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College of Human Ecology

K-State architecture, design programs rank highly in new survey

Friday, January 19, 2007

MANHATTAN -- Architecture, landscape architecture and interior architecture and interior design programs at Kansas State University again rank highly in a national survey designed to help current and future students plan their educational paths.

K-State's master of landscape architecture program ranks second, its bachelor of landscape architecture program ranks third, its bachelor of interior architecture and interior design programs rank fourth, and its bachelor of architecture program ranks 12th in a 2007 nationwide survey of leading firms across the United States.

The K-State interior architecture and interior design programs have been in the top six each of the eight years in which the study has been conducted. This is the sixth time K-State's architecture program has been ranked in the top 12. Both K-State's bachelor's and master's programs in landscape architecture have been ranked in the top eight in the three years the survey has covered those programs. Five schools in the Big 12 have ranked programs in the eight surveyed areas, but only K-State has four ranked programs.

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. Firms were asked to indicate which accredited programs in the past five years produced graduates most prepared for real-world practice. The survey was directed at individuals -- directors of design, managing principals and human resource directors -- in each firm who have direct experience with the hiring and performance of graduates. More than 100,000 employees were represented by organizations participating in the 2007 survey.

The U.S. has approximately 114 accredited interior architecture/interior design programs, 111 accredited architecture programs, and 45 accredited undergraduate and 30 accredited graduate landscape architecture programs.

According to its sponsors, this survey is the only such study of its kind for the design disciplines and can be used, along with other considerations, to help current and future students plan their educational paths.

Although 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, both programs are combined for survey purposes. Entering students in both K-State programs share design fundamental content in their first-year courses.

"The College of Human Ecology takes great pride in its nationally ranked interior design program," said Virginia Moxley, dean of the college. "Our program is focused on sustainable design and use of built environments. Our students are challenged throughout their K-State interior design curriculum to develop their design capabilities, to advance their understanding of how people use space and to expand their creative capacity."

Dennis L. Law, dean of the K-State College of Architecture, Planning and Design, said there are a number of factors contributing to the consistently high rankings that the college's programs have achieved.

"The College of Architecture, Planning and Design 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,'" Law said. "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 many other top-ranked schools.

"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 feel they have an obligation to continue as they graduate and enter the workplace," he said.

Not only did four of K-State's architecture and design programs once again rank in the overall top 12, but the programs and faculty are highly rated in a number of other subject areas, including:

* The K-State bachelor of architecture, bachelor of interior architecture and interior design and bachelor of landscape architecture programs rank second among schools in the Midwest.

* The K-State master of landscape architecture program was tied for third in the Midwest. In addition, employers ranked the K-State landscape architecture program first in analysis and planning and in construction methods and materials, and tied for first in security design principles. It was ranked second in design, tied for third in research and theory, and tied for fourth in sustainable design practices and principles.

* Law and Dennis Day, K-State professor of landscape architecture and regional and community planning, were among eight practitioners named 2007 landscape architecture educators of the year.

* K-State's interior architecture and interior design program tied for third and its landscape architecture program tied for seventh in a survey of the deans and department heads of the 84 participating schools as to which design programs were most admired. This listing is of schools perceived by academicians to be model programs and programs worthy of repeated mention by professionals defining design curricula.

This article was posted on Friday, January 19, 2007, and is filed under Apparel, Textiles, & Interior Design, College News.