Message from the Dean

Dr. Ikhlas Sabouni, Dean

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The School of Architecture welcomes you to take part in a journey which will become an adventure. Our School is a trinity range of concepts – a macro perspective, a focus on specifics, and view of humanity through understanding how we live. Those concepts are seen through the windows of our programs here at Prairie View A&M University – Community Development, Construction Science and Architecture. We have Bachelor of Science degrees in Architecture and Construction Science, while offering Master’s degrees in Architecture and Community Development. Our students excel in design, management, development, and in creating the built environment which will enhance our quality of life. Architecture is that marriage of art and science which creates habitable spaces for generations to come.

Our students learn from the past in order to forge the future. And they learn about our world for our market is transforming from the corner store to the global place of being. Our first year students begin their career by learning the terminology of our profession. The concepts of art and abstraction. Second year begins the study of form and function – how that evolves into construction. Third year students begin to appreciate how materials are brought together with connections and details – seeing structure take shape. Fourth year is an exploration of place as they create an intellectual scaffolding for knowledge in architecture which will propel them into a fifth year of study, culminating these previous years into a final expression of what an architect can be.

Our building, recently designed by Michael Rotondi, FAIA, ROTO Architects, Los Angeles, in partnership with the firm, HKS, Dallas, embodies our philosophy of architecture. The structure symbolizes movement, function, and flexibility better than any building used for the training of architects, designers, and constructors. Architect Rotondi created canyons – places for students to gather, to socialize, to learn from their faculty and each other. He used materials to create surfaces which are opaque on one side while at the same time being transparent on the other. He created areas which flow from one space to another – which in turn morph into new expanses. He also used the materials of our historic university in new ways which even though are finite, became limitless and fanciful as the brick walls became waving curtains which float above the Texas prairie. We teach our students the same way – to learn from the past, glean the excellence, and use that knowledge to create, to construct, to manage their new buildings/streets/cities/regions and cultures.

At our School, we do not use the Xerox machine – we use clean slates. We want them to construct new horizons for themselves and their families. They learn how we have built, how they can build, and how they can create new ways, new futures using new technology such as BIM. Our faculty teach our students the tools for a positive future to design and construct the buildings that no longer waste energy, but create it, through courses such as sustainable building and alternative energy design. Our graduates will create places for working, learning, playing, contemplating, and socializing that have never before been experienced. Our philosophy is simple – we teach students how to learn. So come join us and look through our windows at the School of Architecture and see what the future can be.

Dean Sabouni

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