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Learn by Doing

Architects and planners design physical environments and systems with which people interact every day. Direct, tangible engagement with this “material” – whether it be structural steel, streetscapes or citizen activists – is fundamental to the aspiring architect or planner. 

This learn-by-doing approach to professional education is the crux of the Buffalo School program. From the studio to the community, Buffalo School students and faculty constantly “do” and “make” through applied research, built works and creative activities. Here in Buffalo, design inquiry becomes design-build while planning concepts become adopted plans for neighborhoods and regions.

Gain technical know-how and a spirit of enterprise that sets you on course for innovation.

Freshman studio is a rite of passage for the aspiring architect and, for most students, a metamorphosis of sorts. Over the course of a year of intensive, hands-on study, the student evolves from someone who looks at buildings to a designer who thinks through making, able to create spaces and experiences.

Situated within the resurging City of Buffalo and its surrounding binational region, we partner with local industries, firms, designers, planners, governments, and an active grassroots movement to test and advance ideas. Our study abroad program puts students face-to-face with the people and landscapes of seven countries across three continents. With a fully-equipped fabrication shop and materials shop available right on campus, the Buffalo School makes digital and physical modeling easily accessible to students in all programs.


A group of UB architects and engineers are mid-way through a multi-year initiative to design, build and program a suite of tools that would not only improve the life of the mason but break new ground for architecture and robotics.

Our research-to-practice partnerships put students in the heart of Buffalo’s food movement to improve health and nutrition, on the factory floor of an architectural terra cotta manufacturer to explore new fabrication techniques, and on the coastline of Costa Rica to develop sustainable water distribution systems. Students have built a 22-foot-tall steel tower and bee habitat in Buffalo, proposed landscape designs for a public park on the city’s Lake Erie harbor, and developed accessible bus designs for national implementation.

Such hands-on engagement and critical practice within our local and global communities cultivate core skills for todays rapidly changing professions — entrepreneurial and design activist sensibilities, collaborative agility, leadership and client relations, and facility with technology and full-scale planning, design, and construction.


Over 100 citizens across Western New York are better prepared to effect change in their communities thanks to a planning boot camp offered by the School of Architecture and Planning and its UB Regional Institute.


A group of School of Architecture and Planning graduate planning students has just handed off a plan that could make Wyoming County in Western New York a flagship for alternative energy development in New York State, if not the nation.