In a rapidly changing professional landscape positioning is vitally important. The College of Architecture and Design has positioned its programs so that the education stays relevant well beyond graduation. During their studies our students should form habits of mind and develop a knowledge base that prepares them well for a lifetime of personal and professional growth.
The College is comprised of multiple design disciplines including both graduate and undergraduate professional and pre-professional programs in Architecture and Infrastructure Planning, as well as undergraduate degree programs in Industrial Design, Interior Design, Digital Design and Fine Arts. The various design disciplines create strong synergisms and an exciting flow of ideas. There is an atmosphere of creativity combined with a sense of intensity. We have established a milieu within which designers can develop and thrive. In short, it is an exhilarating environment in which to learn and to teach. Our vision is to unleash creative potential using advanced technology.
At the same time a parallel aim is to foster an entrepreneurial spirit. We think of design as the creation of intellectual property. It is important that our students understand that design creates value. They need to appreciate that design not only contributes to a better world for all but that it provides a sound basis for business.
We anticipate a free flow of ideas between not only faculty and students but also between the various disciplines. This encourages change and transformation instead of ossification. No one is ossified and stuck in their ways. This fluid situation creates the precondition for constant renewal and inspired design.
Our trajectory is to produce an intellectual and creative hothouse in which academics, students, and practitioners can explore ideas and learn from each other. There is a strong symbiotic relationship between the various design disciplines and the more technical educations represented at NJIT. Conversely, the College of Architecture and Design provides another dimension to the more scientific and technical foci of most of the rest of the university.
One aspect of outreach to industry consists of hiring some of the brightest and most talented practicing designers as teachers. Whenever possible we try to bring real life problems to the College for students to work on. This approach acquaints them with different modes of thinking and prepares them for successfully entering the job market. Most of our students already work during summers and many work on a limited basis during the school year.
The presence of the design disciplines at NJIT creates many opportunities to collaborate with scientists and engineers. Extraordinary advances have been made by the combination of research based technical expertise and market based design imperatives. As a design school within NJIT we therefore are ideally positioned to take advantage of inspired cross-disciplinary approaches. Many design contributions are made in the context of teamwork – often geographically dispersed and asynchronous. Students will be exposed to learning situations which emulate these conditions and expose future designers to professional realities.
We want to foster an interest in dual degrees either straddling design disciplines or extending to fields such as management or engineering. We are also aware of the importance of a strong liberal arts education as a sound basis for all design professionals. Therefore, all undergraduate design programs devote a considerable number of credit hours to imbedded liberal arts courses.
NJIT provides an interesting context for a design school. The university has technical expertise and the know how to channel creative impulses into productive uses. We believe that the nexus between design and science provides a fertile environment for innovation and invention: it combines lateral thought processes typical of designers with the more linear thought processes of scientists.
The trajectory of the College is to provide an extraordinary design education that is carefully calibrated to the needs of industry. At the same time our aim is to provide a major forum for discussions and debates about design. We want the College to be a center of thought and ideas. It should provide a common ground in which professionals, faculty and students can mingle. Exhibits, lectures and seminars act as a further stimulus to exchange of ideas and the furtherance of design.
Newark, NJ, US , 07102