Welcome to Fall 2020

September 24, 2020

Dear students, faculty and staff,

For a program dedicated to all forms of making, community outreach, and a deep engagement with the city, the Covid-19 pandemic hits us right in the heart.  Remote teaching and learning challenges our very identity as a School.  But, here we are sheltering in place. It is the right thing to do. There is no greater priority than keeping ourselves and the ones we love safe and healthy. So, the lingering question is: “Can we learn architecture remotely?” If the Spring 2020 term is any indication, the answer is a resounding “yes, we can.”  I saw for myself thoughtful, well-crafted work from every level of the program. We know that ideas are not limited by location, and creativity thrives when there are restrictions. Your faculty are up for the challenge. As a result, you will simultaneously experience their patience and understanding for your individual circumstances combined with the drive to get your best possible work.  

When we are not teaching, we will be deeply engaged in our research and creative activities. This year the faculty will be working to implement diversity and inclusion strategies that touch every part of what we do. We will remain committed to the mission of our Center for Public Interest Design. We have plans to expand urban design, design/build, and research-based design activities that have become foundational to our program. Individual faculty will continue to explore mobile urbanism, accessory dwelling units, new wood technologies, the impact of architecture on challenging social programs, architectural pedagogy, provocative historical precedents, nighttime’s influence on design, the role of infrastructure on our cities, human health and architecture, the representation of architecture, and new forms of making, to name just a few.

I always get excited for the beginning of a new school year.  Even though this one will unfold differently, I am certain we are all going to be a great deal smarter and capable in June than we are today. Have a fantastic quarter. Be passionate, make good work, but most of all, take pleasure in your efforts. Better work comes out of joy than angst.


Professor Jeff Schnabel
School of Architecture
Portland State University