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Shaping the Future: Sam Fox School Strategic Plan 2022-2032

The Sam Fox School’s 2022-2032 strategic plan, Shaping the Future, builds on the historic strengths of our disciplinary programs and the ways we have worked across art, architecture, design, and museum to contribute to contemporary society in meaningful and impactful ways.

Now, the school is looking ahead to a new era of disciplinary exchange; delving deeper into critical discourses and working toward solutions as we collaborate with university partners, join forces with community stakeholders, and engage our national and global networks.

The Sam Fox School’s 2022-2032 strategic plan represents three key areas where we will have the most impact and achieve distinction:

Digital Transformation in Art, Architecture, and Design

We will harness the power of transformative digital tools in architecture, art, design, and museum to advance and critically assess emerging technologies that shape our world; to access and widely disseminate impactful research, creative activity, and scholarship; and to practice and teach at the cutting edges of our fields.

Leadership in Sustainable Practices

The Sam Fox School will make critical, design-centric contributions toward collaborative research that addresses our global climate crisis. We will shape the future of the built environment through resilient design solutions, a commitment to environmental justice locally and globally, dissemination of creative work that promotes awareness and action around climate and environment, and the education of sustainable design leaders.

Strengthening Local, National, and Global Communities

We will work for social justice, healthy environments, and stronger communities—including a focus on projects with and for St. Louis—through academic and museum programs; collaborative research initiatives; and mutually beneficial industry, practice, and cultural partnerships in architecture, art, and design.

Our plan also outlines Core Investments for Success—investments in people, programs, and relationships that will build academic and research excellence, educate leaders, support access and equity, and drive opportunities for achievement across the school’s academic units and the Kemper Art Museum.

Over the next decade, the Sam Fox School and our partners will affirm the power of design, architecture, and art to ask difficult questions, demonstrate relevance, sow passion and action, iterate innovative solutions, and reap stronger outcomes for local and global communities. Please read more about Shaping the Future and progress toward our goals.

Learn about the Plan

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Track our progress

  • Assistant Professor Heather Snyder Quinn was hired in August 2022, bringing expertise in human computer interaction with a lens on the impact of emerging technology on human freedoms.
  • A new professorship in AI has been pledged, providing funds to hire a faculty member with expertise in artificial intelligence across architecture, art, and design.
  • An architectural study has been scheduled for spring 2023 to envision the Design Futures Studio in the ground floor of Weil Hall, providing a hub for digital research and partnerships across the school.
  • SMOOTH House, the Sam Fox School’s Solar Decathlon entry led by Hongxi Yin, broke ground in November 2022, representing a partnership between architecture, occupational therapy, and engineering, with nearly $500,000 raised in cash support and in-kind donations.
  • Assistant Professor Seth Denizen was hired in August 2022, bringing new expertise to landscape architecture, soil science, urban geography, and the politics of climate change.
  • Internationally celebrated landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom was appointed designer-in-residence for the Sam Fox School and Pulitzer Arts Foundation for the 2022-2023 academic year.
  • The CityStudioSTL Fellowship Program expanded in 2022, placing summer fellows at five local St. Louis architecture and planning firms to work on pro bono or civic projects in the region.
  • The Counterpublic Art Fellowship was introduced in 2022, placing a MFA-VA student summer fellow with the triennial civic exhibition for a summer 2023 internship.
  • Sam Fox School faculty, staff, and students supported the development of Peace Park in the College Hill Neighborhood of St. Louis, including designing and building a bamboo park shelter and developing a public signage system.
  • Shaved Portions by Chakaia Booker was installed as part of the Art on Campus program in August 2022.
  • With funding from the Mellon Foundation’s Divided City Initiative, the Office for Socially Engaged Practice partnered on the Sumner StudioLab, working with the Sumner Recovery Board, 4theVille, and WashU’s Center for the Humanities to offer programming and engagement in this historically and socially significant cultural site.
  • The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum launched the Art & Patient Stigma program in collaboration with WashU’s School of Medicine to give medical students opportunities to recognize, relate, and respond to patient and health stigma through art experiences.
  • The Health Communication Design Studio launched by Assistant Professor Penina Acayo Laker to bring a community-based participatory approach to pressing public health issues.
  • A gift of $10 million from the Sam and Marilyn Fox Foundation endowed the Sam Fox Ambassador Fellowship program for graduate scholarships.
  • The Sam Fox School increased faculty seed grants for research, teaching, and dissemination by 50% and introduced tenure-track sabbaticals and course releases.
  • The Sam Fox School increased staffing capacity in the Sam Fox School Communications office by 33%.
  • Funding from the Dean’s Office was introduced for staff to pursue personal research and development.

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