Berkeley's Department of Architecture was founded on strong principles of multidisciplinary collaboration and respect for experimentation.
As part of the College of Environmental Design, the Department’s evolution has been nourished by social, cultural, and environmental values, reflected in our innovative teaching, scholarly research, critical design inquiry, and synthetic practice. Fifty years later, our founding principles remain a strong underpinning of our department, while supporting our continual exploration of emerging theory and knowledge in design thinking, innovative materials and technologies, digital design and fabrication, and sustainability.
And these fundamental principles and values have never been more relevant. They are precisely what are needed most in our discipline today, and in our world at large, to help us tackle the complex challenges we face in profound and meaningful ways.
Our world-class, award-winning faculty bring both broad and deep intellectual diversity to our educational community. Our undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as our faculty’s research endeavors, cover fields of design and design theory, history of architecture and urbanism, building science and sustainability, structures and construction, social and cultural processes, environmental design in developing countries, digital design and virtual environments, urban design, and visual studies.
Rather than embrace a single conception of architecture, by intention, we welcome and value distinct views that broaden each of our own horizons through respectful debate. We are interested in the entire life cycle of the building process, from conceptualization, through design and representation, craft and construction, and the performance of both constructed and virtual environments.
We look forward to a busy and productive year of design innovation and intellectual excellence!
Renee Chow, Chair of Architecture
Gail Brager, M.S.-Ph.D. Program Director BSTS
C. Greig Crysler, M.S. -Ph.D. Program Director HTS
Ronald Rael, M.Arch Program Director
Andrew Atood, B.A. in Architecture Program Director
PLEDGE TOWARDS CHANGE
The discipline of architecture weaves form, space, and use through design, through humanities and through sciences. Our field needs to actively take on the complex unraveling of race, marginality, and exclusion in our studies. The basis of our pledge is that the architectural curriculum and design pedagogy serve as barriers to inclusivity and diversity. As a department, we pledge to take action towards a cultural transformation of our processes, our infrastructure and our curriculum
Through the Graduate Diversity Pilot Program, the Department of Architecture has outlined initiatives and has pledged to improve the department across the areas of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. As a first step since receiving the pilot grant, the department has established an equity steering committee dedicated to the implementation of the initiatives of the pledge below. The committee is now developing initiatives to be put into place beginning in 2021.
GOAL 1: INCREASE DIVERSITY + INCLUSION OF MINORITIZED IDENTITIES
- We pledge to advance diversity among community members, including students, faculty, staff, visiting lecturers, visiting critics, and colloquium speakers by re-imagining and investing in diversity efforts in outreach, admissions, and recruiting. We welcome the broadest range of voices to engage with us in all these goals.
GOAL 2: PROVIDE SUSTAINED + TARGETED SUPPORT FOR ALL STUDENTS
- We pledge to develop an infrastructure of wellness, health and equity that supports all students from the time they consider college until long after they graduate. This begins with outreach and moves to policies in admissions, scholarships and fellowships to ensure a departmental climate that prioritizes wellness and belonging. We also pledge to develop specific resources for students of minoritized identities including career counseling and strong alumni networks.
GOAL 3: FACILITATE ENGAGEMENT WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENTS ACROSS SCALES
- Authentic engagement with local and global movements toward equity will require investing departmental time and resources, executing tangible projects, and building individual, research and professional connections.It is the pledge of the architecture department to encourage and facilitate student engagement with these issues so they enter the profession as sensitive and considerate practitioners and community members.
GOAL 4: IMPROVE THE WAYS WE TEACH
- The surest way to build enduring change is to transform what and how we teach. As such, we pledge to expand literacy in spatial equity and environmental justice in architectural design, architectural humanities and architectural sciences. It will take a sustained effort and coalition to nurture the collective conversations and research necessary to challenge entrenched assumptions, canons and precedents.