- Teach Critical and Creative Thinking
- Foster Creativity and Research
- Develop Community Engagement
- Advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- Advance Sustainable and Resilient Practices
1. Teach Critical and Creative Thinking
Provide a design education that enables students to combine thinking, drawing, and making to become principled and responsible design leaders who embrace agency, collaboration, and innovation.
Program Description and Outcomes:
Centered on the design studios, our program teaches through thinking, drawing, and modeling. Our class sizes and facilities enable individual attention and mentoring. In settings such as the Jackson Center, collaborative studios, and field trips, and through opportunities to study issues such as mass timber, housing, advanced technologies, and the CAAD Research Centers, we empower our students to address issues such as resiliency, sustainability, equity, and justice at both the local and global levels. To move this teaching critical and creative thinking forward, we will:
- Work to advance a fluency in the poetics of design, identified in thinking, drawing, and modeling skills
- Refine teaching design agency, employing design to offer positive change in issues including resiliency, sustainability, equity, and justice
- Expand experiences of collaborations through diversity of participants and disciplines
2. Foster Creativity and Research
Engage in creative research that examines the social, cultural, and environmental issues of Mississippi and the region, advancing design knowledge and challenging codified knowledge.
Program Description and Outcomes:
As Mississippi’s sole accredited architecture program in its leading research institution, our school is at the forefront of design research in Mississippi. Within our program—as well as through relationships with CAAD Research Centers, other disciplines, industry partners, and communities of various contexts—we research materials, technologies, and design responses to ongoing social and environmental dilemmas. To support creativity and research, we will:
- Address issues of resiliency, sustainability, equity, and justice through courses and studios devoted to the study of housing, mass timber, and computational design tools and technologies
- Develop and strengthen collaborative efforts with other disciplines, industry partners, and communities
3. Develop Community Engagement
Increase connections to communities to bring awareness to career paths for future designers, serve others through design, and forge relationships with industry partners.
Our involvement with communities across Mississippi and the region changes the trajectory of people and places, bringing awareness to the profession and its impact. To strengthen community engagement, we will:
- Develop connections to high schools and community colleges to share information about career opportunities in the profession
- Increase engagement with communities through design activities to benefit their well-being
- Increase connections with professional industries to advance the impact of design
4. Advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Provide means and opportunities to include a diversity of voices and be immersed in situations and environments that are unfamiliar, broadening perceptions of issues, contexts, and design responses.
Building a diverse population and creating an environment of equity and inclusion introduces greater appreciation of others and the world. Travel allows students to experience settings that are familiar and unfamiliar, urban and rural, domestic and international. By broadening the diversity of our contexts, understanding flourishes. A diverse faculty, staff, and student body, field trips, study abroad programs, and community-oriented projects in studios builds varied connections to the world. Through such experiences, we will:
- Seek ways to consciously broaden perceptions of different people, situations, and environments
- Develop opportunities to experience diversity through immersion in unfamiliar settings
- Increase awareness of how different perspectives enable innovative design
5. Advance Sustainable and Resilient Practices
Promote, teach, and explore ways to improve operations and products that respect the earth and protect resources.
Developing practices and perspectives that engage with the world in a sustainable way enables students to build an awareness of their impact on the environment. Addressing resiliency, understanding carbon footprints, and recognizing the effects of building orientation, density, transit, and material choices are critical aspects for sustainable design. To advance sustainability and resiliency, we will:
- Increase awareness of sustainable and resilient design ideas and approaches through deepening conversations that expand understandings
- Develop opportunities to advance and apply sustainable and resilient products and processes
- Create an environment that respects resources through everyday operations