Environmental Design Program Highlights

This semester, we will be sharing highlights of projects, students, and alumni from our Environmental Design (EnD) program. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about EnD at the Gibbs College of Architecture (GCA)!

The EnD program offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design while obtaining real-world experience that improves real communities. Whether it be through revitalizing historic areas or imagining brand new neighborhoods, EnD teaches students to fix problems worth solving for places and people worth serving.

Service-Learning and Community Engagement

75% of EnD’s core curriculum is designated as service-learning and community engagement courses. Each student has the opportunity to gain insight into community-minded design while getting their hands dirty, setting them and fellow communities up for success in the future. For juniors and seniors specifically, at least one class each semester is distinguished as a service-learning course.

Additionally, EnD students have a unique opportunity to engage in service-learning through the OU Institute for Quality Communities (IQC). This program brings together GCA staff, faculty, and students to assist local communities in various forms of design assistance, whether that be through historic preservation, tactical urbanism, public space design, or other community-related issues. This semester, IQC has paired up with Oklahoma City’s Capitol Hill district to construct a one-day pop-up plaza that will serve as a blueprint for a future, permanent plaza. Learn more

Emerging Professionals

Since a lot of EnD work is done outside of the classroom in real communities, students get the chance to network with community leaders in the private, governmental, and non-profit sectors of society. Field trips as well as conferences and activities sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, the American Planning Association, and the Urban Land Institute present ED students with more networking opportunities, too.

EnD students also gain more professional experience through internships all over the country. This past summer, EnD student Sonia Ramirez interned at ADG in Oklahoma City, a well-known design and architecture firm. While there, Sonia was able to expand upon her skills learned in the EnD program and work on multiple projects. Learn More

Award-Winning Work

Work done by EnD classes and students has received multiple Citations of Merit from the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office at the Oklahoma Historical Society. Some of these efforts have included on the historic Sundial House in northeast Oklahoma City, an almost 8,000 square foot Mediterranean-style mansion, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Oklahoma, and the historic 1910 Altus City Reservoir in Altus, Oklahoma, a 63 acre-park that has a 2-mile shoreline around a 140-surface acre reservoir.

We are excited to see what community-minded work the EnD program accomplishes this semester. If you are interested in being an EnD student at GCA, learn more here.