In 2002 the College of Design was established, incorporating the School of Interior Design, the Historic Preservation Program and the College of Architecture.
The College of Architecture had its origins in the 1920’s as an architectural option in the College of Engineering. Professor Charles P. Graves joined the Civil Engineering faculty in 1958 charged with converting the architectural option to a professional degree program. The curriculum changed from a mathematical and applied science concentration to courses in the arts, science, humanities, architectural design and history.
In 1960, the Board of Trustees established the Department of Architecture in the College of Engineering, with the understanding that the department would be granted autonomy upon accreditation. The first class to complete the new professional degree program graduated in 1964.
The School of Architecture was established in 1965 with Professor Graves as Dean. That year, the program also received its first accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The School became a college in 1967.
As the College's enrollment increased it moved to temporary off-campus quarters in the Reynolds Building, an old tobacco warehouse. In 1965, the program moved to the physics building, Pence Hall. By 1971 the College grew to over four hundred students. To accomodate this growth, space in Miller Hall was given to the College and a selective admission policy was adopted.
In 1971, Professor Graves resigned as Dean to devote his time to teaching and private practice. Professor Anthony Eardley became the second Dean in 1972. Prior to coming to UK Dean Eardley served as a professor at the Architectural Association, London, England, Princeton, and The Cooper Union. In 1986, Professor Jose' R. Oubrerie became the third Dean. Dean Oubrerie previously worked as an associate of Le Corbusier and as a professor at Columbia University. David B. Mohney became the fourth Dean in 1994. He had served as Associate director of Education, IAUS, as a visiting critic at Harvard University, and is a partner of the firm of Chan and Mohney Architecture.
As a result of restructuring within the University, a new College of Design was created in January, 2002. This new college included the School of Architecture, School of Interior Design and the Historic Preservation Program. To accommodate these new programs additional space was provided in Funkhouser Building and Bowman Hall.
In 2008 Michael Speaks became the first appointed Dean for the College of Design. Dean Speaks is former director of the Graduate Program and founding director of the Metropolitan Research and Design Postgraduate Program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. Speaks also heads Big Soft Orange, a Dutch-American urban research group based in Rotterdam and Los Angeles. He was the founding editor of the cultural journal Polygraph and a former editor at Architecture New York and a+u (Tokyo), and currently serves as a contributing editor for Architectural Record.