An active chapter of American Institute of Architecture Students enlivens the educational and social life of Bond Hall. In addition to two galas—the Beaux Arts Ball, a Halloween costume party, and the Vitruvian Ball, a spring formal—AIAS-ND sponsors trips to national and regional meetings of the organization and coordinates an annual career day. AIAS-ND was named “Academic Club of the Year” by Notre Dame’s Club Coordination Council from 2000-2003, and in 2003 it also was named Notre Dame’s “Overall Club of the Year.” In spring 2005, the club hosted the Midwest Quad Conference, bringing nearly 100 architecture students to Notre Dame. The highlight of the conference was a panel discussion, “Politics and Practice: Designing in a Democracy,” that addressed the built environment in Chicago. In 2007, AIAS-ND partnered with AIA Northern Indiana to bring together experts for “Creating a 21st Century College Town,” a symposium to discuss the attributes of successful developments.
Notre Dame’s Student Association for Women in Architecture (SAWA-ND) was founded in 2007 to promote gender equality and diversity in architecture. SAWA received a grant from the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation to bring notable female architects to lecture. Leading the speaker series was Beverly Willis, FAIA, who served as the first female president of the California Council of American Institute of Architects. Other speakers include architects Marianne Cusato, B.Arch ’97 and Susana Torre. SAWA-ND also hosts professional workshops and educational development events.
Students for New Urbanism (SNU-ND) provides education on the New Urbanist planning approach. The chapter also supports New Urbanism initiatives in the local community. Recently SNU-ND worked with the Near Northwest Neighborhood Association (NNN) to develop proposals for future zoning and growth. The club also participated in NNN’s “Adopt-a-Block” program where they helped clean up a city block and contributed to the beautification of the neighborhood. In 2007, SNU-ND founded and hosted the first SNU Congress at Notre Dame. Students from across the country gathered to discuss development practices and public policies, to learn from recent innovative work and to explore initiatives that have the power to transform communities.
Students for Classical Architecture at Notre Dame is a student group focusing on the roots of architecture. Their Mission Statement is: Architecture has its roots in hundreds of years of tradition. Yet, it is common in today’s architectural academies that the teaching of this tradition be willfully neglected. As students, we want to learn the fundamentals that have arisen from this tradition so that we might incorporate those principles into our own, contemporary, architecture. We believe that the integration of canonical instruction will yield graduates competent at designing buildings which exemplify the Vitruvian triad of commodity, firmness and delight, while dissuading the notion of architecture as self-expression. Thus, we elect to study the classics and ask that our universities give us opportunities to do so. Students for Classical Architecture will promote discussion regarding how best to incorporate architectural fundamentals into a contemporary curriculum. The Students for Classical Architecture will also support local chapters of this organization at all institutions of higher learning. It is our hope that collaboration between these chapters will encourage dialogue between their respective academic programs, fostering a gradual rebirth of tradition in education.