The Architectural Studies Program is predicated on three interrelated ideas:

  • First, architecture is inseparable from the cultural landscape - the intersection of natural landscapes with built forms and social life. Thus, it is essential to study individual buildings in light of their larger settings (building site, neighborhood, city, and even region), while also paying attention to the furniture and fittings that mediate the inhabitants' occupation of a given space.
  • Second, the cultural landscape does not merely accommodate our daily routines. It also shapes our sense of ourselves, our interactions with others, and our understanding of the wider world.
  • Third, the study of architecture and the cultural landscape is enhanced by an interdisciplinary approach. History, environmental studies, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and other disciplines are as important to an understanding of architecture and the cultural landscape as design, mathematics, and physics.

We call our program architectural studies, rather than architecture, to make it clear that our goals and aspirations are distinct from those of a professional program.

If you choose the architectural studies major, you are choosing to expand your outlook, embrace a broad understanding of architecture, and experience the insights that emerge from considering architecture and the cultural landscape from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

If you decide to pursue a career in one of the design professions, as many of our majors do, you will enter graduate school with a great advantage: the ability to see and articulate the multiple issues raised by any design problem.