The last year has been transformational for the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, bringing new perspectives, challenges and opportunities.
Early in the school year, we explored how we should “dress for a perfect storm” by inviting CAPLA Futures Council member Randy Deutsch to provide his provocations to the college. Randy presented 10 questions we ought to ask ourselves now, knowing that while change is a constant, the rate of change is increasing. A vigorous cross-college discussion ensued, setting a tone of discovery and moxie for the year.
Last year we both welcomed new faculty and staff who bring further vibrancy to our mission and also said farewell to old friends R. Brooks Jeffery, Arthur C. Nelson and Kay Olsen Brown. In their leaving we express our deepest appreciation of their far-reaching work and wish them all the best in their retirement.
The year was also a time of renewal. We relaunched the Drachman Institute under Courtney Crosson, established a new student chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and held CAPLA’s innovative Job Interview Fair on campus and online, attracting the largest number of employers and students in our history.
Just after the end of the school year, we began much-needed renovations on the CAPLA West Building—the original Architecture Building—which will expand studio, office and teaching spaces, plus add a natural ventilation system to address air quality issues for our post-pandemic world. Completion is expected by the beginning of the Spring 2023 semester. In the meantime, students have the benefit of a living laboratory of
design and construction on their doorstep—a doorstep in fact that we are building!
It was fitting, then, to circle back to the CAPLA Futures Council in the spring semester for a virtual gathering where we discussed the increasing change impacting the professions, the classroom, the studio and the workplace.
Through all this transformation, the challenges continue as we navigate temporary accommodations, prepare for a new budgetary model at the university, support displaced students, faculty and staff, and so much more. We have become habituated to change as we emerge from the tumultuous years of the pandemic. Fortunately, education is as much about teaching future generations to successfully engage change as it is about changing perspectives. In that case, we’re right where we need to be: Building a changing world.
Dean and Professor of Landscape Architecture
College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture
The University of Arizona