University of Kentucky College of Design – 38°84° the power of place
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Architecture impacts your life daily. You experience it in almost everything you do. As the only accredited program in Kentucky, the School of Architecture in the College of Design has, since its inception, strived to not only educate and prepare our students to be the next generation of Architects, but also to inspire them to become the future leaders of the discipline.

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The School of Interiors in the College of Design is a community of scholars comprised of both students and faculty. We fundamentally demonstrate design as a human-centered practice and challenge long-established ideas that a designer only treats the surface of the interior. Instead, we advocate for the study of interiors as a multi-layered, sensory-laden, connective way of experiencing the world.

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Historic Preservation

Historic preservation helps communities negotiate change. The HP program in the UK College of Design trains students to become skilled practitioners through a combination of classroom instruction and applied projects in urban and rural contexts. A rigorous curriculum, outstanding faculty and an emphasis on community engagement make the program a recognized leader in the field.

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Product Design

Product design is a strategic problem-solving process that drives innovation, builds business success, and leads to a better quality of life through innovative products, services and experiences. Values, ideals, and aspirations of a culture are expressed through material objects, systems and now digital footprints; these become imperative to understanding our current circumstance and to inventing our future.

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Design-Build Certificate

The Design-Build Certificate program serves both undergraduate and graduate students in architecture, engineering, and environmental science disciplines who have an interest in advanced building science as it relates to architecture, research, digital fabrication, prototyping, and construction. Centered on experiential learning, students will learn through design and full-scale construction.

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The New Building

The College of Design has waited 50 years for a building opportunity that will allow its programs to grow, diversify, and cross-pollinate. And now, on the precipice of a new era in design education, the College has made plans to transform a 20th-century tobacco warehouse into a vibrant ecosystem for future generations of designers, and a pinnacle of engagement within the city of Lexington.

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At the intersection of who we were, who we are and where we’re going is a common denominator: a deliberate focus on design and its impact, rural to urban and local to global. The origin is here, in Lexington, at this place of pedagogy, legacy and invention. Our vision is bold: new programs, new partners, new identity, all infused with Kentucky’s indigenous spirit and its imprint on our unfolding story.


Get to Know Lexington

Why Lexington?

There are those who argue whether Kentucky is in the North or South (mind you, we checked the “neither” box when it came to the Civil War, so it’s hard to call). But it’s really irrelevant at this point because the Bluegrass State has carved out its own niche outside the boundaries of a compass. The place? We are at 38°84°, but who we are is where it gets really interesting.

Many of our attributes precede us: our world-renowned skills at crafting bourbon, our legendary horse farms, and our national championship UK basketball team. But that’s like saying New Orleans has some great jazz, and that’s pretty much it.

There’s a whole culture, a fluid lifestyle that sets the pace here in Lexington. It draws a younger crowd, with the median age in Lexington-Fayette County being 33.9 (compared to the national average of 37.3 years old). But on the flip side, Time magazine ranked the city as one of the top five places to retire.

That’s right, Lexington embraces its inner yin/yang.

Art is a big part of life in Lexington, and supportive endeavors like LexArts and Community Supported Arts (CSA) by the Lexington Art League exist to promote local artists and help share their work. But business is drawn here as well, with Forbes voting Lexington #16 in the 2015 Best Places for Business and Careers.

This is a city with a great deal of complexity for only having around 625,000 residents. But it’s the quality of life here that helps Lexington keep racking up the media nods. While small in stature compared to some other college cities, Lexington offers an urban feel with an easy escape to appease the wanderlust in us all.

CoD Strategic Plan | Vision2021

Strategic Plan Cover

This strategic plan for the UK College of Design sets the expectation that we will deliver on the expanding definition of design, collaborate with and educate our UK companion colleges and set a foundation that positions the College for growth in students, research, funding and reputation.

2016 was a year of prelude to this strategic plan with a focus on a new college identity, complete budget overhaul, and strategic hires. Through this process we are now committed to expanding the foothold of the College of Design within the University of Kentucky campus and beyond.

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