School of Architecture

Design Justice

Shaping the Future of Practice

In 2013, The School of Architecture began a transformational process to address the role of faculty, staff, administrators and students in increasing participation of individuals from groups that have been underrepresented and underserved in higher education and in the professional disciplines of our programs. The central vehicle for this initiative was the generation of a School of Architecture Diversity Plan by a committee that consisted of SoA faculty and staff, and University administrators. In 2020, the committee was renamed the Design Justice Committee, and the Plan recrafted to incorporate student voices empowered by historical protests worldwide.

Apply Request Information Take a Tour

Design Justice Action Plan

Woodbury School of Architecture’s goal is to guarantee access, opportunity, and advancement for all students, faculty, and staff in every stage of Woodbury education and career development, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of underrepresented groups. In line with the University’s mission of education for all people, and the School’s mission of design in service to the pressing issues of our time, the Design Justice Action Plan provides tools to help our students become innovative leaders with a deep commitment to social justice.



Speak Up For Change

The SoA fosters a total environment that respects and welcomes differences, amplifies student voices, communicates with transparency and urgency, and celebrates inclusiveness.

Diversify Teaching & Scholarship

The SoA works toward the development of a more inclusive pedagogy, and considers all forms of diversity, equity and inclusion as they affect the educational process.

Promote Economic Justice

The SoA establishes partnerships and external alliances that provide resources to eliminate economic barriers that prevent the full participation of underrepresented groups.

Build New Pathways

The SoA crafts pathways to guarantee access, opportunity, and advancement for all students, faculty, and staff in every stage of Woodbury education and career development.

WSoA Design Justice Initiatives

  • Craft a comprehensive Design Justice Action Plan that incorporates all voices from the community, including the June 2020 Statement from SoA Students.
  • Create and promote a Studio Culture Plan that fosters a welcoming, supportive and engaging SoA environment for people of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, religious beliefs, genders and gender identities, sexual orientation, physical spectrums, religious commitments, political perspective, and socio-economic status.
  • Provide additional Student Scholarships to help our students overcome economic barriers:
    • Climate Justice Scholarships (Spring 2021 for all students)
  • Resources for faculty and student scholarship – ACE Center projects + WUHO programming
  • News stories – alumni, student, faculty
  • The Agency for Civic Engagement, ACE, connects students and faculty with nonprofit and governmental organizations that are dedicated to helping underserved communities. Past ACE projects have provided these community partners with three main services:
    • the design and construction of architectural amenities
    • graphic design for urban and public areas
    • cultural awareness for a racially disenfranchised neighborhood
    • business acumen for non-profits and public services.
  • Establish a Guest Jury Database that includes diverse voices and professionals whose backgrounds reflect our student’s backgrounds
  • Provide institutional support and funding for all Student Organizations including NOMAS, CLEA, IIDA, AIAS-LA, AIAS-SD, and the Student Initiative Project (SIP) which unites all SoA student orgs.
  • Student internships, IPAL
  • Diversify faculty by adopting a diversity-minded approach to defining excellence.
  • Diversify curriculum to reflect student background and experience.
  • Continue offering High School summer programs (full scholarships)
  • Publish demographic data annually about student, staff and faculty (gender, race, ethnicity, etc.)
  • Constitute the School of Architecture Design Justice Committee (formerly DEI Committee)
  • Establish WSOA + LAUSD pathways partnership – free summer high school programs, career mentoring program with STEM Academy of Hollywood, High School group campus visits, and LAUSD High School curriculum review.
    Launch year-long themed Social Justice initiatives
    2019 Housing+ – sponsored studios, symposia
    2020 Climate Justice – faculty grants, lecture series, student scholarship awards
  • Provide additional Student Scholarships to help our students overcome economic barriers:
    • Social Justice Scholarships (Fall 2020 for new students)
  • News stories – alumni, student, faculty
  • Diversify SoA Advisory Board Membership – new members Germane Barnes + John Leath
  • Provide institutional support and funding for all Student Organizations including NOMAS, CLEA, IIDA, AIAS-LA, AIAS-SD, and the Student Initiative Project (SIP) which unites all SoA student orgs

Recent Work

Unbuilding Walls

Chair of Interior Design Christoph Korner was part of the GRAFT team that curated the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale to explore architectures of division and inclusion. The Unbuilding Walls exhibition responded to current debates on nations, protectionism and the process of healing as a dynamic spatial phenomenon.

Recuperative Care

This studio explores two extreme scales of urban design, the tactical and strategic, while engaging semi-public spaces on the campus of the National Health Foundation’s Recuperative Care Facility in South Los Angeles. Students design outdoor amenities on the grounds of the facility.

Apan Social Housing

Professor Marcel Sanchez-Prieto’s Apan Social Housing project is part of the research “From The territory to the Inhabitant” commission by INFONAVIT among 90 proposals to study rural housing in Mexico, and the selected 32 built housing prototypes exemplify an approach for different climatic and cultural needs.

