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.
The mission of the School of Architecture is to instill in our students, a life-long curiosity about the social and cultural meaning of the built environment and a passion to be part of improving the future. We educate our students to understand architectural and urban design as a creative, aesthetic, technical and research-based pursuit that necessarily crosses disciplinary boundaries. Within our school, we leverage the distinct strengths of our undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to provide a unique vertically integrated educational experience for all students. Within the institute, we engage in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary academic and research projects to prepare our students for teamwork. Within the city, we partner with public and private organizations to be part of envisioning and shaping the rapid growth of Atlanta. Within industry, we form partnerships and alliances to expand the resources of the school, the knowledge base of our faculty and the opportunities of our students to be leaders in the future transformation of our profession.
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