The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

College of Architecture + Planning Vision

“Designing to make a difference”

 We believe that the global dynamics of population growth and aging, environmental degradation and resource inequality challenge 21st century architects, designers and planners to think, work and make in new ways.

 We also believe that the particularity of this place – ecologically and culturally—provides both meaningful challenges and lessons to catalyze such innovation.

 We thereby challenge ourselves (students, faculty, alumni, clients) to seize upon these intrinsic resources to inform the creation of purposeful, aesthetically-elegant interventions that foster ecological, social and economic resilience, and further health and well-being for all, especially those for whom design makes the greatest difference.

We do so guided by four commitments in our teaching, scholarship, creative work and service:

  1. Responsibility: A responsibility to past, present and future generations for the sustainability of our creative expressions that reallocate natural resources
  2. Resilience: A systemic understanding that polycultures and diversity nurture greater ecological and community resilience
  3. Respect: A respect for the health and culture of all places
  4. Response: The demand to respond to the grand challenges of our time through innovative and collaborative modes of practice that demonstrate our commitment to excellence and quality

We thereby challenge the CA+P family to be proactive stewards of the built environment and take leadership in promoting the resilience of all segments of our communities and the environments in which they reside.

We believe that innovative processes predicated on human-centered, evidence-inspired, integrated, collaborative inquiry and harnessing emergent technologies to enhance these processes are essential to preparing the design mind of the future. These processes must be tested in real-world applications—such as problem-based community engaged learning, applied research and reflective practice—so as to both respond to the needs of our local, regional and global communities and to provide immersive educational experiences that create a strong foundation for life-long learning.

In so doing, we will be the spark for transforming our designed world to promote the health and well-being of our society and environment through collaborative innovation. We understand that our students will create tomorrow; and through all we do, we seek to nurture the agile, inventive minds necessary to address challenges that are yet unknown.

We will become a nationally recognized incubator of innovative processes of discovery, engagement, teaching and application in the fields of architecture, design and planning, rooted in our four commitments which will become known as the “Utah School”: An approach to design and planning rooted in an ethic of care, community and commitment.