umbau is a school
for architecture.
umbau is a school of thought.

umbau is a school of sustainability.

umbau is a school of design.

umbau is a school of transformation.

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umbau is an experiment into wonder

We are a guerrilla studio and radical design school working to re-define architecture and learning. We have been operating studios in Vienna, Austria, Kraków, Poland, and in the United States for over twenty years. We are discovering ways into the miraculous.

healing architecture + education

We see a need for improvement in both our living spaces and our systems of education. We believe that spaces are an inherent part of how we experience the world and significantly impact our wellbeing. Our current modes of thinking have forced many into living spaces that do not address our ecological impact nor give us the quality of life we desire.

We are at a pivotal moment in history and have the opportunity to respond and repair, but we require a new mind.


vienna studio

Vienna, Austria / Vienna Studio is a five-week immersion in Viennese culture that allows students to observe, study and be inspired by the very best designers, artists, hatmakers, shoemakers, goldsmiths, violin makers, vintners, singers, and architects in the world.

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studio kraków

Kraków, Poland / Studio Kraków is a screen-printing workshop and poster exhibition. During this time, designers, architects, rappers, educators and artists regain creative confidence as they encounter a rich history of using posters to advance the aspirations of society.

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studio shenandoah

Staunton, Virginia, USA / Studio Shenandoah is a design studio and open education program that includes an evolving series of workshops, lectures and discussions and long-term collaborative design projects.

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Umbau is to re-define the role of the architect, even the name. We will leave ‘architect’, and instead, breed LANDERS.

Umbau, a guerrilla studio and radical architecture and design school, is experimenting with other ways of doing. We are an unconventional school for unconventional times. Our emphasis is to breed a new way of thinking: one that savors uncertainty, thrives on disruption, and transforms educational systems.

Umbau as a school operates at different speeds and rhythms, both long and short. We investigate a range of disciplines through the creative process. Umbau survives on collaboration.

puccini meaning a beautiful, a timeless, a sensuous, an emotional architecture.

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Founding Director

William Tate

William Tate founded umbau in 2001 as an educational non-profit and guerilla studio. Through umbau he has led the studios in Vienna and Kraków. As professor of architectural design at James Madison University, Tate has honed his teaching of studio and history. Moments of transformation have included Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, working with Ricardo Legorreta, meeting Luis Barragán, visiting monasteries, every moment in Vienna and Kraków, and the wonder of family. Umbau is an outlet to spread the contagion for the Good.

Students = Landers


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Umbau, Inc.
P. O. Box 2784
Staunton, VA 24402