This document has emerged from a long journey. The process of creating a strategic plan for SALA began in 2019. Within a month of our internal consultation wrapping up in February 2020, SALA, and much of the rest of the world, had closed to mitigate COVID-19. UBC operations and academic programs shifted on-line for most of two years. When campus operations resumed in late 2022, we found ourselves in a very different place — one in which our strategic planning context had shifted significantly. 

The design assumptions of daily life and design practice were shifting dramatically. So, we re-examined our draft plan. What do we need to know, to teach, to learn, to be an effective school of design? The familiar hierarchy — vision, mission, goals, strategies, objectives, actions would be presumptuous in the face of such uncertainty and instability.

What are the underlying strategic directions — the values, ambitions and priorities — that establish the enduring ‘whys’ that bind us to one another and to our place? Among them are commitments to who we are and what we believe — a community of purposeful and collaborative designers of ‘this place’; and, to the aspirations and priorities that we care about —impactful design, design fluency and engagement with people and communities.

Please browse our Strategic Directions below, or download the document here.