Celebrating 15 Years
In 2006 the University of Minnesota launched a strategic initiative that created the College of Design by uniting the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel from the College of Human Ecology with the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
The College of Design celebrated its 15th Anniversary in 2021. As part of the celebration, the college created the College of Design Anniversary Compendium, a collaborative book authored by college faculty and researchers, that celebrates our college roots, formation, and looks to the future of design.
Department of Graphic Design, Apparel Design, Retail Merchandising, & Product Design
The Department of Graphic Design, Apparel Design, Retail Merchandising, and Product Design can trace its roots back to 1871 in the University of Minnesota School of Agriculture.
Courses were designed to appeal to the growing number of women seeking higher education, which led to the establishment of the Home Economics Department in 1900. Wylle B. McNeal, for whom the St. Paul Campus building is named, became the head of Home Economics in 1923 and would continue to champion the new programs until her retirement in 1950. Harriet and Vetta Goldstein joined the faculty in 1913 and 1915, respectively, and spearheaded the development of the design curriculum. In the 1970s, a strategic reorganization led to the creation of the College of Home Economics, which was separated into four departments: Design, Family Social Science, Food Science and Nutrition, and Textiles and Clothing.
It was during this time of change that a major addition and renovation occurred: three separate buildings were joined together into what is recognized today as McNeal Hall. When the renovation was completed in 1976, the Goldstein Gallery (now the Goldstein Museum of Design) opened and featured exhibits that brought together students, faculty, and the community in a unique extension of the classroom.
In 1983, the Department of Design merged with the Department of Textiles and Clothing, to form the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel. Programs of study included costume design (later apparel design), applied design (later graphic design), housing studies, interior design, retail merchandising, and textiles and clothing. Eventually, the textiles and clothing major was closed. The product design major was added in 2016.
In 2020 a formal motion to investigate collegiate restructuring was initiated in the spring 2020 Faculty Assembly, further feedback gathered from staff and faculty between November 2020 and June 2021 showed that a majority of CDes faculty and staff strongly agreed with a move to restructure the College of Design and move from three departments into a two-department structure.
As part of this process, the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel became the Department of Graphic Design, Apparel Design, Retail Merchandising, and Product Design (GARP) in the fall of 2022.
100 Years of Design Graduate Education Celebration
In September 2018 classmates, faculty, visiting scholars, and friends at the University of Minnesota celebrated 100 years of graduate design education.
Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, & Interior Design
In 2020 a formal motion to investigate collegiate restructuring was initiated in the spring 2020 Faculty Assembly, further feedback gathered from staff and faculty between November 2020 and June 2021 showed that a majority of CDes faculty and staff strongly agreed with a move to restructure the College of Design and move from a three departmental structure into a two-department structure.
The Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Design was founded as part of this restructuring process.
School of Architecture
In 1869 the first president of the newly founded University of Minnesota made the study of architecture available within the College of Mechanic Arts, later named the College of Engineering and Architecture, then the Institute of Technology, now the College of Science and Engineering.
By the end of the First World War, the School of Architecture had established a nationally-recognized curriculum in architecture and the relationship between the teaching and practice of architecture became more intense. In 1954, Ralph Rapson, for whom the Minneapolis building is named, was chosen to head the school; following the tenure of his two predecessors, Frederick Mann and Roy Jones. The ultimate goal of the school was to produce graduates who had acquired the fundamental skills and knowledge of architecture and landscape architecture, but who had also learned to question and challenge its limits.
In 1989, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) officially separated from the Institute of Technology and became the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA) under the leadership of Dean Harrison Fraker and, in 1996, followed by Dean Tom Fisher.
School of Architecture Centennial Celebration
The School of Architecture Centennial Celebration took place in October 2013 and was a two-day tribute to how this remarkable school—as a nexus for students, educators and practitioners—has been shaping people, shaping places and shaping the future of architecture through its educational vision.
School of Landscape Architecture
In 1965, the University Regents established the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree (BLA) and hired Roger Martin to head the program. Two years later, the first courses for this degree were offered within the School of Architecture. At the time, programs in Landscape Architecture were being offered through both the School of Architecture and through the Department of Horticultural Science in the College of Agriculture. In 1968, a joint administrative agreement was reached which would split both the faculty and the funding for BLA programs between the School of Architecture and the Department of Horticultural Science. The Masters in Landscape Architecture program was first accredited in 1976. During that same year, the faculty reevaluated the curriculum to focus on the integration of ‘art’ and ‘ecology’ and later added the theme of ‘community.’ Faculty committed themselves to curricular, research, and outreach activities dedicated to transforming practice to meet the broadening spectrum of issues faced by landscape architects.