Welcome from the Dean

CAPPA uniquely brings together the disciplines of Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Planning, Public Administration, and Public Policy. This exciting combination provides an extraordinary context for nimble thinking, innovative making, and experimental approaches to problem solving in the service of the public good. We put intuition to work with critical analysis, combining the familiar in unfamiliar ways. Vibrantly blending a variety of frameworks and methods, embracing reason and emotion, theory and practice, academics and hands-on learning we recognize the importance of empathic and ethical approaches to designing buildings, places, infrastructure, and urban systems.

With surging global urbanization and environmental degradation, architects, planners, and policymakers are entrusted with an increasing responsibility to serve new constituencies. At CAPPA we are motivated to create more livable, healthy, friendly, and inclusive built environments and the policies that help them function. For these reasons, our studio, classroom, and research cultures are catalysts for change, expanding traditional ways of learning and making by engaging in a myriad of contemporary challenges with confidence and humility. In this way, we are committed to improving the social, environmental, and economic impact of design and policy.


About Dean Adrian Parr, Ph.D

Dr. Adrian Parr is the Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Arlington. Parr is the UNESCO Chair on Water and Human Settlements. She joined UTA after serving as the Director of the Taft Research Center for Humanities and Chair of Taft Faculty at the University of Cincinnati, where she was also a tenured Professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of Architecture and Interior Design. Prior to her appointment at the University of Cincinnati, she was a faculty member at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Parr is a trans-disciplinary scholar working at the intersection of architecture criticism, aesthetics, political theory, and environmental studies. She has published eight books, the most recent being a trilogy on environmental politics and sustainability culture: Birth of A New Earth (Columbia University Press, 2017), The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics(Columbia UP, 2012), and Hijacking Sustainability (MIT Press, 2009). She has been interviewed by the New York Times for her views on climate change and has published articles on culture and politics for the LA Review of BooksThe World Financial Review, and The European Magazine.

Parr is the producer, writer, and director (with Sean Hughes) of the award-winning documentary The Intimate Realities of Water. The film chronicles the complex relationship between water, development, poverty, gender, and public interest design in the slums of Nairobi. It was shortlisted for Best Documentary at the Paris Art Movie Awards and then went on to win twelve awards including Best Cultural Feature at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, Best Picture, and Best Woman Film Maker at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, among others. The film was featured at the 50th Anniversary of Water at UNESCO celebrations in Paris and the UN Paris Climate Talks (COP21).

Parr received her Ph.D. in visual culture and philosophy from Monash University in Australia. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in philosophy from Deakin University in Australia.


2019 Fall Commencement Speech