The mission of the Conway School is to explore, develop, practice, and teach design of the land that is ecologically and socially sustainable.
The intention is to:
- provide graduates with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to practice planning, design, and management of the land, that respects nature as well as humanity;
- develop ecological awareness, understanding, respect, and accommodation in its students and project clients;
- produce projects that fit human use to natural conditions.
The school’s mission guides decision-making at every level: who is hired, what projects are undertaken, how courses are structured, and what offices and sites are visited on field trips. While the program is thoroughly based on ecological knowledge and practices, Conway’s educational focus is on design of the land rather than environmental science.
The Conway School is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion for our students and employees and in our project work with communities. At Conway, we maintain a work and educational environment where each individual is respected. In the classroom we critically explore the role of race and equity in design and planning practice, identifying opportunities to support the agency of underserved communities.
The Conway School is located in a place with a troubled history of European colonization and genocide of Indigenous people. We acknowledge that tragic past and seek to learn from it. We acknowledge the long and continuing presence of the Pocumtuc, Nipmuc, and Abenaki people who thrived here before colonization and who continue to inhabit these lands, while also bearing the burden of hundreds of years of oppression and forced relocations of their community members. We intend to continue to evolve in our knowledge and understanding of the people who call this place sacred.
The original inhabitants lived in harmony with the land to provide for their needs without destroying the forests, streams, and meadows that also sustain the rich diversity of non-human life that share these resources. Conway’s curriculum guides students to understand and acknowledge the interconnectedness of human and non-human life, encouraging them to identify means of minimizing destruction and improving synergy within the context of their design and planning work at Conway and beyond. We also encourage students, in their speaking and writing of stories of place, to acknowledge Indigenous history and contemporary presence rather than perpetuating trends of erasure.