Dean’s Message

 William Chapman

Welina me ke aloha

Welcome to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa ’s School of Architecture. Begun in 1946 as a “pre-architecture” program in the College of Applied Science, the School of Architecture presently offers a four-year undergraduate Bachelor of Environmental Design (BEnvD) degree, a two- or three-year Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree, and a three-year professional Doctor of Architecture (DArch) degree.

The undergraduate BEnvD program provides a strong foundation for careers in the design and building industries—architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and design, interior design, historic preservation, and construction management. Both the newly approved MLA degree—Hawai‘i’s first—and the DArch degree prepare students to enter the region’s and world’s growing professional workforce. Our accredited DArch curriculum is one of the few in the country to fully integrate paid internships with advanced research, exploring topics relevant to contemporary practice and design inquiry. All of our degrees equip students to create, improve, sustain, protect, and enhance both the natural and built environments.

Many special programs augment our core curricula. Through a unique institutional partnership with Tongji University, we offer the DArch Global Track option, one of the country’s only dual-professional architecture degree programs; this year-long experience includes opportunities to intern in Singapore and China. New agreements with the Nagaoka Institute of Design and Meiji University, among others, allow students to engage with international faculty and students through joint projects in Japan and Hawai‘i. We also have memoranda of agreement with universities and programs in Vietnam, Thailand, Italy, and other countries, affording students opportunities for both sponsored and independent study and travel. The University of Hawai‘i Community Design Center (UHCDC), our award-winning service-learning outreach studio, offers student coursework, internships, and employment in support of public-interest projects for non-profit clients and organizations throughout the islands.

Hawai‘i offers students a rich laboratory for students interested in design and the environment—a vibrant, multicultural city in one of the world’s most distinctive island groups — a special place on earth with five climate zones, 10 of the world’s 14 sub-zones, and the tallest mountain on earth, 13,803-foot-high Mauna Kea. The University of Hawai‘i is a land, sea, and space grant, Carnegie R1 doctoral research university that takes advantage of its unique geographic location. Among the members of our distinguished full- and part-time faculty, are experts in housing; digital fabrication; landscape architecture; building systems and performance; resilience; design communication; Asian, Pacific, and Western architectural and urban history; historic preservation; and urban design, among other areas of specialization.

Our school’s programs explore the potential of design to improve and sustain healthy environments for diverse communities of all scales and at the same time to engage the public in ways that elevate the broader community’s values, aspirations, and collective identity. Our curriculum embodies a long-standing commitment to the interdependency between disciplinary and professional perspectives, linking the history, theory, and criticism of the built world to its ethical and material requirements in practice.

In addition to offering the country’s only professional DArch degree, our school orients to Hawai‘i’s singular cultural context and to the larger mission of serving the peoples of Asia and the Pacific. We are proud of our contributions to a Hawaiian Place of Learning and base our approach on an inherently Hawaiian ethos of kuleana (responsibility) and community.

Me ke aloha pumehana,

William Chapman

Interim Dean