College of Architecture stands out nationally
The OU College of Architecture’s undergraduate program was named among the top 10 in the South, according to a design publication.
“Design Intelligence,” a twice-monthly report of the Design Futures Council, recognized three aspects of the college — creative programs, outstanding faculty and premier facilities — according to a press release.
Part of what sets OU’s College of Architecture apart from others is its focus on creating and making, college dean Charles Graham said.
“Collaborate, create and construct are three basic things our and other excellent colleges of architecture are doing,” Graham said. “But we also have one special thing we refer to as creating and making. That’s what we do probably better than most of the colleges in U.S.”
Gould Hall, the new home of the college, houses work areas where students can design and build projects, Graham said. Though students can use digital replicas, the idea of visualizing design in 3-D realities is very important, so the college emphasizes creating and making models.
The college has had a long-standing goal to achieve national recognition for its work, Graham said. The college collaborates across specialties, including meteorology and engineering, does design projects throughout the country and sends students and faculty abroad to work on projects.
“One of our goals in plan is to be recognized,” he said. “Our faculty are giving papers in conferences and meetings. Other universities are learning what we are doing. We are making people aware of what we are doing. It turns out three of our five divisions have gained recognition.”
More and more quality students are learning about OU’s program, even before the publication’s honor, college alumna Miaomiao Chen said.
“They are collecting good applications,” Chen said. “Students with national scholarships and different honors or awards from high schools are going to the program.”
Part of what makes the college and its students successful, including in national and international design competitions, are the multiple outlets they have to learn, Graham said.
“Students learn from three different ways: faculty, research and each other,” he said. “The collaboration can occur between students and faculty, other students and other teachers and coming guests. They create this cooperative environment in college. All three accesses can be given at any time.”
The ranking is an honor for the college, and credit goes to all students and faculty, as well as the university for creating the new facility, he said.
However, he said he hopes the college continues to achieve something more than just rankings and recognitions.
“It’s about the quality education we are giving to our students and making other people aware of that,” Graham said. “Our goal is educating students as the leaders in their field. We are hoping in three years and five years we can be still cutting-edge.”