As an integral part of an art and design school, Architecture at RISD emphasizes process, artistic sensibilities and social and ethical responsibility. Students hone the ability to think and communicate through drawing, making, writing and discussing ideas with others as they define and articulate a personal approach to the discipline.
In addressing the challenges of architecture and the responsibilities of the people who practice it, the BArch offers the knowledge, skills and understanding you need to make meaningful work in a complex field.
Offering a three-year degree and a two-year advance standing track for qualified students, the MArch program empowers you to exercise creativity as a cultural creator and succeed in professional practice.
In the studio
Architecture majors inspire each other as they get direct experience building with materials and learning to understand the technical demands of architecture through a process of inquiry, reflection and invention.
RISD students and recent grads are using design thinking skills to support positive change in Africa, Asia and North and South America.
Michael Maltzan’s 6th Street Viaduct addresses mistakes of LA’s past.
RISD Architecture students participating in the Envision Resilience Challenge draw up radical plans in response to projected sea-level rise in Warren, RI.
Architecture alumni make their mark as creative professionals in many different ways. Some launch their own practices designing and building residential and/or commercial projects, while others join larger established firms or smaller studios. In addition to practicing as architects, alumni have also gone on to stand out as sustainability specialists, author/illustrators, educators, health care designers and more.
Alumni at work
Known for an economy of form and function, Deborah Berke has built her New York firm based on a commitment to community and sustainability. She regularly returns to RISD as a critic and is a long-time faculty member at Yale University, where she has been named the first female dean of the School of Architecture, effective in July 2016. In 2012 Deborah earned the Berkeley-Rupp Architecture Professorship and Prize—a $100,000 award and teaching appointment at UC/Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. She credits her success to a combination of practice, teaching and public service.
Based in Los Angeles, Michael Maltzan designs homes, art centers, public housing complexes and landscapes to stimulate and engage users. With an eye toward the greater good, Maltzan designs buildings are graceful, minimalist and striking. He began earning recognition as early as his undergraduate days at RISD, when he won the Henry Adams AIA Scholastic Gold Medal. Since then Maltzan’s firm has been widely recognized—including with a 2012 American Academy of Arts & Letters Award—and its projects have been exhibited at major museums worldwide.