Architecture is at a pivotal moment. In its response to the most pressing contemporary issues from energy use and resource allocation to the intelligent deployment of design and production technologies, the discipline of architecture is being stretched in new and unfamiliar directions. As an artistic discipline, it is being pushed to adjust to the rapidly expanding world of metric-driven decision-making that is forcing a close examination of what it means to be creative and how this is valued today. As a technical discipline, it is being splintered into numerous areas of expertise that begin to question the core competency of what an architect does. As an intellectual discipline, it is being challenged by pragmatics of economic determinism that downplay critical, historical and reflective inquiry.
At Georgia Tech, we view these challenges as opportunities. They drive a vigorous debate, enliven the culture of our school and foster the curiosity and creative ambition of our students and faculty. The School of Architecture is an integral part of an academic community of the top engineering, computing and science colleges in the world where interdisciplinary research is native to how we work. Our curriculum is based on a deep integration of design and technology with an understanding that shared intelligence, both qualitative and quantitative, is the most effective way to address the future challenges of our built environment.
Our undergraduate program focuses on the value of critical design thinking across disciplines. Instilling the capacities of design at the earliest stages of education lays the foundation for our students to see problems holistically and to synthesize vastly different types of information into coherent solutions - one of the unique skills of architects. The curriculum is structured to tap into students’ creative thinking and discover the power of ideas through design and making.
The graduate Master of Science (MS) and PhD programs have an unparalleled combination of areas of study with faculty who are leaders in their respective fields. The core graduate program is the professional Master of Architecture that prepares students for the expanding opportunities that are emerging within the practice of architecture. The MS programs in Digital Design & Fabrication, High Performance Buildings, Urban Design and Health and Design offer opportunities for students to participate in design and research into next-generation technologies and methodologies with strong connections to industry partners. Our world-renowned PhD program is one of the largest and most diverse in the country with specializations in Design Computation, Building Technology and Performance, Cognitive and Organizational Performance, and History Theory and Culture. Students in each of these specializations intersect the perspectives of design, science, technology and the humanities while also rigorously pursuing deep disciplinary research.
Georgia Tech is centrally located in a thriving metropolitan area with a population of over six million. Atlanta is the crossroads of the south and is a business hub with the third largest concentration of fortune 500 companies, many of which are industry partners with the various colleges at Tech. Midtown Atlanta, home of Georgia Tech, is a lively urban area with a rapidly expanding mix of residential, commercial and cultural buildings. Adjacent to Tech’s campus in Midtown is Tech Square, one of a growing number of Urban Innovation Districts where world-class universities are anchors to an aggregation of business incubators, start-ups and idea accelerators driven by technology research. This context provides an enormous advantage to the School of Architecture with a concentrated culture of innovation where academia and industry collaborate on new research projects.
Architecture is in the midst of an exciting transformation driven by new technologies that are affecting the content and structure of architectural practice. The Georgia Tech School of Architecture has a long legacy of being at the forefront in merging design and technology and is uniquely positioned to prepare students to be the future leaders of these changes. I invite you to come visit us and see our facilities, have a discussion with our faculty and students and see what we are all about.
Scott Marble, William H. Harrison Chair and Professor