School of Architecture & Design

Introduction

The University of Kansas

The University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design has been using interdisciplinary learning to produce pioneering leaders for more than 100 years. Our experienced, diverse faculty and innovative degree paths promote the development of creative talent that fits each student’s personal interests and abilities. Students learn through the processes of designing, drawing, and making, learning to solve problems through design-thinking, taking advantage of a wide array of global study opportunities, community engagement, and collaborative research. 

Our courses are significantly influenced by the practical input of architects and designers from major firms the world over. These employers consistently say that those who receive degrees from KU are not only able to contribute as soon as they begin work, but also quickly ascend to leadership positions. Prepared as designers, critical thinkers, and problem solvers, graduates enjoy personal career fulfillment and serve, enrich, and sustain their professions and communities.


 

Facilities

The School of Architecture and Design's administrative offices are in Marvin Hall at the west end of Jayhawk Boulevard on the Lawrence campus. The School also has space in several adjacent buildings and additional off-campus facilities in Lawrence and Kansas City.

The Architectural Resource Center and Hatch Reading Room are also in Marvin Hall along with 19 design studios, several classrooms, offices for architecture faculty, woodworking and metal shops, three computer labs, an acoustics lab  and critique spaces on each floor.  In 2014 the School's Studio 804 students completed design and construction of The Forum addition to Marvin Hall, 120-seat auditorium.  It provides a central commons for the School, a flex-space used for a variety of purposes, and is LEED Platinum-rated.

Snow Hall, directly across Jayhawk Boulevard from Marvin Hall, has 4 architecture studios.  An open-access computer lab and a well-equipped model-building shop are located here along with a large critique and display area for student work.

Marvin Studios is just behind Marvin Hall.  It includes studios as well as robotics, laser-cutter, 3-D printing and various other digital fabrication labs and faculty offices.

The school's East Hills Design-Build Center is in the East Hills Industrial Park on Highway K-10 east of Lawrence.  This 63,000 square-foot, open-span building acquired in 2009 is the site of many design-build studios including the internationally-acclaimed Studio 804.  It includes design studios, conference areas, fully equipped maker-space facilities, and large areas for such things as the construction of building mock-ups and prefabrication.

The 130,000-square-foot Chalmers Hall, next to Marvin Hall, houses the main Design Department programs, including studios and classrooms. The building also houses the 2,100-square-foot Art and Design Gallery, Art Supply Store, and Chalmers Cafe which were fully renovated by students in 2017.  The Gallery features new exhibits every two weeks and is an important component of our teaching mission.which features new exhibits every two weeks and is an important component of the teaching mission.

Chalmers has multi-platform computer labs with the latest software for photography, animation, CAD, 3-D modeling, video production, desktop publishing, scanning, illustration, large-and medium-format plotters, and color and black-and-white laser printers.  Unique satellite computer areas are dedicated to each type of work.

Also located here is a traditional film lab that includes a dark room for black-and-white photography, as well as a digital processing lab with dedicated spaces for video and digital image production. An equipment check-out facility allows students to borrow equipment they will need for photography assignments.  The 6,400-square foot Common Shop includes a range of woodworking equipment, metal-working equipment, and classroom space.  All computer and photo labs and the Common Shop have professionally-trained staff.

The historic Chamney Farm, on the west edge of the Lawrence campus, is the site of the school’s Center for Design Research, an award-winning building that connects a converted native limestone farmhouse and restored 19th-century barn. Corporate-sponsored projects are supervised by Design and Architecture faculty and executed by graduate students and advanced undergraduates. This fully equipped facility has become a connection between the academic and professional worlds of design as well as  other KU academic units.

The recently renovated Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art houses the only comprehensive art collection in Kansas. Collections are particularly noteworthy in medieval art, 17th- and 18th-century German and Austrian painting, sculpture, American painting, prints, American photography, Japanese art of the Edo period, textiles, and decorative arts. Spencer Museum sponsors exhibitions, lectures, films, workshops, and activities that support curricular instruction in the arts.

Another important resource is the Murphy Art and Architecture Library, with 150,000 volumes and 600 current journals documenting design, and architecture from all cultures, from antiquity to the present.