Meet our Graduate Architecture Chair

Throughout its long history, architecture has been defined in innumerable ways. It has been labeled “frozen music” and the “mother art.” It has been called a joining of art and science. The great French-Swiss modernist Le Corbusier said it was “a phenomenon of the emotions.” Architecture will continue to be defined—and redefined—because the very concept of architecture itself changes over time.

With that understanding, the students and faculty of NewSchool of Architecture and Design’s graduate program in architecture are engaged in the process of discovering what architecture is in the 21st century. Our curriculum provides a foundation in the knowledge we now have, while simultaneously encouraging exploration, experimentation, and speculation about what is to come.

Among the program’s many traits are these four that help define who we are and what we do:

  1. NewSchool has been a leader in teaching sustainable design, a component of the curriculum well before the term gained widespread currency. We teach students to apply its lessons in everything they do.
  2. We value our relationship to the world of professional practice. Since its beginning, NewSchool has sought to explore the similarities—and differences—between the profession and the academy. Our faculty works in the field, and we encourage students to engage in internships while in school.
  3. We encourage creative thinking about design education. We seek to provide our graduate students with an array of experiences in recognition of the diversity of practices they will encounter after school. It was this kind of creative thinking that led to the development of our unique Executive Master’s program, among other things.
  4. NewSchool promotes community outreach. Through such venues as the Design Clinic, we provide opportunities for students to engage in real-world challenges in San Diego and beyond. We call downtown San Diego our “urban laboratory,” and indeed it is.

These are fascinating times to be an architect and to be a student of architecture. There are tremendous challenges ahead, as well as boundless opportunities. We welcome you to explore them with us.

Kurt Hunker, FAIA
Graduate Department Chair