The Department of Architecture (DoA) endeavours design education, research and innovation prompted by the social, technological and environmental challenges of the global South. Lessons from Bangladesh being located at the global frontier of rapid urbanization, environmental change and social innovation guide DoA’s undergraduate and postgraduate pedagogy for designing the built and natural environment. Local experiences of designing for changing society in a transforming landscape are linked with global advances in knowledge and practice taking place within the allied fields of architecture. Context-specific and problem-posing design pedagogy of DoA draw strength from being within Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), the premier public university of Bangladesh with international repute. The nation’s leading academics and competent supporting staffs work together with the stakeholders to provide an inspiring learning environment for talented students and meet the emerging needs of the architecture profession. DoA has a vision of becoming South Asia’s leading architectural institution to nurture and produce aesthetically motivated, technologically informed and socially grounded critical practitioners. This vision is embedded within BUET’s commitment to becoming a centre of excellence by increasing its global ranking through a focus on research and innovation.
Brief Profile: In architecture education, DoA, BUET is one of the pioneer institutions in South and South-East Asia established during the early 1960s to produce professional architects and contribute to the host country’s modernization through the development of built environment. With its mandate to contribute to nation-building, DoA started its journey in 1962 under the newly formed Faculty of Architecture and Planning in the erstwhile East Pakistan University of Engineering & Technology (EPUET). The opening of this new Faculty had upgraded Ahsanullah Engineering College to a full-fledged university. A five-year Bachelor of Architecture programme was developed and run with cooperation from Texas A&M University, USA, under the US-AID technical assistance. DoA made a humble beginning with just one expatriate faculty and five students. Later more expatriate faculties joined and local graduates with higher studies became full-time faculties; DoA became an all local-faculty institution shortly after the national independence in 1971 under BUET. By this time, DoA had shifted to the newly designed architecture precinct by Richard E. Vrooman, the first Head of the Department; since then, the iconic Architecture building has not only showcased the possibilities of architecture in a tropical climate but also inspiring generations of aspiring architects in Bangladesh. Until the early 1990s, DoA was the only institution producing graduate architects in addressing the local practice in Bangladesh; since then, DoA has also been instrumental behind the expansion of architecture education in the public and private sectors in Bangladesh.
DoA grew in stature since its inception in the early 1960s; the annual student intakes increased from 5 to 55 while become rich with diversified expertise to produce architects who distinguished themselves in the national, regional and global levels. Early mentoring by Richard E. Vrooman, Daniel C. Dunham, and experience sharing by renowned adjunct faculties like Louis I. Kahn, Paul Rudolph, Stanley Tigerman, Mazharul Islam and Fazlur Rahman Khan had set the ground for graduating architects’ achievements. Diversified faculty expertise was recently streamlined into discrete divisions to run its postgraduate and undergraduate programmes that few regional institutions can parallel. Under the DoA umbrella, impacts of the collaborating six divisions—Energy and Environment, Urban Design and Landscape, Housing and Settlement, History Theory and Criticism, Construction and Technology, and Synergies—are evident in the number of international student design awards won by DoA students and graduates in the last few decades. DoA faculties and alumnus have also made their marks by winning many national, regional and international awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the South Asian Architect of the Year Award and the Institute of Architects Bangladesh Design Awards on several occasions.
The Department of Architecture aims to be a centre of excellence in Architectural education, research and innovations to produce aesthetically motivated, technologically informed and socially grounded critical practitioners towards attaining leadership in South Asia while moving up in global ranking.
The Department of Architecture aspires to provide outcome-based education, conduct state of the art research and organize context-based training in traditional and modern built-environment issues by making use of opportunities offered in the 4th Industrial Revolution while responding to the challenges set in the Sustainable Development Goals.
- To train, educate and motivate inquiring minds towards designing for a sustainable habitat for all living entities through critical engagement with the social, political, economic, environmental, technological, historic and artistic parameters within the discipline of architecture.
- To create a trans-disciplinary learning environment that fosters the spirit of Innovation, Empathy, Experience and Sharing among leading designers, researchers, educators and professionals.
- To serve the national interest through participation in the preparation of policy guidelines for the sustainable and resilient built environment.
- To incorporate Online Learning platforms in parallel with in-person teaching modes for making use of opportunities offered in the 4th Industrial Revolutions.