Kent State University: Preparing students for a successful future
Promoted by Kent State University

Kent State University: Preparing students for a successful future

Nestled within the picturesque campus of Kent State University is the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, a beacon of creativity, innovation, and sustainable design. Through its combination of excellent education, state-of-the-art facilities and distinguished faculty, the college has established itself as a leading institution in shaping the future of architectural and environmental design.

Aspiring architects, interior designers, landscape architects, and construction managers are drawn to the college for its rich history, cutting-edge curriculum, and commitment to ensuring students succeed. The college aims to produce a new generation of professionals who are well-equipped to tackle the complex challenges of a rapidly evolving world, from climate and socio-economic change to social justice and rapid technological advancements. An education here makes an impact on the lives of those that will make an impact on the world.

Step inside the renowned  John Elliot Center for Architecture and Environmental Design building and you’ll witness a bustling community of creativity, led by progressive practitioners integrating the art and sciences of design and construction. The sleek and innovative design studios and fully-equipped labs create an atmosphere that stimulates the imagination and fosters collaboration. Here, students are not just students but active contributors, pushing the boundaries of design thinking and translating concepts into impactful solutions.

Programmes are holistic. A rigorous curriculum comes alive in design studios and other opportunities that merge theory and practice — the best ways for students to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to make meaningful contributions to the industry and society.

However, the college’s impact extends beyond the walls of its building. The college serves as a hub for research and innovation too, addressing issues such as sustainability, social equity, and technological advancement.

Kent State University is a large state research-intensive school situated in Ohio. Source: Kent State University

Here are some of the programmes offered at the college:

Master of Landscape Architecture

The Master of Landscape Architecture is a comprehensive programme that aims to equip graduates with specialised approaches that centre around the complexities of urban landscapes, environmental systems and societal considerations. “One of the surprises for me has been learning GIS and mapping skills that were taught in my second year here, and that has led to an internship at the Western Reserve Land Conservancy,” says Jody Lathwell, a Master of Landscape Architecture graduate.

The programme is based in the heart of Cleveland’s vibrant Playhouse Square District, together with college’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) — making it ideal to expand interdisciplinary discourse. “[Thanks to] engagement and involvement with local professionals, especially since the programme is based here in Cleveland, we were able to learn from people in our field and connect with them both in the studio and outside the studio,” says Anna Enderle, another graduate.

As the studio is on the shores of Lake Erie, that puts students in clear view of the Great Lakes. This urban focus on water is unmatched as the Great Lakes make up 84% of North America’s surface fresh water and 21% of the world’s supply of surface fresh water.

Master of Science degree in Construction Management

The Master of Science degree in Construction Management (MSCM) programme prepares students for leadership positions in the architecture-engineering-construction (AEC) industry. Knowing how to collaborate is key as projects grow more complex and the MSCM — ranked sixth in the country — provides many unique opportunities to partner and learn from construction and design academics, construction professionals, and design practitioners.

“This programme has given me a chance to get a look at what the industry is actually going to look like. The professors have all been working professionals, and they understand that experience is key to learning construction management,” shares student Nicholas Johnson.

Master of Architecture

The Master of Architecture (M.Arch), NAAB-accredited and ranked 16th in the nation for programs firms want to hire from, embraces students from various undergraduate disciplines, recognising the value of diversity. Its purpose is to cultivate forward-thinking architectural leaders by fostering the development of technical proficiency, professional expertise, and innovative design capabilities through project-based learning.

For Kaitlyn Boniecki, the skills and direction she gained helped her discover what she was “genuinely passionate about within the field of architecture and design.” “The opportunity to work downtown at the Cleveland Studios was a huge asset in developing a strong network and understanding the urban context more intimately. I don’t think I would be where I am today without the programme pushing me to be the best designer and leader I can be,” she says.

Master of Urban Design

The Master of Urban Design programme seeks to produce well-prepared professionals ready to tackle the issues of demographic change, sustainability and equity in the development of cities. Various projects, from designing urban spaces to undertaking extensive infrastructural and regional initiatives, arm students with the expertise and ingenuity to develop urban structures that address cultural and environmental concerns.

Through the INDEX Studio, students have the unique chance to compare Cleveland with and travel to another international city. There are many lessons to uncover — with their five senses — in this exploration, from how the built and natural forms intersect to how new socio-economic, cultural, and environmental conditions impact each city.

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