Woodbury School of Architecture Announces the Year of Cultivation

Woodbury School of Architecture (WSOA) is excited to announce the Year of Cultivation. The last several years have challenged many of us, including the WSOA, to be resilient and overcome the countless obstacles the pandemic has thrown in our path. We have also been challenged to examine our values and practices with the aim of creating respectful and diverse communities. Our students, faculty, and staff have persevered through a time of uncertainty, frustration, and discouragement, growing into a stronger community and stronger individuals, as is evident in the inspiring work that continues to pour out of the school.

This fall, we will welcome our first cohort of students to three newly launched STEM-designated programs: the Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, the Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Practices, and the Bachelor of Science in Design Computation.

The addition of these three programs helps us to further our mission of transforming students into ethical, articulate, and innovative design professionals prepared to lead in a world of accelerating change. Each student will have opportunities for specialization and interdisciplinary study, allowing them to craft a unique path that aligns with their interests and aptitudes.

To understand cultivation, we can look at the word culture, whose etymological background comes from the Latin and French words for cultivate, as in, a cultivated piece of land. Etymologically, culture speaks to the concept of growth and tillage. Just as we can till and cultivate the soil, caring for it to promote future growth, we can also cultivate, till, and care for our students, faculty, and staff to embrace their unique passions in the context of a larger design community. This is the spirit of the Year of Cultivation.

Fall 2022 Wedge Gallery Exhibition, California Dreaming

New seeds are being planted with the arrival of this year’s new program offerings, building on the WSOA’s robust undergraduate and graduate degree programs that have been the backbone of our school for decades. We’ve never been interested in the status quo. We want to improve, evolve, and constantly develop who we are.

This year, we will further engage the notion of community, self-identity, renewal, and resilience in the academic and professional domains.

This is a time to cultivate who we are as creators, designers, and thinkers, both as individuals and as a community. We look forward to exploring this theme publicly and privately through a wide range of initiatives including public programming, institutional workshops, and coursework.

The Fall 22 Wedge Gallery exhibition, California Dreaming, is devoted to the topic of ‘Cultivation’. In alignment with the recent publication in AD magazine, the Wedge gallery celebrates the work of our illustrious faculty members Erin Wright, Heather Peterson, & Paulette Singley exploring themes and overlaps through paintings, drawings, and objects. California Dreaming measures the quality of life by its style and suggests that the joy of working breeds success. Click here to learn more and view the exhibition.

Heather Flood and Aaron Gensler co-authored the article Extra-Disciplinary Dreams: Journey Into the Foothills published in AD Volume 93, March 2023. In the article, Flood and Gensler situate the work of Professors Paulette Singley, Heather Scott Peterson, and Erin Wright within the creative culture of Southern California that celebrates progress and values inclusivity. The creative practices of Singley, Scott Peterson, and Wright open up architecture, expanding its material composition and its intellectual matter through fearless engagements outside of the architectural establishment.

As part of the Year of Cultivation, the School of Architecture welcomes new members to our leadership team:

Heather Flood Named Dean of the School of Architecture

Heather Flood has been appointed the Dean of the School of Architecture effective December 1st, 2022. Heather is an inspiring leader and designer, as well as a passionate advocate of design education who works to construct curricula and culture that nurture talent. As Founder and Principal of the architectural design firm F-lab, Heather’s work has been published and exhibited internationally. In previous roles, Heather worked in the offices of Murphy, Burnham, and Buttrick Architects (New York), HOLST Architecture (Portland), and Roto Architects (Los Angeles). Click here to learn more.

Eric Carbonnier Named Chair of Sustainable Practices

Eric Carbonnier, Ph.D., AIA, joins us as Associate Professor and Chair of Sustainable Practices. Professor Carbonnier — nicknamed Dr. Carbon by his students — is an architect and building science researcher driven to decarbonize the built environment. He received his BArch from Woodbury University, MS in Regenerative Design from Cal Poly Pomona, and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. In conjunction with his building science teaching, Eric was an executive sustainability leader and architect for a multi-disciplinary architecture firm cultivating ethical leadership and environmental social governance policy.

Arash Soleimani Named Chair of Computer Science Design Computation and Applied Computer Science Media Arts.

Arash Soleimani, Ph.D., joins us as Associate Professor and Chair of Design Computation, and Chair of Applied Computer Science Media Arts. Arash holds a multidisciplinary Ph.D. in Architectural Robotics from Clemson University’s School of Architecture in collaboration with the faculty and researchers in Electrical & Computing Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Education, and Human Factors Psychology. He earned his MArch degree from the University of Nottingham, UK where his studies focused on “Responsive and Interactive Environments in Museums”. Arash published a book on the same subject matter.


As part of the Year of Cultivation, the School of Architecture launches three new STEM degree programs:

Computer Science Design Computation

One of the few undergraduate programs of this nature in the United States, the WSOA Computer Science Design Computation degree program is training the next level of technological innovators in the built environment. Design Computation bridges all aspects of our environment: geographical, virtual, physical, and metaphysical. Graduates will emerge prepared to procure work and carry influence in a broad range of fields, including architecture, product design, computer and software design, and more.

Construction Management

Bridging theory and practice, the WSOA Construction Management degree program readies graduates for high-demand, long-lived careers with excellent earning potential and entrepreneurial vision in the fields of construction, design, and sustainability. This is a program for the pragmatic designer, an individual who is aware of the positive impact that responsible design can have on the built environment, our communities, and our planet.

Sustainable Practices

The WSOA Sustainable Practices degree program challenges students to discover the intersections of theory and practice, building connections that lead to achievable solutions that result in positive environmental, humanitarian, and aesthetic impacts on our built environment. We are shaping decarbonizing specialists of today and tomorrow who are equipped to enter the essential and emerging fields of regenerative building practices.


Last Updated on December 15, 2022. 

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