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To celebrate the BAC founding and our more than 130 years of impact in design education, the Boston Architectural College is launching a new tradition: BAC Founding Week.

BAC Founding Week will be a robust set of activities bringing together staff, faculty, students, alumni, and friends to celebrate our many achievements. It is an important occasion for the whole community to be together, to do things together, and to pause and reflect on and honor those who invested in the College's beginnings.

Founding Week for 2020 will be an entirely virtual experience bringing together BAC community members from wherever they are. We hope you will join us! For any questions, please contact Kristin Hansen, Office of Institutional Advancement, at

Schedule of Events

Monday, December 7

Welcome to Founding Week!

mahesh daas

Founding Week Opening Remarks, President Mahesh Daas

Film Premiere: Built Beautiful: An Architecture and Neuroscience Love Story with narration by Martha Stewart (2020), directed by Mariel Rodriguez-McGill. Watch the trailer below.


Built Beautiful Trailer from Mariel Rodriguez-McGill on Vimeo.

The BAC has been invited to be the first design school in the world to screen this exciting new documentary, which will not be available to the public until Spring 2021. Join us for this exclusive screening and a Q&A session with film director, Mariel Rodriguez-McGill, Don Ruggles, and BAC Faculty member and film contributor, Ann Sussman!built beautiful book cover

Neuroscience gives architects a new lens through which to consider the built environment's influence on health and wellness. Built Beautiful is a feature length documentary movie that examines the theories presented at the Ux+Design/2019 conference held at Tufts University as well as those embodied in the book Beauty, Neuroscience & Architecture by Donald H. Ruggles. The movie features leading experts from around the world in the emerging field of neuro-aesthetics as well as academics, researchers, architects, and interior designers.

The BAC is grateful for the work of the Human Architecture and Planning Institute (HAPI) for their deep engagement and thought leadership in the film, along with the work of understanding the human experience of the built environment and improving its design through education and research. BAC faculty Ann Sussman serves as president of the HAPI and BAC Faculty A. Vernon Woodworth III, FAIA serves as secretary. Special thanks to the Design for Human Health program team at the BAC for their commitment to this film and their support in securing this film premier opportunity for the College!

December 8-10

The BAC 130 Series

In honor of our 130th anniversary, we will host a 3-day series of vibrant discussion featuring BAC students, faculty, and alumni. Join us each day at 1:30pm ET for discussions on relevant topics in design thinking and design education.

941 boylston historical

Tuesday, December 8  |  1:30 PM
Transforming Correctional Design for Justice


The panel will address the real consequences of the prison environment on human biology, which results in lasting impacts on the convicted people, their families, and discuss alternative approaches to correctional design in light of these irrefutable facts.

Discussion led by Janet Roche, MDS '17 CAPS, Janet Roche Designs, LLC, Real Design Solutions for the Human Condition, Allied ASID, IWBI COVID-19 Task Force Member, Adjunct Instructor BAC, Co-Founder, Trauma-Informed Design Society

Along with guests: Jana Belack, B.Arch ‘16, LEED AP BDC; Christine Cowart, MA, CARSS, Certified Trauma Professional, Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership; Dana McKinney, architect and urban planner (Gehry Partners, LLP), graduated from Princeton University with an B.A. in Architecture and completed her Masters in Architecture and Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD).

whitney young jr

Wednesday, December 9  |  1:30 PM
A Reading and Reflection on the "Speech that Changed Architecture Forever"


In 1968, Whitney Young Jr., President of the Urban League, was invited to address the American Institute of Architects (AIA) national convention. 1968 was a time when the nation's cities had broken out into violent spasms of armed rebellion over a lack of access to economic opportunity and discriminatory housing practices, among other turmoil facing society - particularly urban communities. Mr. Young had an important message for the profession of architecture. He believed in the profession's potential to make a positive difference in the lives of the marginalized and disenfranchised. Young's speech is just as relevant today as it was in 1968. 

Led by BAC NOMAS (National Organization of Minority Architects) students, please join us along with special guests from Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, Inc. (PCA), the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM), James Hills of SPARK FM, JavawithJimmy, and Councilman Ernest Brooks II of Jackson, TN for a reading of excerpts of the speech and reflections on where we are, what we envision for a future of inclusion and diversity in the profession, and a reflection on the legacy and vision for the future.

Thursday, December 10 |  1:30 PM
Join us for two exciting talks led by BAC faculty followed by Q&A.

1. BAC University Partnership in Pakistan

Since 2013, the BAC has been engaged in a University Partnership with the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, on the theme of cultural heritage and architecture. This year, we had the distinct pleasure of starting a new partnership with the University of Baltistan, Skardu on a similar theme. Eleni Glekas and Chala Hadimi will give a short presentation on these partnerships, their goals, and expected outcomes, to the BAC community.

Led by: Eleni Glekas, Director of Historic Preservation; Chala Hadimi, Arch & Design Studies faculty

2. Archives of the Self, a BAC course being offered during Summer 2021

Dorothy Clark & Scott Harrison will present on an 8-week summer course that pushes students to ponder the ways in which people (and groups) have articulated and archived the self during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course will take so-called ‘traditional homes’ as the archival starting point, as well as consider the extent to which the lines between public and private have become increasingly blurred during this moment of unpredictability and civil unrest.  This course will culminate in the curation of a hands-on exhibition of student work, a space in which students will make clear what future audiences must know about how they lived through a time without precedent.

Led by: Dorothy Clark, MDS '15, Faculty in Design Studies & Liberal Studies, Historian & Editor at Historic New England and Scott Harrison, Ph.D., Director of Liberal Studies and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

If you missed any of this year's Founding Week events, check out the recordings here.