson-Atkins' CEO Julián Zugazagoitia and Dean Mahesh Daas to discuss design as tool for leadership and trasformation, Mar. 23

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.

School of Architecture, Design & Planning's "Startup Your Startup" Workshop, Mar. 1

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. 

SADP Career Fair, Feb. 23
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.


Winter Newsletter for Alumni and Friends now online

Read all about news and events, announcements and a letter from Dean Daas in the School of Architecture, Design & Planning's Winter Newsletter available online now. 


Architecture Dept. hosting INFEWS: Innovations at the Nexus of Food + Energy + Water Symposium, Jan. 21-23

The Department of Architecture is hosting INFEWS, an event that will bring distinguished researchers and design professionals from across the U.S. together with faculty and students from many KU departments, starting Thurs. evening, Jan. 21, ending at 2:00 p.m. Sat., Jan. 23. The third annual Water Charrette for students is part of the Symposium, as is a three- workshop on green roofs sponsored by Tremco. It is the third year in a row the Department has put on an event related to these topics.

Innovation at the Nexus of Food + Energy + Water Symposium 
INFEWS, which has been underwritten by a grant from the National Science Foundation, will address issues related to the health of our interrelated food, energy and water systems, which have been subjected to increasing pressure from climate change, population growth, and resource depletion. The symposium will help galvanize research collaboration among faculty across multiple disciplines and facilitate applied research with design professionals. This interdisciplinary network of scholars and designers will interact in panel discussions and small group break-out sessions.

Associate Professor of Architecture Steve Padget, and INFEWS organizer, said the symposium will support integrated experimental research toward what he calls a "food-energy-water socio-technical systems model" that fosters safer and more efficient management of these resources. "Besides awareness, one outcome we hope for is that we can create an integrated approach to building up the next generation of professionals who can work with INFEWS-related issues."  

Third annual Water Charrette Student Design workshop
Students attending the event will also have an opportunity to participate in the Water Charette. This third annual 24-hour design exercise will give them the opportunity to seek solutions to an assigned design problem related to food, water, and energy. Students begin to design at 9:30 a.m. on Friday and will begin presentations of their final designs on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Tremco Green Roofing Seminar for Professionals
On Friday, Tremco, a roofing manufacturer, is offering a seminar for professionals that focuses on the importance of controlling storm water runoff, and proactively addressing water conservation. Green roofs will be reviewed in depth as a viable means to address these concerns. This seminar is eligible for AIA Continuing Education Credits.

To find out more about the INFEWS, the Water Charrette, and Tremco seminar, see a schedule and speaker bios, and to register please visit the INFEWS page.

Architecture Department sponsoring BIM Pulse 2104: Big Data, September 24

The School of Architecture, Design & Planning and KU Professional & Continuing Education are sponsoring the BIM Pulse 2015: Big Data Symposium. The event will be Thursday, September 24, at the BEST Conference Center, KU Edwards Campus, Overland Park, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Today’s digital models are so data-intensive that BIM technologies in contemporary processes for architecture, engineering and construction demand the manipulation of “big data” to address issues of data quality, collaboration, and interoperability. The BIM Pulse Symposium will focus on big data and its impact on current architecture and engineering practices. The event begins by identifying the challenges of big data and project integration, followed by a series of discussions on what regional and national organizations are doing to address those challenges.

Professor of Architecture Charles Eastman, director of the Georgia Institute of  Technology will present the symposium’s keynote address. He is one of the architecture profession’s premier experts in solids, parametric modeling, engineering databases and product models and interoperability. He is also an active researcher in the areas of design cognition and cognitive science.

For more information on the BIM Pulse Symposium, contact Assistant Professor of Architecture Hugo Sheward at h340s663@ku.edu or visit the KU Professional & Continuing Education’s symposium website, http://kupce.ku.edu/bim-pulse-2015

Studio 804 Passive Solar Home Open House June 13

Students enrolled in the Department of Architecture's Studio 804 design-build class are hosting tours of their recently completed passive solar house 10 am-2 pm Saturday June 13. The house is at 1301 New York Street, Lawrence. The house is designed to be net-zero, meaning that all of the energy that it needs can be met by the 4-kilowatt solar array that has been installed on the site. This is possible because of the many energy-saving features of the house, including super-insulated walls, a sheet metal "cool roof" and highly efficient windows and doors. 

The students began designing the home last fall and construction began in January. These students are in their final year of the Masters of Architecture program, and work on their projects full time for full academic year.

School hosts Design Futures Public Interest Design Student Leadership Forum, May 29-June 2

The KU School of Architecture, Design & Planning is hosting the 2015 Design Futures Public Interest Design Student Leadership Forum from May 29-June 2 in Lawrence. This international conference will bring student leaders from across the country together with practitioners and university faculty. These individuals represent some of the most important thought leadership in this emerging interdisciplinary sub-discipline. Activities will include workshops and lectures by leaders from across the U.S., and visits to public interest design projects by KU Department of Architecture students and faculty in Lawrence and Kansas City. The opportunity to meet and network with peers from ten universities that are leading the PID movement will inform and inspire.

moCOLAB's KU debut takes place in front of Marvin Hall April 10

Next Friday students are invited to visit the moCOLAB as it makes its official KU Campus debut from 11 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Its part of the Big Share, and will feature a display of Public Interest Design projects done by SADP students. What's the moCOLAB? For the past year architecture students under the direction of Architecture Professors Nils Gore and Shannon Criss have been converting a 1972 Airstream Trailer into its present form, a mobile classroom and community center. It can be set up temporarily wherever projects make public engagement desirable. The trailer was purchased in the fall of 2013 using a research grant from the Provost's office.  Students enrolled in a third-year architectural design studio taught by Professor Gore, gutted, cleaned, and completely renovated the trailer. Professor Criss joined the effort last summer. Now it is complete, roadworthy, and fitted with a sumptuous interior, handcrafted furniture, lighting and air conditioning, and movable furnishings. See you there!



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