Back to top

09.05.13 – Visual Studies joins the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design

On July 1, 2013, University of Toronto’s programs in Visual Studies joined the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, transferring over from the Faculty of Arts and Science.
The consolidation of visual studies, architecture, and design at Daniels will provide new opportunities and creative outlets for students in these areas of study at U of T.  Visual Studies' graduate and undergraduate degrees focus on creative studio work and curatorial studies. Students and faculty across all programs within the Faculty — including architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design — will benefit from a closer relationship. The transfer will allow for increased opportunities for collaboration, and the sharing of space and other resources.
Many undergraduate students are already pursuing a double major in architecture and visual studies, while a number of those working towards graduate degrees in architecture and landscape architecture  have a backgrounds in various fine and applied arts.
“The move to the Daniels Faculty has been in the works for some time, and the Visual Studies faculty and students are very excited about the change,” says Professor Lisa Steele, director of the Visual Studies programs. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to engage with an expanded group of colleagues working in and studying disciplines based in studio practice.”
The transfer is part of a larger goal to enhance and expand students’ educational experience at the Daniels Faculty, which reassumed responsibility for the Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies last fall and is now working towards implementing a PhD program as well as other advanced Masters programs in areas such as Health and Design. The  Daniels Faculty will soon move to One Spadina Crescent, where work is now underway to renew the landmark 19th century building and build out the northern face of the circle with a contemporary work of architecture, designed by the internationally acclaimed firm  NADAAA. As part of this process, the Visual Studies programs have relocated to the neighbouring North Borden Building, just across the street.
"Students and faculty alike will be exposed to opportunities to both broaden and deepen their education, research, and partnerships. Visual studies students will benefit from being part of a cultural space at U of T  that is more closely aligned with their field,” says Dean of the Daniels Faculty, Professor Richard Sommer. Sommer is familiar with the benefits of crossover between the related arts, having achieved undergraduate degrees in Architecture and Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design before pursuing advanced studies. “Our goal is to create an architecture, city building and arts district at the University of Toronto, and put design and visually-based thinking at U of T on par with traditional mathematics and text based modes of scholarship.