The School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID) is part of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati. Located within the Aronoff Center for Design and Art on the university's main campus in Cincinnati, Ohio, SAID is consistently ranked among the country's top schools for architecture and interior design.
The school is distinguished by its integration of professional practice through the cooperative education program, situated within a top research university, and located in a vibrant design city.
SAID prepares students for critical engagement with practice. The school incorporates two professional co-op programs: a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design and a Master of Architecture, preceded by a pre-professional co-op program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. In addition, the school offers a post-professional Master of Science in Architecture and a Ph.D. in Architecture, tailored to support students with interests in advanced research. Approximately 700 students comprise the core of the school's student body.
The School of Architecture and Interior Design traces its origins back to the 1869 foundation of the School of Design within McMicken University. By 1875, architecture offerings expanded to include history, design, and drawing. At the time, it was one of only eleven collegiate-level institutions in the country to offer architecture coursework. The architecture coursework did not survive the transfer of programs to the Cincinnati Art Museum Association in 1884, but it established a pattern of architectural education that reemerged fifty years later.
In 1922, Dean Herman Schneider, head of the College of Engineering and creator of the cooperative education (co-op) program, began a concentrated effort to build a solid program in arts training modeled on the co-op system. With a rapidly growing architecture enrollment within the College of Engineering, Dean Schneider established a distinct School of Applied Arts in 1925, allowing students to gain broad training and professional practice that would prepare them to work within a wide range of design fields.
In 1946, Ernest Picerking, the newly appointed Dean of the College of Applied Arts, could direct the college and architecture division separately from the College of Engineering with sole allegiance to the maintenance and development of applied arts. That year, the college adopted a six-year academic/co-op plan for architecture to meet ACSA accreditation standards. In 1960, the College of Applied Arts was renamed the College of Design, Architecture, and Art (DAA); the college later reorganized to recognize the School of Planning as a distinct school, changing the name to DAAP.
Dean Bert Berenson, appointed in 1975, reorganized the college into the schools that exist today. The creation of the School of Architecture and Interior Design initially created controversy, as many thought architecture would overshadow interior design. However, both tracks continue to flourish and enjoy positions among the country's most prestigious design programs.
The four-year, pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree focuses on architectural coursework, general education courses, co-operative work experiences, and a senior capstone project. It teaches understanding of social, technical, and aesthetic content of the built environment; the skill to make or modify it; and the judgment to assess the value of changes. The four-year program includes approximately one year of cooperative education experience.
The five-year Bachelor of Science in Interior Design degree concerns itself with the interior spaces of buildings, emphasizing the physical, psychological, and social needs of people at work and leisure. Through an academic program balanced between comprehensive courses, studios, and cooperative education experiences, students are taught to understand a client's interactions within society and be capable of translating this understanding into appropriate and inspiring design for interior environments. The five-year program includes approximately one and a half years of cooperative education experience.
The professional Master of Architecture degree provides two curricular tracks: one is for students with a bachelor degree in other fields (M Arch 1, four years); the other supports those who currently hold undergraduate degrees in architecture (M Arch 2, three years). The Master of Architecture program engages fundamental knowledge and skills and emphasizes comprehensive design while affording students the opportunity to expand horizons through flexibility, experimentation, and risk-taking. The three- or four-year program includes approximately one year of cooperative education experience and culminates with a thesis research and design project.
The two-year, post-professional Master of Science in Architecture is usually best suited for those who have completed a professional bachelor degree or those who have strong backgrounds in other fields and whose interest in architecture is of a theoretical or investigative nature. The program encourages students to explore rich possibilities in theoretical explorations, interdisciplinary studies, intensive mentoring in research and publication, diverse specialization, and historic preservation.
The Ph.D. in Architecture with a concentration in history, theory, and criticism provides an in-depth analysis of the key theoretical concepts that underlie architectural practice, all the while encouraging students to put these conceptual frameworks to work to analyze and critically evaluate the built environment from a transnational perspective. The program offers several streams of specialization – historic preservation, sustainable design, community design, humanitarian design, post-colonial architecture, international architecture, new building technologies, and interior design theory. The first two years include core curriculum, the third year involves comprehensive exams and a dissertation proposal, and the fourth and fifth years contain dissertation research and writing.
Cooperative education began with Dean Herman Schneider in 1906, and it remains a core component of the undergraduate and graduate programs in SAID. Alternating semesters of academics and professional experience provide a unique opportunity to link theory and practice in architecture and design. Operating within a 700-firm employer network, students establish professional learning objectives and identify supervisors to create supportive learning environments. Students do not pay full tuition during co-op terms, only a minimal co-op fee, and can expect to receive hourly compensation or monthly stipends. Architecture students working toward registration may earn Intern Development Program (IDP) hours through co-op experiences.
