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Architecture Program Builds Leaders to Build a Better Planet

January 23, 2008
University Advancement Communications
Architecture Program Builds Leaders to Build a Better Planet

How do buildings promote well-being? How do we make them functional, inspiring, and environmentally friendly? How do history, art, culture, and technology contribute to their design? Students in UMass Amherst’s new Master of Architecture program investigate these and other questions at the heart of the discipline.

“Architects can play a key role in building a better planet, in rejuvenating our cities and fostering responsible stewardship of the land,” says Director Stephen Schreiber. “UMass Amherst is uniquely able to create leaders in this field.”

UMass Amherst, a land-grant institution, has been educating people in sustainability since before the concept had a name, and the architecture program adds to this effort in an integral way. Sustainability is one of three courses of study offered by the architecture+design program, part of the Art Department in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. With the resources of a research university on hand as well as those of the Five Colleges consortium, architecture students can craft a multifaceted education across disciplines, including art history, building materials, landscape architecture, regional planning, and engineering. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) said of UMass Amherst’s Masters of Archictecture program, it “has the potential to create a new model for architectural education.”

Accredited in 2007, the program is the first and only one of its kind at a public institution in New England, opening the door to hundreds who might not otherwise be able to study architecture. Dean Joel W. Martin says, “UMass Amherst is now well positioned not only as a training ground for the architects of tomorrow but as a generator of innovative architectural design and research.”

Your contribution to the architecture+design program can help this training ground and wellspring of innovation thrive.