Design and the arts fundamentally affect the quality of our lives by satisfying in profound ways the needs and desires of individuals and societies. Students and faculty in the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) are immersed in processes of iterative making and exploring in order to realize the transformative potential of design. They strive to understand systems at a very deep level and reimagine them in extraordinary ways. They debunk the notion that design and the arts are mere hobbies that do not add value or change lives.
Making and testing are an essential part of what we do and how we learn in CAAD; these are intense and challenging endeavors. Furthermore, the liberal arts core at AUS, which augments courses in CAAD, distinguishes us from many other design schools and ensures that our students have a broad intellectual preparation for the challenges they will face as competent and successful professionals in today’s world. Employers and graduate school admission committees prefer CAAD graduates because of their design abilities and because they are articulate, critical thinkers.
Our success is evident in the many plaudits garnered by our students and alumni. This includes major awards such as the Visual Arts and Design category of the internationally prestigious Undergraduate Awards, the Helen Lansdowne Resor Scholarship awarded by the 4A’s Foundation, Inc., the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award, and the Christo and Jean Claude Award given by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation. Our graduates go on to succeed in graduate studies at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, such as the Architectural Association School of Architecture and the Royal College of Art, both in London; the Harvard Graduate School of Design; Rhode Island School of Design; and New York’s School of Visual Arts.
My faculty colleagues play a central and vital role in this success. With their energy and design knowledge, they inspire students to perform at a level that attracts recognition. They invest a great deal of themselves in their teaching. Studio instruction, which is at the heart of learning design, is an intensive endeavor and requires the investment of significant time and energy. CAAD faculty are not only passionate and committed teachers, they disseminate their creative work and engage in scholarly activities.
I am proud to be associated with these successful endeavors. I invite you to visit us in person or online and witness the creative energy that fills our building and the magic that happens when students and faculty reimagine our world.
Varkki Pallathucheril, PhD, Dean