School of Architecture Director’s Message

Southern Illinois University



Director’s Message

Craig Anz Interim DirectorCRAIG KYLE ANZ, PhD, NCARB/ AIA Architect
Director (Interim)
School of Architecture

Memos from a Design School Director and Practitioner: Toward New Futures in Design and the Arts. 

Here at the School of Architecture, we are home to the Architectural Studies (BS), Master of Architecture (M Arch), Interior Design (BS), Fashion Design and Merchandising (BS), and Construction Management and Operations (minor) programs.

The School of Architecture strives to achieve and maintain education, research, and creative excellence, to serve and transform our society and communities, to nurture the environment, to build our professional bearings, and catalyze our aspirations, skills, and knowledge for toward the greater public good and its well-being.

We are proud to collaborate with others at a Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching top ranked, high-activity research university, wherein our faculty members maintain impactful research and practice agendas in alignment with current global practice and societal needs. Our faculty members have been successfully involved in our allied design professions at many levels and recognize the rising standards for interdisciplinary collaboration and systemic approaches to design pedagogy and practice. We endeavor to expand our communicative dialog and action with multiple institutions and further build our graduate program as a beacon for our foundational curriculum through its unique online capacities to promote global problem-solving, addressing real-world applications and even ‘grand challenges’ collectively. In conjunction, and key to our University and School Mission, we pride ourselves in our capacities to intimately engage with community development and transformative action at multiple scales, regionally and in complex urban settings wherein we face the highest number of intersections within our greater socio-environmental domains. We pride ourselves in our intellectual strengths and skills-based knowledge at multiple levels in preparing our students as emerging professionals for 21st century practice. 

These endeavors are in alignment with our Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP), as well as a Carnegie Civic Engagement designations. We support APLU’s goals toward Public Impact Research (PIR) and practice leading toward impactful and operational, socially transformative education.

As the problems we face become ever more complex (and ‘well-being’ a dynamically ever-changing goal), the ability to synthesize discourse into applicative practice is becoming more and more essential, particularly to university curriculum as the foundations for effective professional practice. We promote innovative evidence and performance-based design decisions in alignment with real-world challenges. This has proven most effective in the educative curriculum and enhances the students’ ability to pursue multidimensional paths toward project implementation. To integrate such perspectives advances our professions and their constituents in an interactive, co-operative, and continually heuristic framework. The goal is to sponsor a vibrantly integrated teaching, research, and service environment that inevitably leads to trans-operative professional practice with other disciplines within our greater communities.

We invite others to join us and our allied disciplines as intrinsically implicated with the significant issues of our time, as it is our duty to inspire and prepare emerging professionals to join in our civic duties to critically reshape our shared futures. Design as a form of transformative leadership, we endeavor to accelerate the stride and multiply our positive solutionary capacities toward quality health, safety, and welfare of all, while also ‘asking more beautiful questions’ (with respect to Berger) for consciously expressing timeless cultural, organizational, and socio-environmental meaning and values in all we design and create.