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Design/construction school enriched, efficient
Monday, Apr. 9, 2012
By Tina Hilding, College of Engineering and Architecture
The new school will be housed mostly in Carpenter Hall on the WSU Pullman campus.
PULLMAN, Wash. – A unique school for design and construction management disciplines will begin at Washington State University in fall 2012, when the School of Architecture and Construction Management is joined with programs in interior design and landscape architecture.
"This is a program that doesn’t exist anywhere else,” said Gregory Kessler, the WSU professor who will direct the new school. "It’s a truly exciting opportunity.”
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.
"We’ve had a tradition of collaboration and integration that I don’t think is happening anywhere else in the country,’’ said Kessler. "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,'' he said.
The new school will have more than 700 students. They will take some common, integrated courses along with specialized courses for their majors.
The idea for the new program came about last year when WSU administrators asked for ways to increase efficiency while also creating new opportunities in educational models. The proposal to develop the 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 has a culture of collaboration and integration with other programs. Faculty recently have been 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.
Kessler, in conjunction with the faculty, is working to establish a curriculum and research program.
As the program gets under way, representatives from each of the four disciplines are serving on five 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.
Max Kirk, an associate professor in the School of Architecture and Construction Management, is looking into transportation options for design discipline employees at WSU Spokane who may be relocating to WSU Pullman. Read an earlier article, with contact information, here.