College of Design

Points of Pride

We're proud of our outstanding people, programs and facilities, and decided to share some of our accomplishments here.

Programs and Facilities

Comprehensive design school
The Iowa State University College of Design is one of only a half-dozen comprehensive design schools in the U.S. where the same mix of disciplines—architecture, art and design, community and regional planning, design, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture and studio arts—is housed in the same college, under the same roof.

National rankings
Iowa State's undergraduate programs in architecture and landscape architecture (professional degree programs in the College of Design) are among the top 11 in the nation, according to the most recent survey of practitioners by DesignIntelligence, a bimonthly publication for leaders in design professions.

The magazine's annual report, "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools 2013," (published in November 2012), is the only national college ranking survey that focuses exclusively on design. For 2013, our undergraduate architecture program ranked 9th nationally among accredited undergraduate architecture programs in the U.S., and first in the Midwest. The ISU undergraduate landscape architecture program ranked 11th among accredited undergraduate programs in the U.S. The graduate program in architecture ranked 18th.

Iowa State's printmaking area, part of the Integrated Studio Arts/Integrated Visual Arts Program in the College of Design, earned high marks in the 2011 graduate program rankings published by U.S. News and World Report. The ISU printmaking area ranked 20th overall and 13th among public universities in the fine arts speciality rankings of the magazine's annual "America's Best Graduate Schools" survey. Graduate printmaking is part of the MFA degree program in Integrated Visual Arts.

King Pavilion
In August 2009, we dedicated the King Pavilion, a 23,735-sq.-ft. addition to the north side of the primary college building. This was the first LEED Platinum-certified higher education building in Iowa and provides a new home for all first-year students in our Core Design Program as well as upper-level students in the architecture, interior design and landscape architecture programs.

U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon
Iowa State University had one of 20 teams from four countries selected to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy's fourth Solar Decathlon competition in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Iowa State's was the first Solar Decathlon team from Iowa. Ulrike Passe, assistant professor of architecture in the College of Design, led a multidisciplinary team of more than 200 students and faculty from across the university to a 12th-place finish in the international competition. After returning from the National Mall, the ISU team's Interlock House was installed at Honey Creek Resort State Park at Rathbun Lake in southern Iowa.

Rome Program
The College of Design's Rome Program is the only fully licensed study-abroad program in the Iowa regents' system. The majority of students in the college's undergraduate professional programs participate in study abroad, with as many as 160 students per year taking part in the Rome Program.

Bridge Studio
The Bridge Studio, a multidisciplinary studio course that focuses on the design of affordable, sustainable housing, won the 2009 NCARB Grand Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy presented by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. It also won a 2009 Excellence in Green Building Education Recognition Award from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and a 2011 Live Green Award from Iowa State University. The studio was developed and taught by Nadia Anderson, assistant professor of architecture.

Community Visioning Program
The Iowa's Living Roadways Community Visioning Program, created by Julia Badenhope, associate professor of landscape architecture, received the American Planning Association's 2006 Outstanding Planning Award for a Program. The program also received the American Society of Landscape Architects' Central States Honor Award for Planning in 2006. Funded by the Iowa Department of Transportation, since 1996 the program has provided planning and landscape design assistance to 182 Iowa towns with populations less than 10,000. The program brings together ISU design students, landscape architects and town residents in a participatory planning process. Iowa State manages the program in partnership with Trees Forever.

Outreach Facilities
In collaboration with ISU Extension and several community partners, the College of Design has established two satellite outreach facilities in Iowa: the ISU Design West Studio in Sioux City, and the Center for Town/Craft in Perry.

Student Accomplishments

Hospitality Design Awards
Designs by ISU students in interior design, architecture and landscape architecture have won first place or finalist (second place) in each of the past five years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) in the annual Hospitality Design Awards competition sponsored by Hospitality Design magazine.

Des Moines Arts Festival Emerging Iowa Artists
Every year since the program's inception in 2003, ISU College of Design students and recent graduates have been selected as Emerging Iowa Artists at the Des Moines Arts Festival, and have won Best of Show in that category in 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Considered one of the nation's top festivals, the event annually attracts more than 200,000 patrons.

Research in the Capitol
In each of the past five years, College of Design students from several disciplines (architecture, community and regional planning, graphic design, interior design) have presented their research to Iowa lawmakers at the annual Research in the Capitol event in Des Moines. In 2011, two Design student teams shared their projects: Graphic design majors Brandon Alvarado, Nathan Kirkman, and Heidi Ylvisaker, together with architecture/environmental studies major Katie Ehlert, presented "Designing Decision Aids for Reproductive Health Communication." Interior design seniors Bethany Luhrs and Rebecca Warren presented "Design/Build: Applied Design as an Ecological Research Methodology."

Memorial Union artwork
ISU graphic design alumnus Greg Wohlwend's art is in the entrance of the south addition to the Memorial Union on the Iowa State campus. The work represents the eight colleges and was inspired by and created to look similar to the zodiac motif in the floor of the building's north entrance to Gold Star Hall. Wohlwend designed the piece as a senior at ISU. Read more

Faculty Accomplishments

AIA Iowa Medal of Honor
Two ISU College of Design architecture faculty, Mark Engelbrecht and Cal Lewis, have received the Medal of Honor from the Iowa chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Iowa). The award, which is the highest honor AIA Iowa bestows on an individual member, recognizes distinguished service to the architecture profession.

ACSA Creative Achievement Award
Mitchell Squire, associate professor of architecture, received a 2008-2009 Creative Achievement Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). Read more

A team of Iowa State faculty, representing all four College of Design departments, received the ACSA's 2007-2008 Creative Achievement Award. The team was cited for development of Design Science, an experimental course intended to introduce students to the fundamental relationship between science and design in their first year of college. Team members included Jason Alread and Thomas Leslie, architecture; James Miller and Carl Rogers, landscape architecture; Joe Muench, integrated studio arts; and Karen Jeske, community and regional planning.

ACSA Distinguished Professor Award
Gregory Palermo, professor and associate chair for undergraduate education in the ISU department of architecture, is one of three in the nation to receive the 2008 Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). Recipients are recognized for sustained creative achievement in the advancement of architectural education through teaching, design, scholarship, research or service. Read more

Bailey Research Career Development Award
Debra Satterfield, associate professor of graphic design, and colleagues received a $150,000 Bailey Research Career Development Award from Iowa State University in 2008. The three-year grant has allowed the group to team with Mayo Clinic to examine how design variables influence the decision-making process of patients using medical decision aids. It is the first time this prestigious university research award has gone to faculty members in the ISU College of Design. Other members of the research team include associate professor Sunghyun Kang and assistant professor Paul Bruski, graphic design; associate professor Fred Malven, interior design; and assistant scientist Nora Ladjahasan with the College of Design's Institute for Design Research and Outreach.

Professional fellows
Nine College of Design administrators and faculty members are fellows of their professional organizations (American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Certified Planners, American Society of Interior Designers, International Interior Design Association, Interior Design Educators Council, American Society of Landscape Architects, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture).

National service
Eighteen faculty members serve on editorial or advisory boards of national/international professional journals, hold offices in national/international professional associations, and/or serve on national academy committees.