New School of Design, Architecture, and Art announced

John Swanson | Photo Courtesy
The new School of Design, Architecture and Art will be officially located in Renaissance Hall.

The architecture, landscape architecture and art departments are combining into one school

In 1890, North Dakota Agricultural College, or NDAC, was founded as the research land-grant institution for the state of North Dakota. As NDAC’s campus kept expanding and the field of study began to broaden, the school began a four-decade struggle to change its name.

Finally in 1960, the battle of the names ended and the school officially changed its title to North Dakota State University to reflect the increasing variety of study of the institution. Over the years, NDSU has kept up with the addition and expansion of new fields that students with different interests can earn a degree in.

As of this year, NDSU has announced the opening of its new Architecture and Art school that combines the architecture, landscape architecture and visual arts departments. The School of Design, Architecture and Art, or SODAA, is the official name of the school that is located in the Renaissance Hall in downtown Fargo.

Currently, NDSU is the only school in the state that offers architecture and landscape programs and with the opening of the new school, the university will further its field of study for design and art education.

“This is a great opportunity for us to combine 100 years of design excellence in architecture with emerging new design fields to create a powerhouse of design thinking,” David Bertolini, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences told NDSU University Relations. “The new school will disrupt current design education practices to provide valuable careers to benefit the state and the region.”

The school is looking to expand its opportunities for students further by working with campus partners such as the Nice Center for entrepreneurship; apparel, merchandising, interior design, and hospitality management; and strategic communications and advertising.

Opportunities to work with different majors outside of the arts including engineering, public history and construction management fields is being looked at to further the education of faculty and students around the campus.

“There is not a discipline on campus where the school is not a potential partner,” Michael Strand, school director and professor of art told NDSU University Relations. “Design plus anything is possible and is a key to bringing innovative solutions to both challenges and opportunities we have today.”

The goal of SODAA is to diversify the education of students and faculty so that they can gain knowledge of how their field of study correlates with others and how that will then create a better understanding of the flexibility of future careers.

“The impact of design and art is everywhere,” Strand said. “With more than 50 years of collective experience supporting a vibrant learning community of 500-plus students in unparalleled shared faculties within the region, we are thrilled to come together as a school to inspire efforts across disciplines to re-imagine and create thriving and healthy communities.”

For more information on SODAA, students can visit the schools page through NDSU’s website.

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