Construction Management joins the College of Architecture and Environmental Design

It is not just the innovation economy that benefits from intersections between disciplines – it’s the ‘execution economy’ and most any sector that’s experiencing rapid change – or should we say acknowledges it. It’s indisputable. The world is changing at an accelerated rate. Climate change, advanced technologies, the information economy, globalization, rapid urbanization, changing demographics – all have radical impacts on what we design, how we design and construct it. In the past several decades, buildings have become radically more complex, involving greater integration, higher performance, and a multiplicity of experts to design and construct them. The notion of a single master builder is obsolete, the need for close, cross- disciplinary cooperation is critical to leadership in the design and construction disciplines, just as it is in many other sectors. Innovation, progress and leadership in how and what we build lay between and across the disciplines.

In recent years the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University has embraced the notion of expanding from a stand-alone program in Architecture to the addition of Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Health Care Design and programs dedicated to research, taught with respect for developing disciplinary expertise while enhancing cross-disciplinary awareness and the capacity to collaborate intelligently. The addition of Construction Management is one more step in that direction – acknowledging that especially in the more progressive and ambitious designs architects conceive, is the need for early and smart coordination with constructors. This is the distinction that the Construction Management program at Kent State is setting out to realize – that its graduates will have distinctive readiness and capacity to work effectively with architects and consultants in the development of the built environment, with a particular focus on vertical construction using the most advanced and appropriate tools, techniques, and technologies to get the job done efficiently and effectively with respect to set out intentions and ambitions. In short – they will become the Architects’ and Owners’ preferred Construction Managers – because they have an appreciation of design, an awareness of design principles and a “can do, how to” readiness to take on and realize the most compelling and complex problems. That’s the uniqueness and distinction that can only come from cross training between architects and construction managers – in a manner that expands the imagination and possibility alongside a vivid awareness of disciplinary responsibilities and cross-disciplinary fluency.

Educating tomorrow's leaders in any profession requires solid understanding – not just of current technologies but the first principles that guide them. It requires the development of curiosity, flexible minds, collaborative practices, and aspirational thinking, guided by pragmatic rigor that will take our graduates into leadership positions well into the 21st century, having substantial impact on the built environment and society.

Moving forward together.

POSTED: Monday, November 20, 2017 - 10:24am
UPDATED: Monday, February 17, 2020 - 1:27pm
George Bigham and Mark Mistur