Auburn Family

Auburn Architecture Prepares Students to Design the Future

The Auburn University Architecture Program was established in 1907, making Auburn senior Stewart Dorn is of many students in the architecture program at Auburn, but he is

devoting his time to a dual degree in Architecture and Interior Architecture. The various degrees within the architecture program are rigid five-year degrees requiring 159 hours or more.  Auburn one of the first universities in the nation, and the first in the South, to offer architecture as a major. Now, the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture has ranked among the top 20 programs in the nation for nine years in a row.

"My grandfather was an author, but his passion was learning," said Dorn on why he chose architecture. "He collected books until he had his own library. When I was about two I told him that I was interested in architecture, every time he would travel he would bring me back architecture books. He molded who I am and always pushed me forward."

Their motivations are different, but the challenges are often the same for the Auburn's architecture students. The rigors of the program require that the students learn today's cutting edge design technology along with traditional design techniques like drafting, photography, surveying, sculpting, building, painting and many more.

The program also encourages students to participate in one of many of their special programs. The study abroad program is a nine-week traveling Study Abroad program usually conducted in Western Europe. There are also two unique studio opportunities in the Urban Studio and the Rural Studio. The Urban Studio serves as a teaching and outreach venue for the School of Architecture in Birmingham while the Rural Studio facilitates a hands-on educational experience whilst assisting the underprivileged area that is West Alabama's Black Belt Region.

"Auburn allows us to be creative with our projects, but we have to work through problems on our own," said Dorn. "We are challenged, but provided the opportunities to learn and grow creatively at the same time."

Each semester of the program ends with a final project, however, each week builds on the next. Often there are weekly projects due, status meetings with professors and independent projects.

"My favorite project was an assisted living project that I did last year," said Dorn." I am from Birmingham and my project was  in Birmingham. I knew some of the needs of the city and was able to apply that to my design. At the time, my grandmother was in an assisted-living home, so I was able to interview her to figure out what actual residents would want in a home. The project turned out really well."

The grind of Auburn's Architecture program is demanding but rewarding. In a recent study by Design Intelligence, 100 percent of Auburn's Architecture students believe they will be well-prepared for their profession upon graduation.

For more information about the Auburn School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture visit

(Top Photo/Stewart Dorn; Bottom Photo/Stewart Dorn)

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