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K-State Today

September 28, 2017



APDesign receives top rankings from DesignIntelligence

By Thom Jackson

Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning & Design graduate programs in architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture are once again among the best in the nation, according to annual rankings by DesignIntelligence, the only organization ranking accredited professional programs in architecture, landscape architecture and interior design/architecture.

This year, the graduate program in landscape architecture ranked fifth in the nation overall and second among programs at public institutions. The graduate program in interior architecture ranked sixth nationally and first among programs at public institutions. The graduate program in architecture ranked 18th in the nation and eighth among programs at public institutions.

DesignIntelligence's rankings are based on surveys from 1,923 hiring professionals, 111 deans and department chairs, and 4,359 students in the design disciplines. The primary query of hiring professionals used to conduct the rankings is, "From your hiring experience during the last five years, which programs are best preparing students for a future in the profession?" Deans and department chairs were asked what programs they most admire and students were surveyed on their satisfaction with the educational institution in which they are currently enrolled or graduated from in the past year.

Taken as a whole, APDesign finished as the most prominent college in the rankings given its housing programs across the entire spectrum of design.

DesignIntelligence also ranked the graduate program in interior architecture as the third most admired program in the nation among educational administrators, citing its, "Efficient five-year Master of Interior Architecture program combined with product design; professional relevance; and modeling the future of interior architecture education in public education."

The graduate programs in APDesign also earned high marks in several design education focus areas. The graduate architecture program ranks No. 10 in engineering fundamentals. The landscape architecture program ranks in the top five in 10 of 11 landscape architecture design focus areas, including top ranking in two areas, project planning and management and engineering fundamentals and second, behind only Harvard University in interdisciplinary studies.

"Our consistent showing year after year in these national rankings are testament to the efforts, dedication and drive of our faculty, staff and students, as well as the perceived quality of our alumni in their practices," said Tim de Noble, dean of the college. "Our recognition comes from both practice and academia, clearly indicating that we are not only preparing great practitioners, but pushing the envelope in our educational model. A close study of the lists shows that we are not only highly considered nationally, but are well-positioned among much more costly programs, tending primarily toward much larger metropolitan areas along our coastlines."

In addition, DesignIntelligence has selected one of the college's faculty members as among the most outstanding educators in the nation. Robert Condia, professor in the department of architecture, was named to DesignIntelligence's 25 Most Admired Educators for 2017-18. Condia is well known among his students — past, and present — as one who has a natural ability to easily impart his vast knowledge of architecture using innovative teaching methods. With unwavering devotion to his students, he teaches them how to think like an architect. He brings to the table the connection between neuroscience and architecture, which his students believe result in better design, according to DesignIntelligence 2017. Condia joins de Noble, Stephanie Rolley, department head of landscape architecture/regional and community planning, and Howard Hahn, associate professor of landscape architecture, who were previously honored.

"These rankings come on the heels of APDesign re-inhabiting our new facility at Seaton and Regnier Halls, to be dedicated on Oct. 13, 2017, and in USA Today's recent article showing architecture — and by extension, both landscape architecture and interior architecture — as having the highest job placement in the nation," de Noble said. "I fully expect that we can capitalize on the rankings, the facility and the employment climate to grow the college in both size and impact moving forward."

DesignIntelligence is an independent company focused on the design and construction industry. It publishes DesignIntelligenceQuarterly four times per year, including the results of an industrywide survey of design professionals released in its third-quarter edition annually.