Consistently recognized as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world, the University of Cincinnati is home to a number of buildings by significant contemporary architects. The vision to create an architecturally distinctive, world-class campus was spearheaded by Jay Chatterjee, dean of the College of DAAP from 1982-2001. Several major news publications have lauded Dean Chatterjee's transformation of the campus. This transformation includes the removal of surface parking lots, and the addition of signature buildings connected by a George Hargreaves landscape. Significant buildings and their architects include:Aronoff Center for Design and Art (home to SAID), Peter Eisenman
Engineering Research Center, Michael Graves (UC alumnus)
Campus Recreation Center, Thom Mayne of morphosis
Steger Student Life Center, Buzz Yudell of Moore Ruble Yudell
Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, Frank Gehry
College Conservatory of Music, Henry Ives Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Lindner Varsity Village, Bernard Tschumi
University Pavilion, Leers Weinzapfel
Tangeman University Center, Charles Gwathmey of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates
Medical Sciences Building renovation/CARE-Crawley addition, STUDIOS Architecture
SAID is housed in a complex of four buildings, the most recent of which was designed by Peter Eisenman and completed in 1996. The complex includes many in-house services targeted to architecture and design students, including:Computer Graphics Center (CGC): contains 2 computer labs (one operational 24/7) with Mac and Windows operating systems; provides a help desk; and contains printing, plotting, and scanning services
Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC): home to several CNC machines, three dimensional printers, and laser cutters
Workshop: contains wood and metal working machines
Photo Lab: provides dark rooms and shooting studios
Library: one of the university's fourteen libraries, the DAAP library includes oversize and reference stacks; periodicals and bound journals; a visual resources center with scanners, slide scanners, and light tables; group study facilities; and a learning lounge
DAAP Store and DAAP Cafe
Michael Graves ('58): member of the New York Five; Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture Emeritus at Princeton University; director of Michael Graves & Associates, practicing architecture and industrial design; cited by Paul Goldberger of the New York Times as "the most truly original voice American architecture has produced in some time"
John Hejduk (studied for two years, '50-'52): member of the New York Five; established his own practice in New York; professor (1964-2000) and Dean (1975-2000) of the School of Architecture at Cooper Union
Eva Maddox ('66): Design Principal of Branded Environments for Perkins + Will, Chicago; named by Fast Company as one of the "change agents... designers, and dreamers who are creating your future;" Chicago Magazine's 2002 Chicagoan of the Year; two-time Purpose Prize winner; member of the Interior Design Hall of Fame
Erik Sueberkrop ('72): Founding Principal of STUDIOS Architecture in 1985, later leading the establishment of the firm's London, Paris, and Los Angeles offices; won the 2002 Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award for the design of UC's CARE/Crawley building
Kevin Roche ('75): Principal of Roche Design Strategy; an internationally recognized interior designer who leads consultancies related to merchandising and strategic planning; previous positions include CEO of Fitch Worldwide, president and CEO of FRCH Design Worldwide, and senior vice president of DFS Group/LVMH
Richard Blinder ('59): Founding Partner of Beyer Blinder Belle; champion of historic preservation, leading the renovation of projects like New York City's Grand Central Station, Ellis Island, and Ford Center for the Performing Arts on Broadway
James Prendergast ('84), Partner of Goettsch Partners, leading the interior architecture practice; previously served as vice president and principal at Perkins + Will
John Senhauser ('71): Founder of John Senhauser Architects; received 1999 Ohio Gold Medal Firm Award and the 2009 AIA Ohio Gold Medal; previously served as President of both AIA Ohio and AIA Cincinnati and Secretary of AIA National; Director of NAAB 2007-2010
Current William Daryl Williams, Director of SAID
George (Tom) Bible
Edson Roy Cabalfin, Ph.D.
Brian F. Davies
Nnamdi Elleh, Ph.D.
John E. Hancock
Anton C. Harfmann
Henry (Hank) Hildebrandt
Aarati Kanekar, Ph.D.
Victoria Meyers (2012–14)
Adrian Parr, Ph.D.
Virginia L. Russell, FASLA
Patrick Snadon, Ph.D.
Jeffrey Tilman, Ph.D.
Rebecca Williamson, Ph.D.
Jay Chatterjee, FAICP
Dennis Alan Mann
David Lee Smith
Barry Stedman, Ph.D.