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.

Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel

The Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel (DHA) 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 lead to the creation of the College of Home Economics, which was separated into four departments:

  • Design
  • Family Social Science
  • Food Science and Nutrition
  • 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 DHA. 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.

DHA 100 years of graduate education exhibition Jack Lenor Larson textile

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.

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Department of Landscape Architecture

In 1965, the University Regents established the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree (BLA) and hired Roger Martin 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.

UMN landscape architecture celebrating 50 years in 2016

Landscape Architecture 50th Anniversary Celebration

During the fall of 2016, the College of Design celebrated 50 years of landscape architecture education at the University of Minnesota.

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Department of Landscape Architecture class lists

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 100 years

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.

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School of Architecture class lists