fau school of architecture

Director’s Statement

Welcome to the School of Architecture at Florida Atlantic University.

The education of an architect embraces an underlying ethos made up of factors such as human and societal patterns and needs, structural economy, and environmental responsiveness. These factors, among others, contribute to the evolution of a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the design of the built environment and the physical manifestation of the environment itself.

As designers, we approach the world with a broadened perspective, envisioning integrative systems that move beyond a design as such, to include a knowledge base ranging from the correlation between the built and natural environment to fabrication processes and the analysis of such processes. The critical defining element in maneuvering through technological, societal, historical, material and environmental phenomena is the individual’s perceptual development, and the formation and growth of a value system that helps guide creative processes.

Florida Atlantic University's School of Architecture offers a Bachelor of Architecture degree. The Bachelor of Architecture degree is a five-year First Professional Degree program, and is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. It fulfills the educational requirement towards professional registration and creates a solid foundation for lifelong studies in architecture and other related fields.

We offer a special study environment, with our freshman and sophomore students located on the Boca Raton campus. The added value of a campus setting¬–including exposure to University-wide lectures, arts and performances¬–helps engage students in broader discourses about society, politics, and culture.

During the final three years of the program, core courses are taught in a very unique coastal urban setting in downtown Fort Lauderdale. This vibrant, rapidly changing environment provides students and faculty a living laboratory to explore broadly based architectural and urban issues. The School’s MetroLAB is the downtown hub for student and faculty exhibitions, community engagement projects, and for hosting our own lecture series comprised of leading architects, designers and theoreticians.

The core teachings of our foundational program involve learning design principles including the vocabulary of architecture and related concepts about form and space. From the links between the natural environment and diverse models of human habitat, to the beauty of materials and how they are put together, our goal is to inscribe an attitude that stimulates curiosity and investigation, the imagination and the poetry of making, and provides students with the communicative and analytical skills necessary for continued academic success.

The educational experience in our upper division is designed to empower students with the ability to continually develop the constructive imagination through critical analysis and synthesis. Our integrative curriculum centers on the studio design sequence and traverses societal, ecological, technological, and professional practices as they relate to design; design is understood as a creative act that covets a comprehensive understanding of society, culture, and the environment.

The University’s Distinction Through Discovery program enhances the curriculum. The program offers undergraduate students unique funded research opportunities. Students work with faculty members developing design hypotheses and modeling new forms of design knowledge. The focus areas of our faculty include history and theory, social and ethical issues, emerging technologies, and sustainable practices. Highlights within these focus areas vary from the study of urban issues, community-based engagement, and the effects of climate change, to green building and performance-based design, building systems thinking, advanced digital technologies, and the poetry of drawing and making.

From the breadth and depth of our faculty and student work, to the variety of foreign study programs and scholarship opportunities, I invite you to explore our web site.


John Sandell, Director
School of Architecture