The Yale School of Architecture is one of the constituent professional schools of Yale University.
Yale's architecture programs are an outgrowth of a longstanding commitment to the teaching of the fine arts in the university. "Art was first taught at an American college or university in 1869 when the Yale School of the Fine Arts was established. Yale alumnus and educator Andrew Dickson White was offered the post as the first dean of the school, but turned it down to be the first president of Cornell University. Even earlier, in 1832, Yale opened the Trumbull Art Gallery, the first college-affiliated gallery in the country. The Department of Architecture was established in the School of the Fine Arts in 1916. In 1959 the School of Art and Architecture, as it was then known, was made into a fully graduate professional school. In 1972 Yale designated the School of Architecture as its own separate professional school."
The School is housed in the masterwork of its former Dean, Paul Rudolph. Rudolph Hall, formerly the Yale Art and Architecture Building, was rededicated and reoccupied in November 2008 following an extensive renovation and addition carried out by a team which included renowned New York architect and Yale alumnus Charles Gwathmey.
The school awards the degrees of Master of Architecture, a professional degree, Master of Architecture II, a post-professional degree, Master of Environmental Design, a nonprofessional research-based degree, and Doctor of Philosophy in architectural history and criticism. The school also offers joint-degree programs with the School of Management and School of Forestry. Additionally, a course of study for undergraduates in Yale College leads to a Bachelor of Arts.
Yale's core program has always stressed design as a fundamental discipline. While initially associated with Beaux Arts pedagogy, the school adopted a close affiliation with other modes of fine art, including sculpture, graphic design, painting and furniture design. One of its most illustrious early graduates, Eero Saarinen, produced a wide variety of student projects ranging from medals and currency to campus and monumental buildings. When the Art and Architecture Building became its home, Paul Rudolph's design reflected this close integration between various fine art departments. The famed department of Graphic Design contributed consistently to architecture posters, publications and exhibits, particularly to Perspecta, Yale's ground breaking student journal.
Another distinguishing element in the Yale core program has been the Yale Building Project, a first-year studio and summer program. Particularly under Dean Charles W. Moore first year students were pushed to design small buildings that ameliorated the life of poor or disadvantaged Americans, working as VISTA volunteers in the deep South. In later years the program focused more on New Haven and Southern Connecticut. A recent book on the subject documents the extraordinary breadth and significance of the work produced by students, many of whom went on to become renowned architects and educators.
Yale's M.E.D., one of the first of its kind, made it possible for architects and planners to pursue a wide range of research connected to the betterment of the entire environment. Only recently have the design professions embraced this wider field of study, spurred by the movement towards sustainability and inter-disciplinarity. Notable recipients of the degree included William J. Mitchell, later dean at MIT, and Steven Izenour, a partner with Venturi, Scott Brown Associates.
The Yale Urban Design Workshop is a community design center affiliated with the Yale School of Architecture. It was established in 1992 by School of Architecture professor Alan Plattus, who continues to direct the workshop.
As of 2016, the program's ten-year average ranking, places it 4th, overall, on DesignIntelligence's ranking of programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.
Conversely, DesignIntelligence's ten-year median ranking places the program 3rd.
*(T) denotes tie
The school maintains an active publications program. It supports two student-edited journals, Perspecta and Retrospecta; a biannual news magazine, Constructs; and publishes books. Perspecta is the oldest student-edited peer reviewed architectural journal in the United States.
*Indicates former deans of the separate School of Architecture (1972–present) or chairmen of the former Department of Architecture (part of the School of Fine Arts from 1916 and the School of Art and Architecture from 1959)
†Indicates Priztker Prize laureate
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