The College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) at Kent State University is dedicated to developing responsible professionals committed to improving the quality of life, enhancing the physical environment, and protecting the public welfare through the design of the built environment. The practice of environmental design is a creative design synthesis that requires both a breadth of knowledge concerning society and its functions as well as a depth of technical and physical knowledge of materials, procedures, and business organization. It is a problem-solving process which strives to achieve balance between the values of a society, the desires of a client, the constraints of economics, technology, politics and the environment, and the subjective art of aesthetics. This process of synthesis often balances between opposing sets of factors: harmony of form versus requirements of technology; aesthetic inspiration versus scientific reason; freedom of expression versus economic constraints. The college educates students to cope with these challenges by providing a curriculum of liberal arts, technology, and synthesizing design studios.
The college's programs seek to develop professional values of ethics, social justice, functionality, economics, aesthetics, and technology. The educational process involves a wide spectrum of study in history, human behavior, the environment, design, structural systems, environmental control systems, life safety systems, business, finance and management, and laws and regulations. Moreover, the college encourages students to develop an understanding of the finite nature of resources, changing cultural values, plural clients and societies, and the international dimensions of professional practice, as well as the art and science of building. The CAED fosters an attitude of inquiry and discovery as students assume responsibility for their professional and intellectual development.
The CAED promotes a positive and respectful learning environment through the fundamental values of optimism, respect, sharing, engagement, and innovation among the members of the student body, faculty, staff, and administration. The CAED encourages students and faculty to appreciate these values as guiding principles of professional conduct. Although expectations are high, the CAED recognizes a balanced life and well rounded university education are critical for each student's personal growth.
CAED studios are classroom environments which foster independent and collaborative inquiry, the acquisition of knowledge and management skills, and the establishment of a strong work ethic to enhance students' professional growth. Peer and faculty review within studio stimulates questions, strengthens dialogue, supports critical and creative thought, and promotes the discovery and application of new knowledge. Studio fosters design thinking through research and is a forum for design innovation and exploration with the goal of improving quality of life.
CAED studios encourage life-long learning through establishing foundations in design thinking, research habits, and the integration of life experiences in the pursuit of excellence in design.