George B. Johnston is an architect and cultural historian.Our great cause in the years ahead must be the reform of architectural education to meet the challenges of a changing profession.

The division of knowledge and expertise between the fields of architecture and engineering that served so well in the industrial age is now giving way to a new model of integrated knowledge in the digital age. The digital-age practice of architecture will rise on creative contact between design and research across fields and disciplinary boundaries. Digital age practice will require flexibility and an enterprising spirit that comes from engaging the world through community building and international exchange, from weighing the human benefits and environmental costs in all we do.

We at Georgia Tech have every reason to be ambitious in charting this direction.

The School of Architecture at Georgia Tech has five distinct degree programs, a reflection of our multiple missions. There is a level of programmatic richness and complexity here that you will not find at many other schools. At the core is our professional program in architecture, an accredited degree at the graduate level, the Master of Architecture, which is one requirement to achieve licensure as a practicing architect. Feeding into that program is our undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree through which we contribute to the general education mission of Georgia Tech. The undergraduate program provides a grounding in liberal and technological knowledge through studio-based design education and emphasizes creativity and the ability to seek and solve problems related to the built and inhabited environment.

Building linkages with practice and industry, we have developed several post-professional degree programs: the newly established Master of Science in Urban Design degree, a partnership with the School of City and Regional Planning, through which we are addressing national and global challenges related to urban growth; and the Master of Science in Architecture degree with distinct concentrations in the areas of Digital Design & Fabrication, High Performance Building, and Health & Design. These concentrations mirror fields of study in our Ph.D. program: Design Computation, Building Technology, and Evidence Based Design. We also support work in Architectural History and in the area of Organizational & Cognitive Performance. Historically, the development of a culture of funded research in the field of architecture has lagged behind those of sister disciplines in engineering and the sciences. Yet what we are trying to do in the School of Architecture is exploit the creative tensions between research and design that can drive innovation in the field. Who better than Georgia Tech is so well positioned to bridge this divide?

The work described on this website provides a benchmark of our ongoing efforts across the spectrum of academic degrees and research programs in the School. We invite you to take a look, tell us what you think, and to join us in this grand project.

George B. Johnston, PhD, AIA
Professor and Chair, Georgia Tech School of Architecture