We believe architecture to be a conceptually based intellectual endeavor and a form of critical inquiry that addresses the built and natural environments from the scale of the city to the scale of the detail. The department is committed to producing conceptual thinkers and skilled makers who are versed in the techniques and knowledge of the discipline and who are cognizant of: critical theory, history, science and progressive social values. To realize these objectives, design is taught as a critical, speculative and creative endeavor embracing both the humanities and the sciences. To achieve our mission and vision, our decisions and actions are informed by the following seven core values and beliefs: 1. Diversity Serving a diverse student body with a variety of academic backgrounds, experiences and interests by creating an open atmosphere of inquiry and exchange that engages the varied cultural and academic experiences of faculty and students. 2. Design as Critical Thinking Presenting architecture as a reflective and conceptually based discipline. We encourage students to form thoughtful and imaginative solutions to the challenges confronting urban society here and abroad and to cultivate intellectual curiosity and life-long learning. 3. Education of the Professional The department educates professionals. Students learn the disciplinary norms of knowledge and skills necessary to take leadership roles in a changing profession. 4. Commitment to Innovation Celebrating the power of innovation and experimentation and our discipline?s commitment to imagine and construct beautiful, healthful and responsible environments. 5. Appreciation for the Constructed and the Natural Environments Fostering sensitivity and appreciation for the constructed and natural environments of South Florida and engaging our communities? challenges. The Architecture department values the unique opportunities and challenges for creative exploration and problem-solving afforded by South Florida?s rich sub-tropical ecologies, urban contexts as well as multicultural and multilingual populace. 6. Culture of Connectivity Promoting connections between the Department of Architecture and members of the design community in local, national and international, academic, professional and lay contexts. In particular, we seek to engage our colleagues in the college and the school, local practitioners in design education and to develop cooperative links with schools of design in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe. 7. Ethos of Trans-Disciplinary Engaging adjacent disciplines within the School of Architecture to create an atmosphere of trans-disciplinary cooperation in order to collaboratively address the complex spatial, economic, social and environmental challenges of contemporary practice.