Samantha Salden Teach
Assistant Professor of the Practice and Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in the School of Architecture
The Notre Dame School of Architecture is a unique place within a unique discipline.
Here we can talk about not just the how of what we do, but the why—the ethical standpoint behind our work.
Here we can talk about tradition—recognizing it not as some naive bit of nostalgia, but as a critical touchstone.
Here, regardless of individual background, we recognize that we are part of something greater than ourselves—that we are stewards of our community, both local and global, and of the generations to come.
As architects, we must address design holistically, from the smallest mouldings to the entire city, and recognize the connections between the built environment, the natural environment, and legal, economic, and social issues. While each generation faces new challenges, the vast majority are variations on concerns that have come before.
At Notre Dame we can openly engage the best examples of past design solutions in critical conversation while also judiciously employing new materials, technologies, and strategies for both representation and building. We need not choose to be forward-looking or backward-looking, but are instead part of a living language that, because it can be understood by others, can have meaning outside one’s own self.
I am fortunate to engage as an instructor and/or advisor with every student who comes through our undergraduate and graduate programs, be it in introductory studios, graduate-level thesis work, or seminar courses in between. Within this architecture family as well as the broader Notre Dame family, students aren’t nameless faces or numbers. As we build knowledge and design skills, we build relationships with our students that often last long after they leave these hallowed halls.