Kendall Announces Masters of Architecture Program
Kendall announced today that planning is well underway for West Michigan’s first professional degree program in architecture, the Masters of Architecture (M.Arch.). The 2-year M.Arch. will be offered starting in Fall 2014 for students who have completed a four-year undergraduate architecture degree.The following year, a 3-year M.Arch. will launch for students holding a baccalaureate degree in any field other than architecture.
The aim of the program is to produce licensed architects. Graduation from a qualified professional program is one requirement to achieve that. The curriculum for professional degrees is set by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB), in consultation with those who create the exam for licensure (NCARB), the collegiate architecture programs (ACSA), and the professional association of architects (AIA). Creating an NAAB-accredited degree is the goal of Kendall’s plan.
“Achieving NAAB accreditation is no easy thing,” said Brian Craig, AIA, LEED AP, who heads Kendall’s efforts to create and start up this highly valued professional program. Craig is extremely excited about the opportunity. “Grand Rapids is a world center for sustainable architecture and big D design thinking, and our curriculum will use the region as a living laboratory,” said Craig. “And KCAD, West Michigan’s only conservatory college of art and design, has rich traditions and assets that will allow it to build something that is unique, important, and impactful.”
As a step toward defining the program's unique identity and increasing its influence, Craig has put together an advisory board of architects, architectural academics, and end-users who work in the region and who have statewide and even national prominence. Craig explains, “This is a dream team. Not only will we utilize and reflect the assets and values of our communities in teaching the architectural design process, but we are committed to using the experts we have here to build and expand our program so that our students will create places that make a difference.”
Craig and the board envision a program that will provide resources that shape the region’s environment in positive ways, but that also will serve as model for others nationally and even internationally. “Make no small plans,” Craig said, quoting another architect, Daniel Burnham. “Small plans never inspire. And,” he continued with a smile, “nobody ever plans to do something mediocre. We think this program will be huge, and we plan to make it that way.”