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Cincinnati Magazine: UC takes a building block approach to train the next generation of architects

DAAP students learn to think outside of the computer and to keep their options open

Architects focus on more than just the physical buildings we inhabit. They consider human interactions with and within each space and how a space fits in context with the rest of the street, city and world. Within the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), the School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID) takes a building block approach to training the field’s next generation.

Cincinnati Magazine spoke to DAAP faculty and a student about the program.

“Our focus, especially at the undergraduate level, [really goes] back to basics — critical thinking, design thinking, problem-solving — that are much more universal components,” says Melanie Swick, DAAP’s undergraduate architecture program coordinator and an assistant professor. “Then when you’re in a particular project and looking to solve some of the basic challenges, you have the tools to do that.”

Those basic tools are built into freshman year “foundations” courses and elemental design labs that the rest of undergraduate coursework is predicated upon. “All first year, everything is done by hand,” says Sam Sepaniak, a second-year architecture student. “It makes sense, because it teaches you a different way to design, rather than being trapped in the computer, which I like a lot.”

Read the full story.

Featured image at top: An architecture student at DAAP works on a model. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative Services