Message from
Dean Tim de Noble, FAIA

Tim de Noble

There has never been a more important moment in time to be a design or planning professional nor a period of human existence in greater need of design and planning leadership. Our world needs us…Our society needs us…Our future needs us.

We all recognize the impact humans have on our environment and are committed to deploying design and planning strategies to mitigate our negative impact on, better yet enhance the interrelated systems of our planet. In parallel, we the life-changing enrichment inherent in respecting and serving our diverse and multi-cultural heritage. Both of these interrelated issues, sustainability, and diversity, have a profound impact on the design professions and on the way in which we educate.

Design and planning are often most impactful for those least able to afford it. In this way, historically it is our underserved communities, more often than not, populated by the underrepresented, that have been passed over by the capital investment aimed at improving the public realm and the environmental impacts of civilization. This needs to change, and we need to be on the forefront of change. Design is a necessity for all, not a luxury afforded to a few and as such its transformative impact is aimed at and informed by the full spectrum, and at all scales, of human activity.

At APDesign//K-State we promote the transforming potential of design and design-oriented research as necessary endeavors in a society dedicated to environmental stability and diversity, through renewed dedication to our land-grant mission; educating students while conducting research and engaging in community outreach, all the while disseminating knowledge addressing the most poignant issues confronting our society. Indeed, building on lessons learned during the Pandemic, we have expanded access to our educational model, to the knowledge we create and of our community-engagement model, capitalizing on state-of-the-art communication, design and collaboration technologies in pursuing our goal to be the model 21st Century Land Grant College.

We are dedicated to diversity. Education is a right, not a privilege. We are focused on increasing access to our potent educational model, overcoming the systemic inequalities; economic, cultural and social, that have stymied so many from attaining the education they deserve, and in turn denying our society of the transformative potential imbedded in a broader diversity.

At APDesign//K-State we are motivated to build on the traditional strengths of our college while finding innovative ways for students of each of the allied disciplines the opportunity to engage in collaborative research, design and outreach. One of our greatest strengths and distinctions is that all disciplines of the design and planning endeavor are housed under one roof. Our professional design and planning programs embrace multi- and inter-disciplinary collaboration in line with the metrics of environmental sustainability, social equity, economic viability and aesthetic delight. In preparing our graduates for a trajectory of meaningful practice and community leadership, we aspire to much more than developing the base competencies necessary to negotiate traditional models of practice, striving to instill in our graduates a desire for inventive application of knowledge and experience in expanding the boundaries of their professions.

Our new facility in the renovated and expanded Seaton and Regnier Halls, operational as of August 2017, is organized to enrich this potent interdisciplinary model. The building and its attendant interior and exterior spaces will reflect our values, our commitment to our historic heritage and our dedication to environmental stewardship. We will have transformed a late 19th century and early 20th century structure into an innovative 21stcentury learning and teaching environment. In it, we will not only design, plan and lead, but we will build, fabricate and grow thereby advancing the impact and applicability of design, tested through production and research.

As proof of the need for designers in our communities, I’m pleased to say that according to a study by USA Today, those who major in architecture and design professions hold the top slot as most employable with 97%!

Tim de Noble, FAIA
Professor and Dean