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As an integral part of a fine arts 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.

Degree programs

5–year undergraduate program
3–year program and 2–year advanced standing pathway

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.

Pivoting to Fight the Pandemic

RISD makers are helping to address the nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment.

Good News from DesignIntelligence

RISD’s Architecture, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture programs rank well in the 2019/20 survey of America’s top architecture and design schools.

RISD Architects Think Small

Five affordable, net-zero homes designed in a RISD studio are being built in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood.

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

Deborah Berke BArch 77 | architect/educator

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.

Michael Maltzan BArch 85 | architect/social activist

Los Angeles-based architect Michael Maltzan designs homes, art centers, public housing complexes and landscapes to stimulate and engage users. Whether designed for the privileged or the poor, his buildings are graceful, minimalist and striking. Maltzan began earning recognition as early as his undergraduate days at RISD, when he won the Henry Adams AIA Scholastic Gold Medal. Since then his 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.