Collaboration within and beyond the University

Partnering with Communities


Architecture is collaborative by definition.  And so UMA/ARC – students, educators and design professionals – embraces the idea that the communities we live in are part of that collaboration.  At UMA Architecture we have put our collaboration with community groups and non-profits at the center of our pedagogy, developing 21 “real project” collaborations over the past few years; most recently seeing some built.  By placing our students in these learning situations we give them the tools to create and foster relationships within their own communities. See our Community Pages for more info.

Collaborative Cluster Courses


We are actively pursuing the greater integration of “Cluster Courses” into our required course work.  These are nine to twelve credit courses, combining different disciplines in order to bring about cross-discipline collaboration within the institution; this in turn creates an atmosphere of greater knowledge and discovery for our students.  In the first “Cluster Course” we crossed with the Departments of ART and Philosophy, along with community-partner Bread of Life Ministries, to design & help build housing for homeless Veterans. The Department of Architecture was at the forefront in developing this first cluster course taught at UMA, and will be at the forefront in making these courses integral to a degree program.

Partnering with Design Professionals


As a professional degree we strive for a strong connection to the professional architects of Maine and others working in related fields.  We maintain this connection through field trips, on-campus lectures and exhibitions, and professional guest critics who come and share their knowledge at our studio design reviews.  We also have close alliances with professional organizations including AIA Maine, the Portland Society of Architects, and the Maine Chapter of the US Green Building Council.