Johnston named ARCH Chair

On Jan. 14, Dr. George Barnett Johnston, a member of the ARCH faculty at Tech was appointed as the Chair of the School of Architecture. The announcement, given at the recently renovated Hinman Research Building (HRB), attracted a number of students and faculty members.
Johnston is the first to secure this newly created position following the rearrangement of the College of Architecture into five principal schools. Dr. Johnston joined the College of Architecture in 1984, serving as a faculty member at the Institute for an overall period of 26 years.
“He has demonstrated appropriate and effective administrative experience,” said Alan Balfour, Dean of the College of Architecture. “He has a national reputation for creative or scholarly work. His Doctoral work has given him a deep knowledge of the profession and a vision of its future.”
Dean Balfour explained that given the new administration in the Institute, the new Chair must be able to take control and act quickly and hence Dr. Johnston was appointed to the position. He believes that Johnston is capable of reforming both undergraduate and graduate education in Architecture to best prepare students for a future that will see dramatic changes in architectural practice.
In Jan. 2010 the College of Architecture was reorganized into five different schools, in order to coincide with structure of the other colleges at Tech. The schools were Music, Industrial Design, City and Regional Planning, Building Construction and Architecture.
While addressing students and faculty members at the HRB, Dr. Johnston addressed the intentions he had for the future of the School of Architecture.
“Our great cause in the years ahead must be the reform of architectural education to meet the challenges of a changing profession,” Johnston said. “The division of knowledge and expertise between the fields of architecture and engineering that served so well in the industrial age is now giving way to a new model of integrated knowledge in the digital age. Who better than Georgia Tech is so well positioned to bridge this divide?”
Johnston further explained that the modern practice of Architecture requires flexibility and an enterprising spirit that comes from engaging the world through community involvement and international exchange and from weighing the human benefits and environmental costs in everything a person does in their everyday life. Johnston said that Tech has every reason to be ambitious in charting this direction in the future.
Joining the College of Architecture in 1984, Johnston has served as a faculty member for a total period of 26 years. After being recently promoted in 2010, Johnston currently teaches courses in architectural design and also in the history and theory of architectural practice.
Johnston is a registered architect and has practiced in a number of firms in Mississippi, Georgia and Texas. As the author of the book ‘Drafting Culture: A Social History of Architectural Graphic Standards,’ Johnston’s current research questions the social, historical, and cultural implications of practicing Architecture in the American context.

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