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About the School of Design

Message from the Director

Dr. Pat Crawford
Dr. Pat Crawford

Welcome to the School of Design (SoD) at South Dakota State University! If you are looking for the breadth and diversity of a land grant and the depth of our nationally accredited majors in the visual arts and in the built environment, all within a small and safe town environment, you have found your new home here in Brookings.

Our five majors in studio arts (art education, painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture), in landscape architecture, architecture, interior design and graphic design are all accredited and meet national quality standards in faculty, curricula and facilities. Our unique SoD curriculum is shaped to provide strategic opportunities for interprofessional experiences, at the right moment and when our students are ready.

learn more about our SoD interprofessional curriculum

We have structured our school’s curriculum and courses to be nimble, equitable and scaled appropriately within the context of our university and our community. Since I graduated with a master’s in landscape architecture, I knew that I wanted to teach in college, but with a foundation of practice. I became a licensed landscape architect and worked in the profession for nine years. I soon realized the value of interdisciplinary collaborations. My Ph.D. in planning provided me with the intellectual background to help me navigate the School of Design: to find the right scale and structure for our School and the right moments for our students to develop interprofessional skills.

At SoD, we equally value the creation of new knowledge and the application of knowledge. Our faculty are engaged in the full spectrum of research, scholarship and creative activities.

Art and design elevate everything. We initiate and engage in conversations that shape creative practices and enhance our understanding of art and design. This exchange enriches the way we live and work. We challenge limits and nurture confidence as we transform our students, ourselves and our communities.

The unique composition of our School of Design unites the visual arts and the built environment. We are equal partners in weaving dialogue and collaboration across everything we do. This dynamic coexistence empowers us to be agile and innovative.

The School of Design was established on July 1, 2015, to build on the rich tradition in art and design instruction at SDSU that began in 1887. When then College President Lewis C. McLouth and another faculty member taught free-hand drawing until 1891, a trained artist, Nelle Berkey, was hired.