About the Hillier College of Architecture and Design
The Hillier College of Architecture and Design is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New Jersey School of Architecture and the 15th anniversary of the School of Art + Design.
Gala Reception to Celebrate 50/15
You are invited to join your friends (old & new), faculty (past & present) and the administration of the Hillier College of Architecture and Design at NJIT, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the New Jersey School of Architecture and the 15th anniversary of the School of Art+Design. Please join us on Thursday, October 26, 2023, for a Gala Celebration and Colloquium on the Future of Design Education as we mark the 50th anniversary of the New Jersey School of Architecture and the 15th anniversary of the School of Art + Design. The event will be held in Weston Hall, home of the J. Robert and Barbra A. Hillier College of Architecture and Design. TICKETS.
On behalf of the Hillier College 15/50 Anniversary Committee,
HCAD 15/50 Anniversary Committee:
Tony Schuman, Chair
Earl Jackson '98
Banafsheh Soltani ’12 ’15
The Hillier College of Architecture and Design offers undergraduate degrees in architecture, digital design, industrial design and interior design as well as graduate degrees in architecture, urban design, and urban systems. The Hillier College of Architecture and Design is a comprehensive design school located in a top ranked public research university. By studying design here, you will have ample opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas and interdisciplinary interaction. NJIT offers 122 degree programs through six professional schools and colleges. You can double major, design an interdisciplinary major, opt for an accelerated bachelor’s or master’s degree program, and cross-register at nearby schools such as Rutgers University–Newark.
50/15 Gala Celebration
Alumni, present and former faculty and staff, and adjuncts, are invited to join the anniversary celebration event. 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the New Jersey School of Architecture, and the 15th anniversary of the School of Art + Design. The Gala reception is October 26th, and will include a Colloquium on the Future of Design Education and a silent auction of works by the faculty community. TICKETS.
Find your fellow alumni and view the 50/15 historic timeline.
The founding of the New Jersey School of Architecture marked two significant occasions for the State of New Jersey and for the university of which we are part. The NJSoA created the first accredited undergraduate program in architecture in the state, allowing high school graduates to remain in New Jersey for their professional education with the intention of producing qualified graduates to staff architectural offices in the state. Adding the discipline of architecture to the already established Newark College of Engineering, meant an expansion of the institutional mission and ultimately establishing the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Over the past half century, the NJSoA has built a robust enrollment, adding graduate programs in architecture, infrastructure planning, and urban systems to the undergraduate degree focus. The school was a national leader in the application of computer technology to architectural education; our digital archiving system, Kepler, became a national model. An early focus on community engagement continues to this day with the establishment of the Newark Design Collaborative.
In 2008, the school expanded its academic offerings by introducing undergraduate degree programs in Interior Design, Industrial Design, and Digital Design, grouped together under the auspices of the School of Art + Design. With the creation of this second school, the College of Architecture and Design was established. Following a substantial gift to the university in 2019 by two distinguished New Jersey architects, the College was named the J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier College of Architecture and Design.
We have graduated over 4,000 students in the architecture and design disciplines and welcomed over 300 professionals to our teaching staff. We are proud of the sense of community that we have constructed at our Newark campus. Our purpose in celebrating these two anniversaries is not simply to reflect on our past accomplishments but to use this occasion to ask probing questions about the future of architecture and design education: How can we best contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint of the building industry? What will be the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the design process? What will the design studio of future look like?
Since its inception, the Hillier College of Architecture and Design has continuously built its academic, research, and technical strength. In addition to the initial accredited Bachelor of Architecture program, the School initiated other undergraduate and graduate programs to provide our students more educational opportunities, particularly for those interested in pursuing study in related fields.
- 2008/09: Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design
- 2008/09: Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design
- 2005/06: Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design
- 1996/97: Master of Infrastructure Planning
- 1984/85: Master of Architecture
- 1984/85: Master of Science in Architecture
Design is intrinsically an optimistic profession. As designers we aspire to better the conditions of human life – to elevate the spirit, stir the emotions, engage the intellect and improve the quality of human experience through intervention in the built environment at all scales. This is the spirit that infuses the graduate and undergraduate programs in architecture and design at the Hillier College of Architecture and Design.
The mission of the curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels has been and will continue to be to prepare students with the skills and knowledge necessary for employment in a “generalized” design practice or pursue research immediately upon graduation. To that end, the vision of Hillier College is the creation and implementation of a new curriculum that addresses the changing technological and professional demands in the 21st century as well as satisfying the mandates required for accreditation by the National Architecture Accreditation Board (NAAB), Council on Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD.)
In order to fulfill this mission the New Jersey School of Architecture has developed into the more comprehensive Hillier College of Architecture and Design. Such expansion has diversified not only our program offerings but also attracts students with a wider variety of interests and aspirations. The Hillier College of Architecture and Design benefits from the experience and diversity they bring and the richness of their subsequent careers and contributions to society. The impetus for this change lay in the many unfulfilled educational needs within the State that could effectively be addressed by such a configuration. Equally compelling is the synergy created by building and maintaining parallel design programs. This provides enrichment and broader educational exposure for students and faculty alike.
The current building for the Hillier College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology opened in 1998 as part of a larger construction and renovation project at NJIT. The 111,900 gross square-foot edifice was designed by the architectural firm, The Hillier Group of Princeton, NJ, and built at a cost of $26.6 million.
The new building is a southward extension of Weston Hall, a long building along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the University Heights district of Newark. Access from the campus is along an elevated ramp from Summit Place, rising to a distinctive new entrance pavilion at the juncture of the old Weston Hall and the new extension. A soaring "kinetic" atrium at the entrance connects the old and new buildings while preserving the identity of each. Inside the atrium, a hub of function and activity, is the connection between all floors. From the entry, one can see the gallery, studio, library, teaching spaces and the administrative offices. In contrast to the old Weston Hall, the new building enjoys openness, and from within the large complex, offers long views of the two major cities of Newark and New York beyond.
It provides an educational environment that makes it a pleasure in which to teach and learn. The building really makes a statement from within, and statement about NJIT in regards to its relationship with the City of Newark, one of the architectural concepts that gave rise to the building form was its presence as a lantern on the hill. Students are working around the clock, so the building is illuminated at all hours.
Conceptually the building was developed by architect Alan Chimacoff (a member of the Professional Advisory Board), the chief designer of The Hillier Group, along with a faculty committee from the New Jersey School of Architecture. "All can be seen as dynamic, angular and kinetic in contrast to the measured regimentation of old Weston and to the systematic arrangements of the new studio building. Here the contrast between the regular and irregular, between normative thesis and antithetical counterproposal is joined in a dialog that simultaneously reveres and challenges convention," said Chimacoff.