Starting in the fall of 2018, there will be a new Master of Architecture degree program in the Midwest. Indiana University Bloomington (IU) will offer the degree from the campus’s new School of Art and Design. The primary focus of the program will be in Columbus, Indiana, the modernist playground located south of Indianapolis.
“The addition of the new Master of Architecture degree program, together with the new program in intelligent systems engineering, will contribute enormously to IU’s efforts to create and sustain a culture of ‘building and making’ on our Bloomington campus,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said in a press release. “We view this culture as being essential and transformative for IU, enabling us to maximize the university’s potential for developing its inventions and innovations for the economic benefit of all Hoosiers. At the same time, architecture is a superb complement to IU’s outstanding strengths in the arts and humanities.”
Working with the Columbus community, Columbus Architectural Archive, and the Institute for Coalition Building of the Columbus Education Coalition, an initial class of 20 students will design with the town as a backdrop and site of research. The program will also build on the coursework already available at the IU Center for Art and Design Columbus, which opened in downtown Columbus in 2011.
Before the launch of a new Master of Architecture program, an agreement was reached with Ball State University, which is the closest school to offer undergraduate and graduate architecture degrees. The agreement recognizes that the IU program will be distinct in its approach and curriculum from Ball State, and outlines how the two schools can collaborate in the future.
“The architectural heritage of Columbus will provide our Master of Architecture students with an incredibly rich and innovative educational experience,” said Peg Faimon, dean of the School of Art and Design. “This, coupled with the wide array of opportunities in the School of Art and Design and IU Bloomington, will make this program unique in its ability to educate a new generation of architects ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century.”
The School of Art and Design at IU Bloomington is young as well, having only launched last year as part of the College of Art and Sciences. The schools focus so far has combined programs of study from the Department of Studio Art and the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. The new Master of Architecture program has been approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, a major step in its realization.