Dr. Karen Spence

Dr. Karen Spence


  • Director and F.L. Crane Professor
  • F.L. Crane Endowed Professor


Office: (662) 325-2529
240 Giles Hall



Karen earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas, a Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati, and a Doctorate from Texas A&M University. She holds professional licenses in Maryland and Missouri and is a LEED AP. Her interests center on educating individuals about the power of architecture and how we can employ this understanding to better the world. This work involves everything from outreach to middle and high school students in diverse communities to addressing content and opportunities within a program to develop agency in students and make connections to the community.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Architecture, Texas A & M, 1996
  • Master of Science, , University of Cincinnati, 1993
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Architecture, University of Arkansas, 1987

Research interests:

Design Thinking



  • A Primer on Theory in Architecture. 2017

Book, Chapter

  • “Presence and Absence”. 2017
  • "Encore Delivered with Strength and Delicacy". 1990

Conference Paper

  • “Developing Resources for Design Students”.  . 2020
  • “The Academy as Facilitators: Re-Making Architectural Knowledge”.  . 2020
  • “Oscillating between Art and Equipment: A Hermeneutics of Sustainability”.  . 2011
  • “Architecture as a Vessel for Values”.  . 2009
  • “Design of a Dialogue: Inviting the Community to Act on Global Warming”.  . 2007
  • “Justice through Stewardship”.  . 2007
  • “The Assumptions Underlying Frampton’s ‘Critical Regionalism’”.  . 1995
  • “Toward a Heideggerian Way of Building: Two Works by E. Fay Jones”.  . 1995
  • “The Cinematic Simulations of the Western Frontier are Real”.  . 1994
  • “An Architecture for Heidegger and a Philosophy for Jones”.  . 1993

Journal Article

  • “Architecture Movements of the Past Half Century”. . 1991
  • “ATHENEUM: Analysis of Form”. . 1990
  • “Encore Delivered with Strength and Delicacy”. . 1988

feature story in online publication

  • “Drury University Design Team Creates Crystalline Veteran Memorial for Arkansas”. 2020

Areas of Expertise

Design Thinking Architecture Theory Phenomenology Sustainability


(662) 325-2202

Building Construction Science

(662) 325-8305

Interior Design

(662) 325-0530

Dean's Office

(662) 325-5150