In 1991, NC State University’s College of Design began offering summer programs in Prague, including Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Art & Design, and Graphic Design. After fourteen successful years of the summer programs in Prague, the College of Design, under Dean Marvin Malecha’s leadership, initiated the College of Design Prague Institute, a year-around educational facility. The Institute opened in January 2005, under the direction of Professor Art Rice, Acting Director, and Karla Hammer, Resident Coordinator. At that time, the College of Design Prague Institute became the first permanent overseas facility within the UNC System.
The opening of the College of Design Prague Institute was celebrated in June 2005 with, then NC State University Provost, Larry Nielsen, attending. After this opening celebration, it was determined that the Institiute should be expanded to be the NC State University Prague Institute, an initiative of the College of Design. Also in 2005, after an international search, Dana Bartelt, was selected to be the Institute Director. Under Director Bartelt course offerings were expanded greatly to include a wide variety of General Education Program offerings and courses fulfilling a number of specific curriculum requirements.
In January of 2014, the distinguished Danish Professor of Architecture, Peter Kjaer, became the Director of the NC State Prague Institute. Currently, under his leadership, the Institute offers Fall, Spring, and Summer courses from nearly all of NC State’s colleges. The Institute now occupies over 10,000 sq. ft. of space in a 13th century building in the heart of Prague, Czech Republic. The facilities include, administrative office, classrooms, design studios, computer labs, and student common spaces with lounge areas and kitchens. The NC State Prague Institute hosts approximately 60 students each semester, who are taught by a wide variety of international and US scholars.
This remarkable endeavour would not have been possible without the concerted effort of many individuals as well as the commitment from the University’s administration.
Special thanks to: Marvin Malecha, Dean of the College of Design, Dottie Haynes, Assistant Dean for Budget & Administration, Art Rice, Associate Dean for Graduate and International Studies, Michael Rodrigues, Budget Manager, Dana Bartelt, past Director of the Prague Institute, Robert Burns, Professor of Architecture, and Paul Tesar, Professor of Architecture.