Portland-State-University 2020-2021 Bulletin

School of Architecture

235 Shattuck Hall



  • B.A., B.S.—Architecture
  • Minor—Architecture
  • M. Arch: 2-year track and 3-year track
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design
  • Graduate Certificate in Urban Design

The architecture program engages students in the fascinating creative questions that pertain to the making of architecture. The program develops the creative identity of each student while nurturing civic responsibility, critical judgment and the representational and technical ability to translate ideas into plausible architectural works. This lies at the core of an educational experience that provides a rich initiation into the world of architectural practice and preparation for a career as a licensed professional. The heart of the program resides in the architecture design studio and is nourished by the accompanying lecture and seminar courses that bring focused study in the humanities, technology, and the profession. Alongside a progressive attitude to design process and theoretical speculation, the program participates in the advancement of knowledge in contemporary issues and technologies of sustainable urban living and environmental stewardship.

In giving place to human situations architecture bears the responsibility of being the most public of the arts and it cannot be practiced meaningfully without a conversation with the community at large. Our design studio classes, in particular, are sustained by an engagement beyond the university to the life-world we share with our urban cohabitants, including direct interaction with the architectural practice community through our adjunct professors, critics, guest speakers and advisers. This fosters the generation of imaginative responses to the challenge of ‘what ought to be’ in the context of ‘what is’.

The educational emphasis of the program encourages students to recognize the value of creative engagement with the prevailing realities of the city as a primary means of cultural transformation, and to perceive Portland as an ‘urban laboratory’ for experimental investigations of contemporary human issues. This takes place through interaction and dialogue with the communities at large and by continual acts of interpretive making with diverse media at multiple scales, including full-size fabrication.