We are fortunate to engage in the study of architecture on a vibrant urban campus. Portland State University, which had its beginnings in 1946 as an educational resource for veterans returning from World War II, now occupies 50 acres in the heart of Portland, Oregon. The university promotes research, community service and civic engagement among its students and faculty, goals that are strongly aligned with the School of Architecture’s focus on cultural identity, community and the urban condition, as shown in the video below, which features, among many other students around campus, several of our architecture students and faculty at work in the Shattuck Hall studios.
A city known for its lively downtown, hospitable public spaces, distinctive neighborhoods, creative diversity and proximity to natural settings, Portland is a desirable place to live and study. Public transport in the form of light rail, streetcar, bus and aerial tram abounds alongside a passionate bicycling culture.
Portland’s reputation for exemplary urban planning, coupled with an intrinsic concern for sustainable, environmentally responsible development, offers significant educational opportunity. As such, the city’s urban fabric serves as a “laboratory” for architecture students' speculative design investigations into contemporary urban life.
Settled at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, Portland is a “river city” where the dynamic relationship of cultural and natural phenomena is played out. Located at the northern edge of the state of Oregon, the city offers access to some of the most dramatic landscape in the United States, including unspoiled coastline, the Columbia River Gorge, the Cascade Range and the High Desert Plateau.