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Joseph A. Betz, Architect

Professor, Architecture and Construction Management

Farmingdale, NY, UNITED STATES

Professor Betz’s current area of research is in design theory where he conducts experiments on design methodology to measure creativity.


Joseph A. Betz is an Ivy League trained architect and academic. He is Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Architecture and Construction Management at Farmingdale State College.

He has been licensed to practice architecture since 1989 and has more than 20 years experience as a principal or partner of an architectural design firm. His area of expertise is in design theory, where he teaches the first-year architectural design studio sequence and a senior-level architectural theory course. He also teaches the History of Western Architecture, a course he has worked on for more than a quarter century, and has compiled an extensive image collection of buildings from living in Europe.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Professor Betz’s current area of research is in design theory where he conducts behavioral experiments on design methodology to measure creativity.

He has served a three year term as a member of the Brookhaven Town Planning Board. He has studied the appropriateness of how design solutions fit the surrounding context and the interrelationship between the regulatory process itself and the public's ability to effectively comment on the design solution. He was recently appointed to the Brookhaven Town Historic District Advisory Committee for his expertise in architectural history and styles.








Areas of Expertise

Architectural Theory and DesignArchitectural History, Historic Styles and AestheticsPlanning Board decisions and analysis

Industry Expertise

  • Architecture and Planning
  • Education/Learning


Registered Architect

Professional License to Practice Architecture: State of New York, No. 20214, 1989/active; State of New Jersey, No. 11501, 1991/inactive; State of Connecticut, No. 7434, 1991/inactive

National Architectural Certification

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards: Certification No. 39198, 1990/active

Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2000) | professional

State University of New York

Certificate of Appreciation for Service on the Planning Board (2015) | professional

Given by resolution of the Supervisor & Town Board of Brookhaven

Farmingdale State College Presidential CARES Award (2016) | professional

Commendation And Recognition for Exceptional Service


Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

M.S.Arch., Architecture & Building Design (1987)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), School of Architecture

B.Arch., 5-Year Professional Degree in Architecture (1984)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), School of Architecture

B.S., Building Science (1983)

- RPI Rome (Italy) Program, 1982

Research Grants

Major Collaborative Proposal: Understanding the Creative Design Process: A Novel Cognitive Model based on Behavioral Experiments in Circuit Design and Architecture

National Science Foundation - Grant IIS-0856038 $257,376.00

Alexa Doboli (Principal Investigator - SUNY Stony Brook) Joseph Betz (Co-Principal Investigator - Farmingdale State College - SUNY; sub-award to SUNY Stony Brook) The project plans to develop a cognitive model that helps understand, emulate and enhance creativity in conceptual electronic circuit design based on approaches used in architectural design theory. The research is expected to lead to new, creativity-oriented design methodologies of superior productivity. The gained insights can also form the basis of original computer-aided design tools that invent novel circuits, a capability far beyond the tasks performed by current tools. The perspective on how novel conceptual combinations are generated and utilized can be used to develop new methods of instruction in electrical engineering, architecture and computer science.

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Sensor Consortium - A Consortium for Security and Medical Sensor Systems

National Science Foundation - Grant EEC-0332605 $599,785.00

Gerrit Wolf, Serge Luryi, Yacov Shamash, Galina Botchkina, Wendy Tang (Principal Investigators - SUNY Stony Brook) Joseph Betz (Project Coordinator / Campus PI - Farmingdale State College - SUNY; sub-award to SUNY Stony Brook) The proposal was submitted in response to the Partnerships for Innovation Program Solicitation (NSF-03521).PartnersThe partners include SUNY Stony Brook (Lead Institution), Hofstra University, Farmingdale State College - SUNY, Suffolk County Community College, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Northrop Grumman, Symbol, CardioMag Imaging, Transonics, Tracer Detection Technology Corporation, Technology Next Corporation, BioPhotonics Corporation, IEEE, LISTnet, WEDLI, Long Island Regional Incubator Council, Empire State Development, Suffolk County, and New York State Sensor CAT Center.This project seeks to promote and increase awareness of and expansion of entrepreneurship and technology transfer on Long Island with emphasis on national security and medical sensor systems.

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Architectural Design I

Studies the principles of form, space and order that underlie architectural design. Concepts include: mass void modeling, volume and space construction, enclosing planes, circulation, organization, hierarchy, and structure. The diagram and sketch model are introduced as methods of understanding design. Concepts are explored in both three dimensional and graphic form.

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Architectural Design II

Emphasis is placed on the process by which design decisions are made and the methods of analysis in context to the existing environment. Topics include: structure, form and function, building in context, light and construction.

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Construction Design

Construction Design is a technology-based design studio emphasizing a methodological approach to the assembly of the building's envelope, materials and systems. The integration of building code requirements, life safety, accessibility, building energy systems, structure, construction, and materials are central to effectively achieving design intent. Knowledge from Materials and Method of Construction I and II, Energy in Buildings and Graphics are applied to specific drawing assignments. A residential Type V construction, and a commercial Type II or Type III construction, building project will be advanced resulting in a set of construction documents.

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History of Western Architecture

A study of the development of building design from the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks throughout the major historical periods to the present. Emphasis is on the evolution of the forms derived from indigenous technologies of periods surveyed.

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Architectural Theory and Design Factors

This course will examine a series of architectural theories and design factors that attempts to explain, predict or influence design decisions that result in the built environment. Topics include: historical theory, form and aesthetics; architectural technology; the urban, natural and human environment; economic, zoning and code factors; the social and behavioral implications of architecture, the design process itself and the architectural profession.

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