UO Architecture returns to top for sustainability design

The industry-leading Design Intelligence report by the Design Futures Council has ranked UO School of Architecture as the nation’s best for sustainable design practices and principles.

The UO outranked the University of California, Berkeley, MIT and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

The recognition has double significance in light of the report’s other surveys. This year, Design Intelligence polled 78 deans and chairs across the country, along with 1,059 professional offices and corporations, to assess the top five significant issues from each of their perspectives. Survey results concluded that sustainability and climate change remain the number one issue in the minds of experts.

“As populations increase and the world urbanizes, demands for a more environmentally and socially responsive built environment grow. Whereas most architecture programs have only recently embraced sustainability, UO Architecture has been committed to this imperative for decades,” said AAA Acting Dean, Brook Muller. “Our sustained engagement in this area provides momentum and a base of expertise for us to contend aggressively with emerging issues. It also helps us build critical international partnerships as sustainability is a truly global concern, one that knows no boundaries.”

A key example of AAA’s global engagement is the work of UO architecture students in Professor Howard Davis' comprehensive design studio titled (per)forming London: Production and Performance in the City. During winter and spring 2014, students focused on the social and economic sustainability of one of the most ethnically and economically diverse districts in London.

Students designed a community-based performing arts center in which members of the community would participate in the development and staging of theatrical, musical or dance performances. The studio showed how using buildings as a framework for community involvement in the arts might strengthen the social and economic resilience of an urban district.

This year’s Design Intelligence report included other accolades for AAA, including Architecture ranked in the top 15 in undergraduate programs, interior architecture is in top 10 for graduate programs, and landscape architecture ranked 5th in the west.

Professor Kiersten Muenchinger, Tim and Mary Boyle Chair in Materials Studies and Product Design, is in the Top 30 Most Admired Educators across product design, architecture, interior architecture, and landscape architecture undergraduate and graduate programs, selected from over a thousand educators.