The Architectural Technologies program at Des Moines Area Community College began as the Architectural Drafting program in 1967 as "Hand Drafting" in Center Two, a converted roller rink building in West Des Moines. The program's first chair was Roy Berger. In 1970, the program was moved to the Ankeny Campus in a building currently on the east side of campus and later into a main campus building in 1974. Doug Sires became program chair in 1975 and was replaced by Tom Peterson in 1979 who continued until his retirement in 1997. Michael Gatzke became program chair in 1997 and continues in that role. The original program capacity was 28 students and was reduced to 24 in 1994 to accommodate facilities available to the program.
The first college drafting program, Machine Drafting, was oriented toward engineering applications. It was soon obvious that there was a need for a second program that focused on architecture. Initially the same advisory committee was used for both programs. A separate committee was created after the first year.
The original catalogue copy described the one-year program: This curriculum provides four quarters of intensive study to develop the proper attitude, skills and knowledge required for satisfactory entrance into the architectural drafting field. Graduates are employed by architects, structural and mechanical-electrical system engineers, contractors, sub-contractors, and building equipment and materials suppliers. The basic knowledge of good building construction practices and building materials and their proper use, as well as an understanding of construction drawings gained by the student through this study, also provides occupational opportunities for graduates in the areas of construction estimating, specifications writing and sales of building materials and equipment.
Over the years the industry has changed markedly as CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) and now BIM (Building Information Modeling) have come into usage, and construction practices changed. It was this infusion of technology that prompted the program to change its name to Architectural Technologies. The curriculum is continually modified as these changes continue to occur, and faculty constantly upgrades their professional skills as architects.