Support Design Justice

Woodbury School of Architecture is expanding outreach in Los Angeles through mentoring for high school students. Discover the school’s recent partnership with the STEM Academy Hollywood. The goal is to give students greater insight into careers in architecture, and to help them build connections to the profession. The program also provides a way for alumni to give back.

(818) 394-3313

Contact US

Your gift doesn’t have to be large, it’s your ongoing commitment that counts the most. Explore the many ways that you can help support the university and preserve the Woodbury experience for future students.

Giving Opportunities

Consider giving in other ways as well, through service on advisory boards and committees, attending events or being a mentor to students. Contact us if you are interested in getting involved.

Woodbury welcomes and encourages feedback as we work together toward a campus culture that truly values diversity and inclusiveness for all. You can find a series of resources in the links below:

Anti-Racism     Space & Race Design Resources

Interested in lecturing or joining us for a critique? Receive the latest information and updates from Woodbury, as well as invitations to special events and activities. Give us a call or send us an email.

(818) 394-3313

Contact US

Sign up for our newsletter below for monthly updates on our Design Justice Action Plan. You can also follow us on Social Media.

Sign Up

2 (1)

Climate Justice

As an institution of higher learning, we are both complicit in systemic inequality and a potential incubator for its disruption. We at Woodbury School of Architecture choose disruption. That is why our call this year is for the School of Architecture to address climate justice.

Year of Climate Justice

Untitled (Dunes), near El Centro, CA, 2010, Courtesy Victoria Sambunaris/Yancey Richardson Gallery

Giving Opportunities

In Fall 2020, a total of $70,000 was awarded to students across Woodbury’s four Schools and Colleges in the amount of $2,000 each. The scholarships were earmarked for undergraduate students with the objective to work toward eradicating social injustice and ensuring lasting equality, respect, and opportunity for all.

Social Justice

Woodbury University is committed to building a culture that values diversity, open communication, collaboration and engagement.

New undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for a Woodbury University Social Justice Scholarship who are underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, members of immigrant families, multi-racial, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, from first in generation to attend college and/or educationally disadvantaged families. The scholarships will be awarded without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or creed.

Each School/College shall make applications available and select the recipients.  Private contributions to the Fund will be directed consistent with donor request into four categories:

  • College of Liberal Arts
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Business
  • School of Media, Culture and Design

Student eligibility requirements include:

  • Recipients shall be new students who have enrolled as full-time students in an undergraduate program with financial need.
  • The award is $2,000 for the academic year in which the recipient is enrolled full-time or $1,000 for the academic year for part-time. The awards may be renewable on an annual basis depending on the balance of the Fund.
  • Recipients shall submit an essay that describes their academic goals, intended strategies for attaining the stated goals, and commitment to social justice. The award criteria will include: 1) clarity of purpose; 2) ability to communicate effectively; and, 3) coherence of academic plan.

This fund supports the educational aspirations of our students who demonstrate a commitment to promoting the well-being of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, and/or queer (LGBTQ) communities.

The School of Architecture Fund

School of Architecture at Dwell on Design

The School of Architecture Fund provides a unique opportunity to help shape the future of education by helping students to realize their unique, personal design vision, while developing technical, theoretical and communicative skills. By investing in the fund, you will provide the flexible funding the school needs to implement innovative ideas, meet its highest priority needs, respond quickly to emerging opportunities and invest in areas of the highest potential.

Agency for Civic Engagement


The vision of ACE at Woodbury University is to empower students to improve underserved communities through design, business and media. ACE connects students and faculty with nonprofit and governmental organizations to realize projects for the public.

Students work collaboratively across disciplines to combine skills and test their fields of study on real projects and local issues. Reinforcing the capacity of young generations to create impact, ACE projects are made to benefit the common good: architectural design/build works, business plans for organizations, graphic design, films, journalistic and creative writing, and other services. Framing opportunities to make a difference, ACE supports student learning through inclusive and socially equitable research, outreach and engagement.

Your gift helps support ACE student activities. For more information about ACE projects, see Agency for Civic Engagement.


Nick Roberts Scholarship Fund

As a professor, Nick Roberts understood the value of student experiential learning. Nick’s legacy lives on with the Nick Roberts Endowed Scholarship Fund which is designed to support Woodbury School of Architecture students in their study away experiences throughout the world.

Norman Millar

The Norman R. Millar Scholarship Endowment was established to honor Dean Millar’s sixteen year legacy of educating architects and designers. Annual income from this endowment will support Woodbury School of Architecture student scholarships.



The San Fernando Valley chapter of AIA (AIA|SFV) has gifted an endowment to Woodbury University’s School of Architecture.  The American Institute of Architects is a professional association whose members are comprised of licensed architects and dedicated to furthering the architecture profession in local communities.  Since 2001, AIA|SFV has awarded more than $120,000 in scholarships to over 120 Woodbury School of Architecture students.  Proceeds from the endowment will go toward funding scholarships to architecture and interior architecture students at the Burbank campus.  Support for this endowment will directly benefit our students.

Donations by Check

Checks should be made payable to Woodbury University and mailed to:

Woodbury University
University Advancement
7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91504-1052

Donations by Credit Card

Please fill out information below:




Translate »