The School of Architecture and Planning's founding 50 years ago cannot be understood apart from the context of the late 1960s - a time of social, cultural and political upheaval in our nation and world. Then viewed as a radical departure from traditional design education, UB's program taught architecture and planning in relation to its social and environmental conditions, and prepared community-minded citizens to engage design with the world's problems.
Five decades later, the School of Architecture and Planning again finds itself in a world calling for radical change. Guided by the same boundary-pushing drive, we ask many of these same questions with new urgency - and possibility.
- Dean Robert G. Shibley
With our history as inspiration, and a better world as aspiration, we consider new avenues for influence through research, teaching and practice in our disciplines. Join us as we elevate the conversation.
Over the course of the 2019-20 academic year, we will document the school's formative years and evolution over five decades - stories that reveal both an enduring drive behind our programs and a persistence in challenges facing education and practice in our professions.
A movement that came to be known as the School of Architecture and Planning's “maker culture” emerged in the 1990s. It expressed an interest in hands-on work, a desire to build at full-scale, a curiosity to explore the properties of building materials and an inclination to experiment.
Most of all, the school's decidedly hands-on maker culture reflected a drive to experience the materiality of architecture in an unmediated way.
New lines of inquiry and creative practice by our faculty, students and alumni are pushing our disciplines into new intellectual territory and spheres of influence. From global policy on local food systems planning to design strategies for climate resilient buildings, the intersections of this work reveal new possibilities for dialogue and action.
The methods, modes and materiality of building shape not only the form and function of our built environment, but societal aspirations for cultural production, social justice and resilience. The School of Architecture and Planning's legacy in experimental making and fabrication positions our faculty, students and alumni in the center of this discourse.
COUNTER / CULTURE, our 2019-20 public lecture series, took its cue from the celebration of our 50th year and set up dialogues from a multitude of disciplinary perspectives on the subject of architectural education and institutional critique.