School of Architecture
The School of Architecture’s mission is to educate the future leaders of the design, planning, and management disciplines in the professional fields of architecture, urban design, city and regional planning, construction and facilities management, environmental management, historic preservation, urban placemaking, and real estate practice. This effort builds upon a strong context of professional education within an art and design institute that stresses the relationship between intellectual development and creative activity. The School offers a broad cultural and analytical base in the liberal arts and sciences, while providing the specialized knowledge unique to individual disciplines. The importance of independent learning is emphasized through studio-based curricula and research-oriented thesis programs.
The balance between theory and practice is critical and is gained only through rigorous exposure to these diverse elements. The beauty of Pratt is that it has, in the words of one graduate, “reached critical, cultural mass,” where the diversity and liveliness of discussions about the how, what, and why of the profession are always vigorous and interesting. The School of Architecture is dedicated to maintaining the connection between design theory and practice and to contributing to the knowledge necessary to fully understand the built environment.
The range of programs within the School and the accessibility of other programs within the Institute enable students to pursue a wide variety of interests within the field. Architecture students may take electives in fine arts, illustration, computer graphics, industrial design, furniture design, interior design, and photography, as well as architectural electives in advanced architectural theory, advanced fabrication technology, and morphology as well as a Minor in Construction Management.
The opportunity to learn from peers also is an invaluable part of the educational experience. The student body includes many international students, each of whom brings a different perspective to the study of architecture. The School encourages transfer students to apply and will evaluate credits from other colleges, universities, or community colleges.
The Pratt student graduates from the Architecture program know architecture as a discipline that gathers from the arts, sciences, and liberal arts to produce works of value that are sensitive to the realities of life in cultures around the world.
The Pratt graduate is imbued with strong ethical values and an understanding of the architect’s ability to improve quality of life.
For its faculty, the school draws upon the world’s largest pool of practicing architects, building professionals, theoreticians, historians, and critics, who bring to the classroom professional expertise, a strong theoretical base, and the high standards to which they adhere in their work. Students are further exposed to the professional world through optional internship programs that place them in outstanding New York architectural firms, public agencies, and nonprofit design institutions, giving them firsthand work experience as well as credit toward their professional degrees. The program makes rich use of the extended resources of the metropolitan New York community.
The School of Architecture demonstrates daily that learning does not occur solely within the classroom. This is reflected in the School of Architecture lecture series that bring some of the most influential architects and design professionals in the world to campus; the Center for Experimental Structures; exhibitions and symposia organized and curated by students and faculty; and the study abroad excursions in Asia, South America, Europe, and our semester program in Rome.
The School of Architecture at Pratt Institute seeks to create a culture of innovation and research in both the faculty and student body. The School of Architecture recognizes that in the design world of the 21st century, important research is being conducted around the world by innovative professionals and educators, and that traditional academic categories of research are giving way to “research-driven practice,” particularly in the areas of sustainability, digital design, material research, and community planning. The School of Architecture can therefore play a pivotal role in the development of this emergent research culture by creating a flexible, adaptable, and technically supportive environment where students are engaged in studio and research courses with teaching professionals in their respective discipline. The School of Architecture will maintain its commitment to professional evaluation and accreditation standards, but will augment these standards with educational experiences in the form of “think tank” or “incubator” models.
Dr. Harriet Harriss
Associate Manager of Academic Affairs
Associate Manager of Budget and Administration
Director of Production Technologies