Two modern houses with all glass fronts

KU Designbuild

Hands-on learning in the School of Architecture & Design

KU Designbuild, one of the nation’s leaders in hands-on, collaborative, solutions-focused, designbuild education, prepares graduates to enter architecture and design careers with an array of experiences few institutions can offer. Pioneering this philosophical tradition, Studio 804 has been the recipient of numerous design awards and publications, including a monograph titled “Studio 804: An Architectural Experience”, published by Artifice Books. In addition to Studio 804, KU Designbuild offers several ARCH 509 Designbuild Studios, including the award-winning Dirt Works Studio and Dotte Agency, a public interest designbuild collective.

KU Designbuild students are empowered to do everything it takes to transform imaginative ideas into tangible and functional built works. Students learn to research materials and construction methods, evaluate sites and environmental impacts, and use project management systems to effectively coordinate with municipalities, utilities, community and industry partners. And – using everything from hand tools to robotics – students learn to build.

Led by an award-winning faculty of designbuild practitioners, KU students continually rewrite what is possible for academic projects to accomplish. With a history rooted in pioneering curricular innovations stretching back nearly half a century, KU Designbuild has served as a model for programs around the world. KU students have created LEED Platinum and net-zero energy buildings, modular furniture systems, accessible community parks, sustainably manufactured bicycles, a mobile grocery store, among many other impactful projects.

Students interested in a designbuild education at the University of Kansas can enroll in the Master of Architecture program and/or pursue our Designbuild Graduate Certificate.


Forum at Marvin Hall


Students have worked on many structures in the Designbuild program from creative building additions, to park pavilions, to full residential houses.
students load frame onto truck


Designbuild education is enhanced by great relationships with many nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses.
East Hills Woodshop


Our East Hills Designbuild facility is equipped with all the space, tools, and material to bring designs from concept to finished product.