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We are nationally and internationally recognized for our faculty, and our programs rank among the top 20 design schools in the country.
Located within one of the nation's largest and fastest growing universities and set in the context of one of the country's most rapidly urbanizing metropolises, The Design School is engaging in a new paradigm for teaching and research in the 21st century.
During 1949–50, James Elmore, the founding dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, now called The Design School, suggested that ASU develop a two-year technical architecture program to "play the role of a forceful pioneer" in Arizona. During the 1950s, the program was first called the Division of Architecture, in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and began offering the bachelor of architecture degree in the fall of 1957.
In its first ten years, the student body grew from 45 to 142 and full-time faculty from two to five members. In 1958, the program was renamed the School of Architecture. The first professional degree was awarded in May 1960. In January 1961, the college's first professional accreditation was granted. By the end of the second decade, the student body had grown to 407 with a full-time faculty of 21 members. On July 1, 1964, the school became the College of Architecture.
Through the next decade, the design disciplines grew and diversified in the study of architecture, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture. In 1977–78, the college was officially reorganized into three separate departments: Architecture, Design Sciences, and Planning. The Department of Design Sciences included Industrial Design and Interior Design, which moved from the Department of College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Home Economics respectively. In 1983, the name of the college was changed to the College of Architecture and Environmental Design to more accurately reflect the depth and breadth of design and planning studies within its programs.
In 1989, the Department of Design Sciences was renamed the School of Design. The graphic design program joined the school in June 1996, moving from the School of Art. In July 2004, the landscape architecture program moved to the School of Architecture, and the school was renamed the School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture.
In 2005, the Departments of Industrial Design, Interior Design and Visual Communication Design were established, the School of Design disestablished and the name of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design was changed to the College of Design. In November 2008, the School of Design Innovation was established with the faculty of Industrial Design, Interior Design and Visual Communication Design as one administrative unit again.
In April 2009, the Arizona Board of Regents created the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. This merger combined the College of Design with the Herberger College of Fine Arts. In 2010, the School of Design Innovation merged with the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture to create The Design School.
Today, The Design School has 52 faculty, 1425 students and offers 14 degrees.