More than two decades after Temple University’s Architecture programs joined the Tyler School of Art, the school has updated its structure and adopted a name that captures its breadth: the Tyler School of Art and Architecture.
The Tyler School of Art, one of the nation’s leading schools for the study of art, design and the built environment, adopted a new structure and expanded its name, officially becoming the Tyler School of Art and Architecture on July 1, 2019
The changes, which were the result of a school-wide assessment and planning process to poise Tyler for the future, include the full integration of architecture and the environmental design disciplines within Tyler’s structure and identity, and the realignment of Tyler’s programs to support cross-disciplinary study and reflect current understanding of creative practice and research.
“Tyler’s national reputation is built on the strength of our faculty; the accomplishments of our students and alumni; our distinctive place as part of Temple, a large, urban, public research university; and our community’s tradition of bold thinking,” said Tyler Dean Susan E. Cahan, who became Tyler’s dean in 2017.
“Expanding our name to the Tyler School of Art and Architecture is a natural extension of that bold thinking,” Cahan said. “It’s a recognition that institutions defined by excellence must evolve in order to serve their students and contribute to the growth of scholarship and creative practices. Our students deserve an academic experience that capitalizes on the exciting breadth of fields at Tyler by fostering cross-pollination within the arts and between the arts and the environmental design disciplines.”
Highlighting the structural changes at Tyler are the creation of two newly configured departments, a Department of Art that will unite all of Tyler’s highly regarded studio art programs; and a Department of Architecture & Environmental Design that will bring together all of Tyler’s excellent programs in architecture, landscape architecture, horticulture, city and regional planning and community development. These new departments will complement Tyler’s departments of Art History, Art Education & Community Arts Practices, Graphic & Interactive Design and Foundations.
The expansion of the school’s name to the Tyler School of Art and Architecture—the subject of discussions at Tyler as early as 2003—is built on three pillars, Cahan says. The name is authentic because it renders visible environmental design disciplines that have been part of Tyler for decades. Temple’s programs in Architecture, which now include Historic Preservation, Facilities Planning and Facilities Management, have made their home at Tyler since 1998, and the university’s programs in City & Regional Planning, Community Development, Landscape Architecture and Horticulture joined in 2016. The expanded name also captures the breadth of Tyler’s academic offerings and the school’s renewed emphasis on cross-disciplinary studies, an approach to education that equips students to be nimble, critical thinkers.
To assess how the Tyler alumni community would respond to the expansion of the name, Tyler administrators interviewed dozens of alumni representing a wide range of ages, disciplines, degree types and professions. “The vast majority of alumni we surveyed told us that they favored adding ‘Architecture’ to our name,” Cahan said. “The intensity and breadth of that support helped us understand that, 15 years after the proposal was first discussed by the Tyler community, the moment was right.”