Much of the School's research activity is organized along research themes, which the faculty developed in 2009 by examining the ongoing research at the School and categorizing it according to broad ideas, rather than traditional departmental boundaries, recognizing that much of the work engaged multiple disciplines. The School also houses centers and institutes which support and organize research activity.
This research theme addresses the recent national awareness that building, landscape, and community design influence the health and well-being of citizens. From indoor air pollution to the health impacts of sedentary car-dependent lifestyles, public health advocates are looking to the planning and design fields for guidance and solutions. The UVa School of Architecture is well-positioned to take advantage of this emerging national agenda.
The UVa School of Architecture is uniquely positioned to take on the challenge of exploring alternatives, finding innovative solutions, and partnering with others in cross–disciplinary approaches to address both pressing immediate challenges and long–term solutions for sustainable infrastructure systems.
The UVa School of Architecture educates professionals who care about engaging the particularities of place to effect positive change. Our pedagogy inculcates a critical perspective on place–one that gleans key lessons from the past and present, from historical patterns and ecological processes, in order to imagine how to regenerate places for the future.
With our unique combination of disciplines, the UVa School of Architecture demonstrates a shared value in learning by serving those facing social, environmental, and economic challenges. Within our School community as well as the community at large, there exist multiple opportunities for faculty, students, and community members to focus on projects and pedagogy that engage communities in dialogue and the design process to solve problems.
There are important opportunities, within the UVa School of Architecture and beyond, to expand the role of design, to extend the unique capacity of design thinking into many more areas, and to engage a more diverse pool of collaborators.
Recognizing that our faculty and students share a commitment to border-crossings of various kinds, this research theme provides a venue for expanding the School's global reach and fostering critical debate.