Cal Poly’s architecture and landscape architecture programs stood out among other top universities in DesignIntelligence’s 2019-2020 national survey. 

DesignIntelligence is a company that conducts a yearly national survey of college architecture, landscape architecture and interior design programs from participating universities across the country. The survey has been conducted since 1994. 

The information for the survey is comprised of reports from deans and academics and perspectives from students and hiring professionals.

Cal Poly placed in every category, including most admired schools, most hired from schools, focus areas and most admired educators.

The Cal Poly architecture program ranked No. 8 and landscape architecture program No. 6 under most admired school for undergraduate education.  In the 2018-2019 school year, both Cal Poly architecture and landscape architecture ranked within the top 10 of each category as well. 

Among the most admired educators are landscape architecture professor and Department Chair Omar Faluque, landscape architecture associate professor David Watts and architecture professor Thomas Fowler. 

“I think that the community within the architecture program makes it so special,” architecture junior Cami Kamigaki said. “There is a mentorship program… so everyone is gaining this library of knowledge not only from professors, but also from peers.”

Under the most hired category, Cal Poly architecture ranked No. 2 out of all programs with over 100 graduates. Cal Poly landscape architecture ranked No. 1 out of all programs with over 35 graduates, above Harvard University. 

“My teaching is trying to understand the students, who you’re talking to — you learn with them,” landscape architecture professor and Department Head Omar Faluque said.

Faluque was recently recognized as an Outstanding Alumni from his alma mater, Texas A&M, the highest honor given to alumni.

“We the environmental design professionals have to provide leadership through our work and actions,” Faruque said in his acceptance speech.  

Under the focus areas category, Cal Poly’s undergraduate architecture program placed in all 12 categories for undergraduates, including No.1 in construction materials and methods and engineering fundamentals. 

Cal Poly’s landscape architecture program ranked in all 12 categories as well, placing No. 1 in undergraduate education for construction materials and methods, engineering fundamentals, healthy built environments, practice management, sustainable built environments/adaptive design/resilient design, and transdisciplinary collaboration across A/E/C. 

“The students are absolutely incredible,”architecture professor Thomas Fowler said. 

Fowler is currently working on a project with his students alongside an outside firm and architectural engineering students, designing a skyscraper.

“I’m very excited because it simulated the actual design process and these interactions they will be having once they graduate,” Fowler said. 

Other high ranking university architecture and landscape architecture programs include Harvard, Cornell, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. 

According to landscape architecture associate professor David Watts, the three primary reasons behind the successful program are a unique forward-thinking curriculum, committed faculty and staff, and talented and driven students.

“The students are the motivating factor to coming to work every day, being inspired by their creativity and their concern for the future,” Watts said. 

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