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Lying in the heart of the Central Coast, Santa Barbara has a rich heritage of man-made and natural beauty. The built environment needs to respond to the regional context of the landscape and site. Each is equally important, and the interface between the two is what makes this area unique.

In light of the recent wildfires and mudslides, we are reminded of the importance of the site and that architecture belongs to the site. We need to respect where we are and how to design and build accordingly. Therefore, there is no better place to have a school for architecture and design.

Santa Barbara is located between two major urban centers, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We also have a variety of local resources that we can link to:

• UCSB’s architectural archives and programs in art history, new media and technology, environmental studies, and engineering
• Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s architectural program
• UCLA’s extension programs

In order to provide an avenue for architectural and design education that responds to the local context, it makes sense to tap into Santa Barbara City College, a nationally recognized and awarded educational institution. The new School of Architecture and Design at Santa Barbara City College could integrate potential new programs in architecture, landscape architecture, and industrial design with existing programs in art, planning, drafting, and interior design.

The new School of Architecture and Design at SBCC is intended to offer a two-year associate’s degree and certificate program with an emphasis in architecture consisting of 45 semester units. Students who complete the program can either transfer to a four-year undergraduate architectural program or use the skills they have learned to become architectural technologists, to enter the workforce and be employed in the architectural industry.

A proposed schedule of courses includes:

1.1 Introduction to Architecture
2.1 History of Architecture I
2.2 History of Architecture II
3.1 Design Fundamentals
3.2 Architectural Design Fundamentals
3.3 Architectural Design Studio I
3.4 Architectural Design Studio II
4.1 Architectural Construction
5.1 Architectural Communication I
5.2 Architectural Communication II
6.1 Architectural Practice I
6.2 Architectural Practice II
6.3 Architectural Portfolio

The architectural design community would like to see the new School of Architecture and Design at SBCC happen. We believe that Santa Barbara is the right place, and this is the right time, to have a homegrown architecture school.

Building upon the strong programs that SBCC already offers and expanding upon them to incorporate architecture and design, we can provide a comprehensive design education that is contextual to Santa Barbara but will also have impacts on the global scale.

Architecturally Speaking is written by members of the American Institute of Architects’ Santa Barbara chapter.


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