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College of Human Ecology

Survey Says K-State Has Four Architecture Programs and One Design Program in Nation's Top 10

Thursday, January 19, 2006

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's architecture and design programs again are among the top 10 in the country, according to a recent nationwide survey of professionals.

Both K-State's bachelor of interior architecture and interior design programs rank fourth, its bachelor of architecture and bachelor of landscape architecture programs rank fifth, and its master of landscape architecture program ranks sixth in a 2006 nationwide survey of leading firms across the United States. Six schools in the Big 12 Conference have programs ranked in the areas that were surveyed, but only K-State has five programs ranked in the top 10.

Each year, DesignIntelligence and the Design Futures Council conduct the study, in conjunction with the Almanac of Architecture and Design, to determine the top 15 colleges and universities for architecture and design in the United States. A cross-section of firms with a diverse geographic profile, as well as public sector practitioners, were asked to indicate which accredited programs in the past five years produced graduates most prepared for real-world practice. The survey was targeted to the individuals in each firm who have direct experience with the hiring and performance of graduates.

K-State offers separate programs in interior architecture, through the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, and in interior design, through the College of Human Ecology. However, both programs are combined for survey purposes. Students entering either of the programs share design fundamental content in their first-year courses.

"Our college is one of the most unique design schools in the nation because the disciplines of architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture and planning are under one roof," said Dennis Law, dean of K-State's College of Architecture, Planning and Design. "This serves design professionals very well, as it is the type of setting in which our alumni practice.

"We also actively recruit the best and brightest students, and the education we offer is a greater value than offered by many other top-ranked schools," he said. "We have a highly talented faculty with an outstanding reputation and strong commitment to teaching. Finally, our students possess a strong work ethic, something we believe they have an obligation to continue as they graduate and enter the workplace."

Migette Kaup, associate professor of apparel, textiles and interior design, said the interior design program in the College of Human Ecology stresses to students the importance of communication with and accountability toward co-workers and clients. Students are taught to remember the people they're designing for and the co-workers relying on them to accomplish tasks and meet deadlines.

"We try to instill in our students the notion that design doesn't happen in a vacuum," Kaup said. "It happens with a lot of people around the table. It's give-and-take, and you have to be a good team member."

Gita Ramaswamy, interim head of the department of apparel, textiles and interior design, said the program is solid because of its faculty.

"They are the best -- totally involved in caring about their program, and that brings out the best in our students," she said.

The K-State interior architecture and interior design programs have been ranked in the top 10 during all seven years the study has been conducted.

This is the fifth time K-State's architecture program has been ranked in the top 10. Both K-State's bachelor's and master's programs in landscape architecture have been ranked in the top 10 in the two years the programs have been surveyed.

"I have known for a long time that our College of Architecture, Planning and Design has some of the best and most prestigious academic programs in the entire nation," said Jon Wefald, K-State president. "I am delighted to see that, once again, this excellence has been acknowledged by employers throughout the country."

Also in the survey, K-State's bachelor of architecture program was noted for its teaching of construction methods and was ranked the seventh most innovative architecture programs in the nation. Employers in the Midwest rated it the No. 1 undergraduate architecture program. The interior architecture and interior design programs were noted for cross-discipline experience, understanding professional practice and quality of graphic presentation. Employers from various regions ranked the bachelor of landscape architecture program in the top five.

This article was posted on Thursday, January 19, 2006, and is filed under Apparel, Textiles, & Interior Design, College News.