Welcome to the Georgia Tech College of Architecture. The College is striving to be an internationally recognized center for design thinking and pedagogy that takes full advantage of its location in a leading technological university. Students and faculty in the College focus on designing things at a variety of scales – from health care devices and musical instruments to buildings to neighborhoods, cities and megaregions. The College is playing the leading role in the development of an Institute-wide interdisciplinary initiative that fosters design thinking and innovation across the campus.
Globally, we are facing three grand challenges that will shape our teaching and research going forward— energy and climate change, major demographic shifts, and the ongoing information technology revolution. Energy efficiency and climate adaptation will drive the design of buildings, neighborhoods and cities over the coming decades. Our faculty members are doing ground breaking research on building energy modeling and adaptation to climate change. In addition, our students are participating in competitions and projects that focus on designing for energy efficiency and with alternate power sources. Two groups of architecture students recently placed first and third in the Land Art Generator competition, in which they designed landscape features that also produce energy for a New York park.
Secondly, our country is facing major demographic changes. It is aging and, in many states, traditionally minority populations will soon be the majority. The College has ongoing major initiatives in health care design, universal design and healthy communities that address the needs of our increasingly older population. We are also becoming more ethnically diverse. Not only must how, and what, we design adapt to these demographic changes, but the composition of our faculty and student body must also reflect the diversity of our state and nation. We will continue to focus on diversity and related projects, to assure we are leading the way on this campus. For example, the College of Architecture is an active part of the Westside Community Alliance, which works directly with disadvantaged communities near our campus.
Lastly, the information technology revolution is reshaping all our disciplines. We have existing strengths in building information management (BIM), geographic information systems (GIS), music technology, digital fabrication and 3D visualization. We are beginning to understand how these technologies will change our disciplines and expand the range of future possibilities in all our fields. But the information technology revolution goes beyond its impact on professional practice as more and more products, buildings and infrastructure systems incorporate sensors and smart technologies. We will soon have an “internet of things,” where smart appliances, devices, and building sensors communicate directly with each other to automate many of our daily functions. Our graduates must be leaders in developing and applying information technology in their respective disciplines. We are fortunate to be a part of one of the best technology-focused public universities in the country, and we must capitalize on that unique asset.
I invite you to explore our website and begin to learn about our students, faculty, degree programs and research. Then contact us or visit to see all the exciting things we are doing in the College of Architecture.
Steven P. French, Ph.D., FAICP
Dean and Professor