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Paper fibers as the basis of habitable structures? Architects and planners paired with epidemiologists for global health equity? Building robots for safer, smarter construction sites? Mobilizing sustainable development through a citizen planning academy? Through a pedagogy of research-based practice in the studio and community, we ask the questions that push boundaries, cross disciplines and create connections. 

Selected work from our faculty and students

Our pursuit of research as core curriculum is situated with a broad inter-disciplinary approach that reaches across the University at Buffalo, a flagship campus of The State University of New York and one of 34 public research universities in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Specializations in planning and graduate research groups in architecture infuse studios and seminars with inquiry into topics as diverse as historic preservation, urban design, ecological practices and the relationship of the built environment to computational technologies. Five research centers, including the internationally renowned Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access, reinforce the school’s research enterprise. In 2017, the School of Architecture and Planning generated over $4 million in research expenditures, placing us among the top 3 of all schools of architecture and planning in the prestigious AAU.

Top in Research

Our faculty in both the architecture and urban planning programs rank at the top among their peers in the Association of American Universities, a group that includes Cornell University, Harvard GSD, and the University of Michigan. According to 2018-19 data, the Department of Architecture ranks #1 in research dollars awarded, #1 for grant dollars per faculty member, and #4 for percent of faculty with a book publication. Urban planning faculty rank #1 for dollars per grant, #3 for total grant dollars, and #4 for number of faculty with an award.*

The School of Architecture and Planning approaches design and planning research in relation to its socioeconomic, environmental, cultural, and technological contexts. From collaborative research projects to dual degrees, our planning and architecture programs ally with fields including engineering, fine arts, public health, law and business administration. A research-based curriculum also opens our programs to hands-on engagement with partners in the profession and community.

For our students, this culture of inquiry inculcates reflective practice and enterprise and paves a more seamless transition into the profession. For practitioners, it creates inlets to the academy and forums for in situ research. Together, the School of Architecture and Planning and its research partners are developing widely cited design and planning standards and speculative studies that push the limits of our disciplines.

*Ranking is based on 2018-19 annual research expenditures by all public schools of architecture and planning within the American Association of Universities. Among the 65 universities within the AAU, there are 34 public universities, 18 of which house accredited architecture and planning programs within one school. Among this peer set are the Harvard GSD, Columbia University, Cornell University, The Ohio State University, and University of Michigan.