Architectural education is at a curious crossroads. Experimental practices are delivering increasingly complex building projects. This evolution in the profession has rekindled discussions about the value of theory/practice and digital/analog. At NJIT, utilization of digital technologies allows for authored projects informed by data gleaned by place, environment, or material constructs.
Architecture is a profession that requires a considerable and exciting commitment of its students, and each of us who engage architecture becomes a life-long learner. We are required at once to be artists, technologists, urbanists, advocates, and even speculators, who increasingly operate from a global vantage point in the present to project a future reality. Architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology is taught from within this broad context.
Digital tools, techniques, and processes, used in the service of architectural design, have come to exist within a productive continuum from design through construction. This architectural milieu promotes an opportunistic design environment that accepts the utilization of new tools that expand our authorial creativity. The School of Architecture is first and foremost a design school that embraces all the technologies made abundant by our context and location within NJIT, New Jersey’s premier research institution.
As an ambitious architectural school situated in the second largest metropolitan area in the world, our students and faculty enjoy tremendous opportunities to participate in wide-ranging design solutions. Faculty members are undertaking multidisciplinary research and applied design projects across the globe with students, engaging architecture from the micro-scale to the urban and the regional, adopting diverse modes of inquiry and design. These include buildings, exhibitions, writing, and funded research within our university. Building performance and building science, nano-technologies, robotics, and design computation are advancing new design territories; often with tools for performance simulation, virtual construction, and direct-to-manufacture fabrication. This signals a redefinition of architecture’s agency and a willingness to engage the real world.
Guided by the expertise of our faculty, our students find the best route for their ambitions in the School. The faculty is committed to promoting students’ individual goals and also to pushing them in new directions. Our graduates move into the world with the know-how to incorporate design and technology in both informed and imaginative ways. The final two years of study at NJIT offer students to collaborate with students and faculty in our sister School of Art + Design and have the opportunity to do a final thesis.
Together, our students and faculty further the notion of architecture as a human undertaking that brings together the best of the arts and sciences, and one that makes full use of our unique position as the School of Architecture in the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Richard Garber, AIA
Director, School of Architecture