Graduate Urban Design

The Graduate Architecture and Urban Design program offers a Master of Science, Architecture, and Urban Design. The program is 33 credits and three semesters (Summer, Fall, Spring). It is open to students holding a five-year, or equivalent, professional undergraduate degree in Architecture. The program begins in the summer semester with an intensive curriculum focused on concepts, theory, and representational / generative practices of Urban Design and continues with design studio and seminar courses toward a culminating project in the third semester. 

Urban Design is a continually evolving field. The expansion and contraction of cities, the increasingly intricate systems of economic exchange, along with intense environmental change suggest that new forms of innovative environmental analysis and information sensitive design are necessary.  New synthetic strategies for urban and industrial ecologies related to the capacities of rural production are studied in detail. The program engages students across multiple forms of expertise with the most thoughtful and innovative work in urban design; new computer mapping and visualization technologies, theoretical debates, historical precedents, transdisciplinary approaches, and speculative methodologies are brought to questions of contemporary cities in design studios and seminars.

The program is run as a series of advanced design/research studios and seminars that attempt to contend, in new ways, with the complex issues of contemporary urban environments. These issues include: desires to promote notions of co-generative environments which lead the potential for non-linear and highly sensitive system feedback; the need to address multiplicity of scales and diverse populations; the formulation of connections between diverse institutions and agencies; the analysis and invention of forms of representation and repositories of information (mapping, database) that act as genuine resources for decision-making. Urban Design is environmental design where environmental is considered at scales which range between micro (street curb cuts) and macro (global flows of production and resources).

Learning objectives for the Master of Science, Architecture, and Urban Design program:

  • Students demonstrate advanced analytical and projective design abilities across regional and global scales of the contemporary city’s evolution. They exercise critical insight and judgment working within the complex urban populations, historical, social, political infrastructures.
  • Students and faculty develop design strategies and proposals for New York and other global cities linked across climatological and cultural differences. These cities are seen as sites for research and speculation at multiple scales. 
  • Students become fluent in collaborative practices working with advanced design techniques and construction methods on urban infrastructural projects. 
  • Students demonstrate critical thinking/critical making throughout the curriculum in research and design; this is particularly made manifest in the Urban Design Culmination Project. 
  • Continually evolving relationships among climate change, non-linear organizations such as population change and migrations, global flows of capital, and natural resources are integrated into the design of contemporary cities.