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Department of Architecture (DoArch)

Both Means and Ends

Architecture is a way of seeing, shaping and making sense of our environment.
It is a curiously pragmatic and material practice.
It is a long-standing intellectual discipline.
It is a legally responsible profession.

Architects use a conventional technology (graphics) to direct specific labor (construction) to effect a greater socio-political outcome (urbanism). In the Department of Architecture (DoArch) at South Dakota State University we are studying and exploring the disciplinary relationship between the practical means, Building Arts, and our professional ends, Public Works in teaching, research and service. We believe, like Vito Acconci, that architects don't make shelter, they make models of shelter, the space between means and ends.

The Program

As part of SDSU's land grant mission, DoArch is committed to using its surrounding public and professional context as its primary laboratory for investigation. In the university, DoArch is positioned as a bridge between the arts and engineering. Through the study of the technological, ethical and cultural implications of making things that make places.

All functions of DoArch are housed in a single location, the Architecture Mathematics, & Engineering Building, with administrative and faculty offices; light filled design studios and pin-up spaces; and a 13,000 square foot workshop outfitted with state of the art manual and CNC fabrication, construction and manufacturing tools. DoArch has a unique mandate to remain a small program of no more than 220 students, making it one of the smallest architecture programs in the USA working among practices of no more than ten architects working out of a fine fabric of small agrarian and mining cities. For us, as E.F. Schumacher quipped, "Small is Beautiful."

The Department offers two degrees:

  1. Pre-professional 4 year Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture (BFA-Arch) degree; and
  2. NAAB accredited Master of Architecture (M-Arch) degree.

Students with a 4 year undergraduate degree in architecture matriculate through the M-Arch degree in 2 years. DoArch also offers a 3 year M-Arch path to students that have completed an undergraduate degree in disciplines other than architecture.