DesignIntelligence ranks three Auburn University programs among nation's best

Published: December 17, 2014
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University's architecture, industrial design and interior design programs continue to be ranked among the nation's best by DesignIntelligence magazine in its annual survey, "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools 2015."

Based on annual surveys of leading practitioners in their fields, DesignIntelligence has ranked Auburn's undergraduate Industrial Design program, which is in the School of Industrial and Graphic Design in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, eighth in the nation and third in the South. The program has been ranked in the national top 10 since 2007.

The Industrial Design graduate program is in a three-way tie for ninth in the nation, but fourth in the South. It has been in the top 10 nationally eight times since 2006.

The magazine found that hiring firms deem Auburn's Industrial Design program to be the third strongest nationally in educating in the area of communication and fifth in computer applications.

For 10 consecutive years, the Architecture program in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture has been ranked in the top 20 nationally. The undergraduate program ranked 12th in the nation and fourth in the South in 2015. Hiring firms ranked the program second nationally in educating in the areas of construction methods and materials, fifth in sustainable design practices and principles and ninth in cross-disciplinary teamwork.

"I am delighted that our programs continue to receive national recognition," said Vini Nathan, dean and McWhorter chair in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. "It serves to support the high academic rigor and professional relevance of our design programs. The extremely strong reputation of our programs is testimony to the convergence of our bright students, dedicated faculty and staff and supportive administration, alumni, advisory board and industry partners."

In Auburn's College of Human Sciences, where the Interior Design program is offered in the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences, the undergraduate program is tied for ninth nationally. It was ranked the nation's best in 2012.

In the South, Auburn is ranked second to the Savannah College of Art and Design. Carol Warfield, head of Auburn's Department of Consumer and Design Sciences, said many potential students consider both Auburn and SCAD since they are generally the top two Interior Design programs in the region, programs which offer vastly different campus experiences.

"Preparing students to graduate with a global view and knowledge of other cultures is a focus and particular strength of Auburn's program," said Warfield.

DesignIntelligence also recognized the exemplary talent of CADC faculty and graduates in their list of "30 Most Admired Educators for 2015." Andrew Freear, director of CADC's Rural Studio, was chosen as a "humble and dedicated leader to both his students and community."

Marlon Blackwell, a 1980 architecture graduate, was selected as an "exemplar as a practicing architect and academic leader." He is department head and Distinguished Professor in the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas and founder and principal of Marlon Blackwell Architect.

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