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This Architecture And Design School Is A Talent Engine In The Capital Of Design, San Diego

By David Willey, Benzinga

If Los Angeles is the city of actors, then San Diego could be said to be the city of architects and designers. NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NewSchool), located in downtown San Diego, is one school leading the field of design and architecture, and it serves as an engine of talent-producing students who bring their creative vision across the globe.

The architecture and urban planning global market is currently worth $281 billion. Though the profession in the US took a slight hit due to COVID-19, the number of US architects has been steadily increasing in the five years up to 2021, with over 121,000 architects currently licensed in America. Architects and urban designers can find work in industries ranging from construction and project management to engineering, interior design, and urban planning.

San Diego is something of a hub within this bustling world of urban architecture and design. The city was recently nominated as the World Design Capital (WDC) 2024, along with Tijuana, Mexico. San Diego was chosen as an example of how cities are innovating with their urban spaces post-pandemic. The city has a history of celebrating a rich architectural culture, boasting its own “7 Modern Wonders,” as well as multiple historic cultural districts such as its famous Balboa Park and a new district slated to celebrate Black arts and culture.

NewSchool’s Place in San Diego

NewSchool's faculty is actively preparing talent by involving its students in designing future scenarios of both the city and the wider area, including Tijuana, to contribute to the vision of the World Design Capital. The school’s campus is in the city’s East Village, which is part of the education corridor that includes City College, the Urban Discovery Academy and many other educational institutions promoting design thinking in K-12. This design district of San Diego has also seen the launch of the I.D.E.A. project to build an innovative urban mixed-use district for education and arts, the development of Tailgate Park, and the University of California San Diego (UCSD)’s new state-of-the-art building on the corner of Park & Market.

Globally recognized and awarded, NewSchool offers multiple programs accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). NewSchool’s undergraduate and master's degree programs are housed within two schools, the School of Architecture and Construction Management, and the School of Design. The school is also home to the Center for Healthy Environments, which produces leaders in the design world committed to a healthy and sustainable approach to urbanism and architecture.

Part of NewSchool’s mission is to provide its students with key connections in the industry, as well as opportunities for students to engage the community and collaborate on real-world projects. Some of these projects include design planning for a new Downtown Master Plan in National City, CA, as well as the development of a research center in Mission Bay, San Diego. For the National City project, 70+ students spent 20 weeks creating plans for urban renewal of the downtown area. These students developed a creative vision encompassing 40 city blocks to help the communities. In this endeavor, the students followed official National City Downtown Specific Plan guidelines set out by the local council.

In 2020, the NewSchool’s Undergraduate Integrated Design Studio collaborated with the University of California San Diego, the National Audubon Society, and the City of San Diego Planning Department, to design a new Wetlands Education and Research Center. The project’s aim was to help decision-makers re-imagine the range of possibilities for increasing public access to Mission Bay and learning more about the preservation and role of this amazing ecosystem in the heart of San Diego. This project highlighted how contemporary urban design can respond to the environment in a sustainable manner.

These projects highlight NewSchool’s commitment that students learn to innovate with their designs while also being trained rigorously in the technical and logistical aspects of architecture and urban planning. NewSchool has contributed to the urban fabric of San Diego for many decades, and NewSchool alumni and faculty continue to help design and build the city.

Want to learn more about the exciting world of architecture and design? Visit NewSchool’s website.

This article was originally published on Benzinga here.

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