The School of Architecture and Planning's founding 50 years ago cannot be understood apart from the context of the late 1960s - a time of social, cultural and political upheaval in our nation and world. Then viewed as a radical departure from traditional design education, UB's program taught architecture and planning in relation to its social and environmental conditions, and prepared community-minded citizens to engage design with the world's problems.
Five decades later, the School of Architecture and Planning again finds itself in a world calling for radical change. Guided by the same boundary-pushing drive, we ask many of these same questions with new urgency - and possibility.
- Dean Robert G. Shibley
With our history as inspiration, and a better world as aspiration, we consider new avenues for influence through research, teaching and practice in our disciplines. Join us as we elevate the conversation.
Over the course of the 2019-20 academic year, we will document the school's formative years and evolution over five decades - stories that reveal both an enduring drive behind our programs and a persistence in challenges facing education and practice in our professions.
When the freshly appointed Dean John Eberhard of UB's new architecture school met with the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, he was challenged by one member, John Sloan: “Dean Eberhard, I hope you are going to teach these people how to draw.”
Without a pause, Eberhard replied, “Mr. Sloan, I am going to teach them how to think.”
The great one-liner - followed by his reported dramatic exit from the meeting - did not do justice to the weight of intention behind the decision to create the new school and especially what kind of school it would be.
- Martin Meyerson, president of the University at Buffalo, 1966-1969
New lines of inquiry and creative practice by our faculty, students and alumni are pushing our disiplines into new intellectual territory and spheres of influence. From global policy on local food systems planning to design strategies for climate resilient buildings, the intersections of this work reveal new possibilities for dialogue and action.
No other human activity has a greater impact on the climate crisis than the planning, design and development of the built environment. This same burden of responsibility, however, implies the magnitude of possibility for our disciplines to shift the climate crisis trajectory and perhaps the future of our planet.
COUNTER / CULTURE, our 2019-20 public lecture series, takes its cue from the celebration of the School of Architecture and Planning's 50th year and sets up dialogues from a multitude of disciplinary perspectives on the subject of architectural education and institutional critique.
African Cities, Nov. 6, 2019
Vanessa Watson, urban planning professor at Cape Town University, discusses the disconnect between Africa's rapidly growing, mostly poor cities and proposals for their Dubai-like redevelopment.
The Future of Kabul: 10/9/19
Ahmad Zaki Sarferaz, mayor of Kabul and a 2014 graduate of UB, considers the role of urban planning in his city's navigation of rapid urbanization amidst ongoing conflict.
Save the Date: 4/1/20
Join us for a culminating anniversary celebration and exhibtion of alumni work. The exhibition is presented as part of Atelier Week in celebration of the work of our school. Stay tuned for details.
How are you pushing the "plus" of future practice in our disciplines? Tell us how for a chance to be featured on our "Be the Plus" blog. Contact Rachel Teaman, assistant dean for communications: email@example.com
Follow on social: #BethePlus