Focus on the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction

The College of Architecture, Design and Construction began with the establishment of a curriculum in architecture in 1907, in the Civil Engineering Department. Auburn was the first university in the south to offer a degree in architecture. The formalization of architecture as an academic discipline coincided with the Land Grant College movement following the Civil War. Prior to that movement, architects received their education through apprenticeship and travel.

Before 1945 enrollments were small and degree programs were few. The modern era of the school began with the influx of veterans of World War II, studying under the GI Bill, and the expansion of academic degree programs. A new program in Industrial Design was established in the Art Department in the 1930’s. Extracurricular activities in music and drama became departments with degree programs. Landscape Architecture and Interior Design programs, established in the 1930's became part of the Architecture Department, as did the newly established program in Building Construction in 1942. The school was renamed the School of Architecture and the Arts and retained that basic form until 1986. In 1997, the Interior Design program formally became the dual Interior Architecture/Architecture program.

Today, The College of Architecture, Construction, and Design continues to embrace the land grant mission of Auburn University and seek ways to address and anticipate the critical issues of our region, nation, and the world. Through carefully integrated industry partnerships, study abroad experiences, research initiatives, outreach activities, and leadership opportunities.  The department’s accomplished and dedicated faculty strives to always nurture, challenge and mentor their students.


Dr. Nathan At A Glance

Hometown
Coimbatore (the cotton capital), India

Academic Degrees
Bachelor of Architecture, MS Interior Design, Ph.D. Architecture

Favorite Music
Rock

Favorite Food
Anything with fish in it; cheesecake

Favorite Hobbies
Chess, Travel

Favorite Part of My Job
Meeting people and building relationships

Research Interests
Chaos theory

My Family
Husband (Jay), Daughter (Mia)

We would like for you to meet Dr. Vini Nathan, Dean and McWhorter Chair of the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction. Auburn University is so fortunate to have Dr. Nathan's experience and she is such a valuable asset not only to the college but also to the entire Auburn University community. Auburn University would like to invite you to look further into the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction as Dr. Nathan explains how the department is a community made up of intellectually curious designers and thinkers, builders and makers, leaders and stewards.

What is your educational background and how long have you worked for Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design, and Construction?

I became the Dean and McWhorter Chair in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, on July 1, 2011. I came to Auburn from Philadelphia University where I served as dean of and professor in the School of Architecture since 2007. I have been on the faculty at Michigan State University and at New York Institute of Technology. I have a Bachelors in Architecture degree from Anna University in India, an MS from Virginia Tech and a PhD in Architecture from the University of Michigan. I have practiced architecture in New Delhi, India and in New York. I was also part of the team that worked on Kuala Lumpur City Center, a design venture in conjunction with the noted architect and former dean of the School of Architecture at Yale, Cesar Pelli. My areas of scholarly interest include leadership through design, disruptive entrepreneurship and chaos theory.

Tell us something we would not know about the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction.

The College of Architecture, Design and Construction is a collection of programs related to architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, building science (including construction management), environmental design, industrial design and graphic design, integrated design and construction, and real estate development. We are home to signature programs such as the Rural Studio, the Urban Studio, and the Center for Construction Innovation and Collaboration. (Most people are surprised to know that we are comprised of more than just the architecture program).

Also, to date, the only MacArthur Fellow from Auburn University has been an architecture professor, Samuel “Sambo” Mockbee.

If talking to a prospective student, what could you tell them that the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction could offer them?

The College of Architecture, Design and Construction offers students a broad based, conceptually rigorous, professional, and liberal arts driven curriculum. Through carefully integrated industry partnerships, study abroad experiences, research initiatives, outreach activities, and leadership opportunities, our accomplished and dedicated faculty will nurture, challenge and mentor students to be the best at becoming better.

What is your favorite thing about Auburn University?

The people.

What makes Auburn University so special?

The people, the place and something “indescribable."