George Thrush, director of Northeastern’s School of Archi­tec­ture in the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design, said great aca­d­emic pro­grams are pred­i­cated on three key ele­ments: a strong fac­ulty, a close exam­i­na­tion of timely prob­lems and stu­dents who under­stand the impor­tance of those problems.

The archi­tec­ture school pos­sesses the trio of traits in spades. “We stand out because of our com­mit­ment to use-​​inspired research rooted in the actual forces that affect con­tem­po­rary cities,” Thrush explained.

The school’s lead­er­ship will be on dis­play in May in Wash­ington, D.C., at the National Con­ven­tion of the Amer­ican Insti­tute of Archi­tects (AIA), where Thrush and sev­eral stu­dents will be fea­tured in a video essay on future chal­lenges facing designers.

North­eastern was selected to appear in the video because of its focus on building designs that directly address market needs and ded­i­ca­tion to over­coming chal­lenges in making urban com­mu­ni­ties more effi­cient, beau­tiful and sustainable.

We’re trying to under­stand the DNA of an everyday city and create a strategy for inno­va­tion,” Thrush said, noting the impor­tance of asking, “What do we mean by inno­va­tion and how do we achieve it?”

Stu­dents praised the strength of Northeastern’s archi­tec­ture program.

Having prac­ticing archi­tects as fac­ulty mem­bers, for example, “gives stu­dents more insight into what is cur­rently hap­pening in the archi­tec­ture world and how we can con­tribute to it,” noted grad­uate stu­dent Chanel Tourigny.

Fourth-​​year archi­tec­ture major Erica Garfinkel called the program’s emphasis on urbanism both timely and unique. As she put it, “The world is becoming more urban, so it’s impor­tant we focus on addressing these issues.”

For grad­uate stu­dent Kyle Jonasen, Northeastern’s focus on research is a cru­cial part of the program’s suc­cess. “There’s real value to ded­i­cated research and study in archi­tec­ture,” he explained. “It allows you to speak with col­leagues about projects as a critic, which you can’t do as easily with a pure design focus.”