Clemson Rises in National Rankings of America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

The School of Architecture at Clemson University has been named one of “America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools” by DesignIntelligence.

In addition, three Clemson faculty members were named among only 29 architecture professors nationwide as the “Most Admired Educators”: Kate Schwennsen, professor and director of the School of Architecture; David Allison, Alumni Distinguished Professor and director of graduate studies in Architecture + Health; and Daniel Harding, associate professor, director of graduate programs in architecture and director of the Community Research and Design Center.

This is the second time that Schwennsen, Allison and Harding have made the prestigious “Most Admired Educators” list.

“We are immensely proud of the success of our graduates in architecture and landscape architecture, and of how their performance is highly ranked by the DI voters, who are themselves the leaders of the design professions,” Schwennsen said. “Clemson’s School of Architecture is fortunate to be well supported by alumni, university administration and hiring firms, allowing us to attract and retain some of the best and brightest students and faculty.”

For the eighth consecutive year, the Master of Architecture was ranked as one of the top 10 accredited architecture graduate programs at a public university.

‘Most Admired’

DesignIntelligence’s annual survey also ranked the Master of Architecture and both the Bachelor and Master of Landscape Architecture as “Most Admired” programs among private or public institutions around the United States. The Master of Architecture program climbed two places in the rankings, from 22 in 2018-19 to 20 in 2019-20. The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture rose four places, from 18 to 14. The Master of Landscape Architecture was ranked at 23 in the nation.

‘Most Hired From’

The university’s architecture and landscape architecture programs were also recognized as two of the country’s “Most Hired From” programs by DesignIntelligence. The architecture program placed eighth among public and private universities in the category of schools with 20-49 graduates, ahead of such schools as Princeton University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The landscape architecture program placed seventh among both graduate and undergraduate programs for schools with 20-34 graduates.

Other top honors

The Master of Architecture program was recognized among public and private universities on two of DesignIntelligence’s 12 focus areas: for Healthy Built Environments (9) and Design Theory and Practice (15).

For more than 20 years, DesignIntelligence has provided these rankings of professionally accredited degree programs in architecture, landscape architecture and interior design.

To compile the rankings, DesignIntelligence surveyed more than 9,000 professional practitioners who hire and supervise graduates of architecture, landscape architecture and interior design programs.

‘Most Admired Educators’

Clemson tied with Auburn University for the highest number of faculty on this year’s “Most Admired Educators” list, with three. Here are Clemson’s “Most Admired”:

Kate Schwennsen, FAIA, director of the Clemson School of Architecture, joined the Clemson faculty in August 2010. Among her many honors, Schwennsen was president of the American Institute of Architects in 2006, becoming the second woman to serve as the elected leader of the then-149-year-old, 80,000-member organization. Schwennsen is a recognized leader in bridging architectural education and practice, with expertise in issues of design leadership, diversity and evolving models of practice and education in architecture. In 2018, Schwennsen was presented the Educator Honor Award, the most prestigious honor that the American Institute of Architecture Students confers on a faculty adviser or educator.

David Allison, FAIA, FACHA, has enjoyed a 30-year career at Clemson, combining academic scholarship with innovative design and research on health-care environments and healthy communities. He is the recipient of many national awards, including the 2019 ACHA Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor presented by the American College of Healthcare Architects. Also in 2019, Allison received the Center for Health Design’s prestigious Changemaker Award. Since 1990, Allison has served as the director of graduate studies in Architecture + Health at Clemson. Allison was elevated to a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) in 2010 and became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Architects (FACHA) in 2013.

Dan Harding is an associate professor of architecture and serves as the director of the Community Research and Design Center and the Architecture + CommunityBUILD graduate certificate program, striving to ensure that South Carolina communities embrace the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability. Harding is a leader of the Clemson team that received a patent for Sim[PLY], an innovative system that allows a home to be built using a system of plywood pieces cut in advance by computer-driven machines. The resulting structure is easily assembled and requires no power tools or hammer and nails.