As part of a major urban research institution, faculty members in the School of Architecture are committed to the creation of new knowledge in the field through research. Published rankings of U.S. Schools of Architecture based on faculty research listed Northeastern University at #14 in the United States (there are roughly 120 Schools of Architecture in the U.S.).
But faculty and students at Northeastern are not only publishing a great deal of research, they are also taking on the most challenging issues facing our cities. They are developing new approaches and new tools for all kinds of important and timely projects, including:
Industrial waterfronts (Dan Adams)
Highway air-rights development (Tim Love)
Public approvals process in cities (George Thrush)
The role of influence among architects across generations (Amanda Lawrence)
Urban design in Milan between the wars (Lucy Maulsby)
Contemporary urban landscape (Jane Amidon)
Crisis and change and the shaping of the built environment (Ivan Rupnik)
Urban design and the shaping of revolutionary China (Shuishan Yu)
Human comfort as a measure of environmental performance (David Fannon)
Housing development patterns (Suzanne Charles)
Le Corbusier in America (Mardges Bacon)
What constitutes research in architecture is not always clear, for while the School includes outstanding historians whose scholarship conforms to the recognizable models of the arts and humanities, the bulk of the faculty are professionally trained designers, and as a result, their work often takes the form of plans, buildings, projects, and other speculations, in addition to books and articles.
In addition to the distinction between traditional scholarly research and what we might call design research, there is also the question of the direction, or orientation, of the work. And here at Northeastern that is particularly important. Because we view creative work in the field through the prism of social capital, as well as individual accomplishment, faculty are encouraged to work collaboratively, or at least to work toward common goals. Among these goals are the following:
- Significant improvements in the relation of public policy to the design and approval of urban housing. To this end, several members of the School have earned internal and external grant support for work in this area.
- Better coordination between urban transportation, public open space, shared amenities such as schools, recreation facilities, and denser urban development around the urban core.
- New models for understanding and representing the impact and opportunities associated with major projects and physical change.