Monday, September 29, 2014

ARI: All About the UDC Architectural Research Institute

The Architectural Research Institute (ARI) provides cross-disciplinary research and service to support livable, sustainable, global cities. As the clinical arm of UDC’s Department of Architecture and Community Development, ARI is tasked with the community service component as part of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, home of the District’s landgrant programs. As such, ARI collaborates on joint ventures with other local government agencies to fulfill its service to the community and to the residents of the District of Columbia. ARI offers programs in construction, architecture, and planning, providing students and faculty with opportunities to combine research and fieldwork. Distinguished Professor Clarence Pearson has led ARI since it’s inception.

Mr. Clarence Pearson, FAIA, has 40 years of varied experience in architecture, construction and investment in real estate property. Mr. Pearson has extensive experience in the design and management of residential, commercial, civil and institutional structures, and was a principal in the firm of Pearson, Johnson, Brown and Associates. He has served on the faculty of UDC as a professor in the Architectural Program, and as its Chairman for more than 18 years. His experience has made him an invaluable resource for the educational process in the Architecture Program. Mr. Pearson has won numerous awards for his outstanding contributions to a variety of professionals, civic and social organizations. For his extensive work in education he has been elevated to Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture; and for his years of service to the University Mr. Pearson has been elevated to Distinguished Faculty. 

“There are no open doors to success. Everyone must prepare for the future. It is you who must create the opportunity, not luck or chance,” said Prof. Pearson. 
ARI was founded through an intercity collaboration between the University of the District of Columbia and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The Institute also assists other District government and non-profit agencies with capital improvement initiatives, including the District of Columbia Public Schools and Habitat for Humanity. Technical services are also provided to nonprofit organizations, which have included: Manna, the People’s Involvement Corporation and East of the River Corporation.

ARI, in partnership with the Department of Architecture, provides a means for students to become involved in critical design and construction issues confronting the city. In keeping with the tradition of landgrant college’s services to its community, all of ARI’s teaching and research is within the framework of providing directions and solutions to problems, including: low and moderate income housing, shelter for the homeless, homesteading opportunities, community and institutional facilities and many of the other physical components of neighborhood economic revitalization strategies. This provides students in the Architecture Program with the unique opportunity to incorporate exposure to real-life community projects and hands on experience in a wide cross section of activities associated with the practice of architecture such as: field documentation, specification writing, interaction with other professionals, and client contact through project administration.

For more info on ARI, contact Prof. Clarence Pearson at

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