We strive to make our concentration an environment of rigorous yet open inquiry. Our goal is to create new architectural knowledge via the research, practice and design work of our faculty and graduate students. We pursue this objective through the strengths present in our SSCS community while abiding by principles of collaboration, integration and personal connection. We profess architectural design as a legitimate and sophisticated mode of inquiry that can probe, ponder, and respond to the most profound and concrete questions posed by humanity. Following the Journal of Architectural Education, we approach the scholarly study of architectural design using two mutually dependent perspectives: (a) design as scholarship (i.e., building as the act of construing/embedding knowledge, beliefs, ethics, aesthetics) and (b) the scholarship of design (i.e., investigation of the various phenomena associated with building).

Specifically, we are interested in the practice and study of architecture as the unique place where the immaterial and immeasurable aspects of our humanity meet, shape, and become in turn transformed by the very physical and empirical dimensions of our embodiment. This of course is a wide space of investigation that our concentration community pursues in a variety of ways ranging from semiotics to phenomenology, technology to anthropology, religion to science, design process/method to post-occupancy analysis, sustainability to communication.

Present investigations and projects by the SSCS faculty include (projects listed in alphabetical order):

Aesthetics, Psychology, and Neuroscience (Milton Shinberg)
Catholic Sacred Architecture (George Martin)
fMRI study of architecturally induced contemplative states (Julio Bermudez)
Phenomenology of the Architectural Extraordinary (Julio Bermudez)
Sacred Landscapes & Native American Culture (Stanley Hallet)
Spirit of Place / Spirit of Design (Kathleen Lane)
Spirit of Place / Spirit of Design (Travis Price)
Tunisian Vernacular Architecture (Stanley Hallet)
Typologies of Religious Space — Historical and Contemporary (Michael Gick)
Voluntary Architectural Simplicity (Julio Bermudez)

Research opportunities for SSCS students include working under existing faculty projects, and/or developing their own research program through independent study and thesis work. For recent projects conducted by our graduate students, click here.