Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Dear Staff, Students, Faculty and Friends,

As we approach the start of spring quarter this Monday, I wanted to extend thanks to those of you who have sent notes of encouragement and support. These are indeed unusual times for all of us.

Thanks especially to those within our community—staff, students and faculty alike—who have recognized that this is a time for us to work together to make this quarter a positive experience. As much as continuing our educational mission will continue to be challenging for all of us as we move to online teaching, it provides us with a brief respite from the things that we are not able to control right now.

Even though it seems improbable to run studios, lecture classes, seminars and labs remotely, faculty and staff have all been working extremely hard to embrace this new challenge—which we firmly believe will offer opportunities to teach in a different way.

In making this effort we are inspired by the resilience of our students who are the focus of our efforts this spring. It has been great to hear from many of them that they look forward to the opportunity to experience new pedagogies.

We can also be encouraged by the fact that many of our colleagues in other schools of architecture are concerned with the same kinds of questions. What can an architectural education be when we can only interact with our students online? How do we create a sense of community, in our classrooms and in our designs, when this seems to be absent from our daily lives?

Throughout this quarter we will do our best to capture some of this new activity, and even some of our struggles, through posts on our website and through our social media channels. For those that are part of our community, please share your experiences, and for our supporters and friends, please let us know how you are doing!

Finally, I would like to extend my best wishes to all. I hope that you and your family and friends are safe and healthy.


mclaren signature

Brian L. McLaren, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair
UW Department of Architecture