Jan. 25, 2018
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture recently honored Dana Buntrock, UC Berkeley professor of architecture and chair of the Center for Japanese Studies, with the prestigious Distinguished Professor Award for her sustained achievement, academic accomplishments, and passionate advancement of architectural education. ASCA’s annual Distinguished Professor Award recognizes sustained creative achievement in architectural education through teaching, design, scholarship, research, or service, leading to an understanding and appreciation of architectural education in the community at large.
At UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, Professor Buntrock champions architecture’s influence in reducing inequity, creating economic opportunity, and addressing society’s economic, environmental and ethical challenges.
Read Professor Buntrock’s complete statement, excerpted below, on the power of architecture to connect, influence, and educate on a local and global scale.
Distinguished Professor Statement (excerpt):
The University of California, Berkeley, my home since 2000, is proud of its reputation as a hotbed for innovative trailblazers; we are consistently ranked among the world’s top universities. Maintaining our excellence is formidable in the face of annual and aggressive funding cuts, money lost that the State demands we make up with ever-rising tuition. Our students are ill prepared to shoulder these increases. Roughly half my department’s undergraduates rely on Pell grants; nearly half report that English is not their first language; about a third are the first in their families to attend college at all. In my graduate class for 50 students from architecture, engineering and business, about 30% have only just arrived in the U.S.; English is not their native language. When we challenge students to be leaders, we ask a lot of them.
To the 125-150 undergraduates in my Introduction to Construction class, I am usually one of the first dozen or so people they meet from within the profession of architecture. Our graduate students come with greater experience in the field, but often with little knowledge of the United States. How and what we teach deeply impacts students’ perspectives of their place in the profession.
I believe that, in our work as faculty, we must advocate for the power of architecture.
The following pages outline my advocacy at various scales, from helping an inexperienced undergraduate engage with a diverse and daunting field to efforts to impact national policies in the U.S. and Japan. These efforts and accomplishments are discussed in 5 sections:
- Architectural education challenges inequity and creates economic opportunity.
- Architecture is a key part of the AEC community.
- Architectural licensing demands we act as leaders and public intellectuals.
- Architecture is a global community of potent yet intimate networks.
- Architecture’s tools address society’s economic, environmental and ethical challenges.