College of Architecture gets new name

Photo courtesy of Tech Communications

As of May 9, the College of Architecture is now called the College of Design. The College of Design is a more encompassing name for the diverse programs within the College, as it includes the Schools of Architecture, Building Construction, City and Regional Planning, Industrial Design and Music. The name change was several years in the making and when it officially began in 2014, the process was long and thorough.

“It took a while to find the right name and to build support for the new name among students, faculty and alumni,” said Steven P. French, dean of the College of Design.

The College hired Armchair Media to test 19 different possible names for the school.

“We  considered ‘Architecture and Design’ and several names that were combinations of our individual school names,” French said. “But after we studied it, we realized ‘College of Design’ was simple and elegant and was a name that communicates the core of what we do in the College.”

The College’s former name, the College of Architecture, used to cause confusion. People often mixed up the College of Architecture with the School of Architecture. The programs in this school have doubled in the past 10 years, making a name change a top priority for the School, given that most degrees awarded by the College are not rooted in architecture.

The College hopes that the name change will broaden the definition of the word “design,” by creating a connection between design and everyday life.

“It is important to realize that while we have been teaching architecture for over 100 years at Georgia Tech, the College does much more than that,” French said. “The College focuses on the creative process that  produces innovative solutions to complex problems.  Our students design across a wide range of scales from consumer and medical products, to musical instruments, to buildings, to neighborhoods and urban regions. Our students even design musical performances and artistic compositions.”

The name change will be accompanied by several stories and photo essays on the College of Design’s website, highlighting how design impacts the world.

Additionally, the name change is the first step in the College’s re-branding initiative.

“We hope to raise the profile of the College within the Institute and use this name change as an opportunity to connect with our colleagues in other colleges who engage in various forms of design,” said French. “We want to highlight the important connections between design and innovation.  For example, the Innovation and Design Collaborative draws students from all across the Institute to undertake challenging problems through the use of design methods.”

Will this name change move Tech towards more artistic and creative majors? Most likely not, according to French.

“I expect that Tech will continue to focus on science and technology, but will also … engage creativity and the arts,” French said

However, French does hope that the new name symbolizes a new direction for the college.

“This name change will mark an exciting new chapter for our College and the work of our students, faculty, staff and alumni,” French said. “We intend to broaden the definition of design at Georgia Tech through our academics and research. We will draw the connection between design and today’s uniquely human experiences, from buildings and cities, to products and           soundscapes.”

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