Barbara Bryson

Associate Dean for Research

Director, The Drachman Institute

Drachman Institute

Barbara White Bryson EdD FAIA is Associate Dean for Research of the College and Professor of Practice in the School of Architecture and Director of the Drachman Institute. Bryson previously served the University as Vice President of Strategic Planning and Analysis before joining CAPLA in 2016. Bryson’s research interests include the future of the architecture profession as well as integrated planning and master planning processes for university campuses.

After practicing architecture within major firms for nearly two decades, Bryson first turned to higher education in 1996 leading design and planning at the University of Miami as University Architect. Starting in 2000, Bryson led Rice University’s construction program as director of project management and planning for four years and then as associate vice president for facilities, engineering, and planning at Rice for over a decade. Bryson was responsible for university-wide planning that integrated academic, financial, operational, and maintenance needs of the university. Her accomplishments include creating an integrated campus master plan that addressed, among other goals, Rice's intention to enhance research and teaching relationships with member institutions within the Texas Medical Center. She also oversaw the planning and development of Rice's BioScience Research Collaborative. In addition, Bryson directed a study of Rice's science and engineering research space to allocate resources for institutional priorities. For seven years, Bryson taught a course in design and construction innovation at the School of Architecture and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University placing architecture and MBA students in the same classroom.

Bryson attended Georgia Institute of Technology and received her B.S. in Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. Bryson earned her MBA from the University of Miami and her doctorate in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2008, Bryson was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects for her work in integrated planning, and, in 2010, she was named a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. Bryson was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas at Arlington in 2013.

Bryson's new book, Creating a Culture of Predictable Outcomes: How Leadership, Collaboration, and Decision-Making Drive Architecture and Construction, was published in early 2021 by Routledge. Bryson is also a co-writer of The Owner’s Dilemma: Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry along with Canan Yetmen. She continues to push the boundaries of the architecture profession through the reexamination of industry culture, reinvention of project delivery processes, the expansion of integrated planning tools, and the enhancement of problem-solving for higher education through independent consulting and writing.