Architecture addresses the impact of the built environment on individuals and the natural world. With this fundamental definition in mind, the Department of Architecture at UMass Amherst provides an accessible, intellectually rigorous design education that firmly grounds students in the art and science of the built environment. The interdisciplinary, collaborative program embraces spirited, socially progressive, and environmentally responsive design.
Our accomplished faculty teach the creative process that will enable students to tackle complex interdisciplinary problems of varying scales and applications. Students learn to create a wide range of interventions informed by human and environmental systems. This process helps us understand and find solutions to complex problems by clarifying the issues, envisioning approaches, conducting research, and enlisting the right stakeholders.
Architecture students are able to creatively connect the three pillars of sustainability—ecology, economy, equity—with aesthetics. Indeed, sensitively designed buildings and communities are the physical manifestations of resiliency.
Each student who majors in architecture has a personal desk located within a shared studio. Students use these stations to work on individual projects as well as to work together with their fellow students. Architecture students learn how to focus on individual work and also enlarge their individual efforts through work with a larger peer cohort, a critical skill in a profession that requires individual creativity plus multi-discipline collaboration.
Students are also required to take classes throughout the university from faculty in different departments and different schools and colleges. This unique curricular design is founded on a reflection of architecture as an integrated profession. Architecture students have the opportunity to learn the distinct ‘languages’ and attitudes they will need to integrate as professionals in this multi-disciplinary field.