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Craig Barton tapped as The Design School director

April 23, 2012

After successfully completing an extensive international search, Kwang-Wu Kim, dean and director of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, announced the appointment of Craig Barton as director of The Design School and professor.

Barton, a designer and urban expert, currently is associate professor of architecture and former chair of the University of Virginia’s Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Barton brings an impressive record of academic and public service leadership to The Design School director’s position and begins his new role on Aug. 1, 2012. Barton replaces Darren Petrucci, who is stepping down from the director’s position to return to the faculty and pursue his architectural practice and urban research. Petrucci will continue as the SunCor Professor of Architecture and coorinator of The Design School’s urban design program.

“Craig Barton’s vision for the future of design education and his deep engagement with community and place are highly compelling,” said Kwang-Wu Kim. “I believe that under his leadership, The Design School will build upon its many successes and achieve yet higher levels of excellence and innovation.”

Barton, a Connecticut native, said that The Design School’s faculty and its reputation as an innovative, multi-disciplinary, top-ranking program, in addition to Arizona State University’s status as the nation’s largest public research university, attracted him to the Southwest.

“I am excited to have been invited to join The Design School’s distinguished community of designers, scholars and students,” Barton said. “I am impressed by the school’s commitment to a public design agenda which addresses the local and global challenges of environment, energy, information and urbanization. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to continue to build innovative models of collaborative design practice which enhance the public realm and improve the quality of the built environment.”

As the new director of The Design School, Barton will lead the largest professional design school in the region with its more than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students. The Design School is composed of architecture, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design and visual communication design. Its interior design and industrial design programs are ranked among the nation’s top 10 by DesignIntelligence and its graduate architecture program ranks third in the 13-state western region. Its three-year old master’s of landscape architecture program was recently accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board.

The school’s collaborative structure and its location within the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts which comprises not only The Design School, but also the schools of art, dance, music, theatre and film, and arts, media and engineering, along with the ASU Art Museum, were equally compelling, according to Barton.

“During Professor Barton's campus visit, it was amazing how fast he was able to develop a collaborative and mutually respectful relationship with the faculty and students in The Design School. He is clearly the leader we need to further advance the school,” said Michael Underhill, executive dean for the Herberger Institute, professor of architecture and chairman of the search committee.

In addition to a long list of academic and civic awards and grants, Barton was editor of the anthology, "Sites of Memory: Perspectives on Architecture and Race," Princeton Architecture Press. He has contributed to a range of anthologies including the "City of Memory, Row: Trajectories Through the Shotgun House" and the recently published "Writing Urbanism."

Barton embraces The Design School’s role as a community partner charged with the responsibility to educate all future leaders to enhance the quality of life of the citizens and public realms of this rapidly urbanizing city.

“I think it’s important as an institution engaged in the greater world that The Design School provide the next generation of community leaders across the university with access to our curriculum and research education so that they will become as conversant in the language of design as they are in the language of history, calculus or literature,’’ Barton said.

Learn more about Barton at: