The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design began in 1946-47 as architecture courses within the College of Engineering, with John G. Williams teaching 17 students, including future faculty members Fay Jones and Ernie Jacks.
Those first classes in architecture were offered at the University of Arkansas in response to the post-World War II building boom. Today, the Fay Jones School of Architecture enjoys a national reputation for producing outstanding designers who are well prepared for professional practice. We emphasize drawing as a tool for seeing, and many of our students excel in hand rendering, something of a lost art in the age of digital design.
The landscape architecture program, established in 1976, focuses on design and site planning, balancing the art and science of designing on the land. We emphasize urban design, wetland reclamation, and the design of public memorials, parks and gardens. Because we learn from and build upon the past, history and landscape preservation are important components of the program.
The interior design program at the University of Arkansas originated in 1974 in the Department of Home Economics. After several changes, the degree became the Bachelor of Interior Design (B.I.D.) in 1999-2000, and the program joined the Fay Jones School of Architecture in July 2010. The curriculum emphasizes design as a creative, problem-solving skill. Students learn to create environments that meet diverse human needs and desires.
This school is named for Fay Jones, an internationally renowned architect, who chose to build his career in his native Arkansas. He taught for 35 years, and also served as the first dean of the school. In 1999, Don and Ellen Edmondson, former clients of Jones, created an endowment that supports the Fay Jones Chair in Architecture. Thanks to a subsequent generous gift from the Edmondsons, the school became the Fay Jones School of Architecture in 2009. In 2015, the school expanded its name to the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation donated $10 million in 2010 to name the addition to Vol Walker Hall the Steven L. Anderson Design Center. Anderson is president of the foundation and a 1976 graduate of the school’s architecture program. The two-year construction project wrapped up in August 2013, and a rededication/dedication event was held Sept. 12, 2013, at the Steven L. Anderson Design Center.