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Harnessing the space between oversized architectures and undersized terriories, as 21st-century cities become increasingly more populated and dense, this program will help you cultivate an understanding of architecture and context that intertwines architectural design, landscape architecture, urban design, interior design, and architectural/urban conservation.

Image of a collection of multicolored topographic models created using plaster.

The 33-credit, three-semester, fully encapsulated (fall, spring, summer at Pratt’s Brooklyn campus only) post-professional program aims to expand a student’s previously established professional education by imbuing them with the disciplinary and technical precision to engage in evolving forms of advanced design research, thinking, and practice. Its specific focus is on the multifaceted reformulation of architectural context, an area of research that explores the ways in which urban design activates context and 21st-century cities as they become increasingly more populated and dense, and as they grow inward and accumulate on top of themselves to conserve resources that are cultural, economic, and ecological. The program centers on cultivating an understanding of architecture and context that is fundamentally premised on the design of urban qualities for a dense city. The curriculum embraces an intertwining of architectural design, landscape architecture, urban design, interior design, and architectural/urban conservation.

At the pinnacle of Graduate Urban Design Directed Research, studio projects engage scales larger than a building yet smaller than a city. The goal of immersing students in directed research is to enhance their individual capacities to ask often difficult and challenging questions facing the profession and discipline, through design and with audiences outside of architecture and urban design. Specific to this program are questions of how we design and inhabit the urban realm as it continues to densify in the 21st century, using Brooklyn and New York City as its basis of study and projection.

Open to students holding a five-year (BArch) or equivalent (MArch) degree in Architecture, the program helps students cultivate specific interests in architecture and urbanism through a precise disciplinary framework. All students are exposed to relevant issues through rigorous urban theory seminars, through architectural media seminars introducing contemporary methods of big-data information modeling, through history-theory and architecture electives, and through a dense array of lectures and events, including the participation of prominent scholars. This ensemble of learning complements and reinforces the studios where the understanding, comprehension, and integration of design methods, and theoretical and technical knowledge is tested, pushed to its limits, and discussed in a critique format with faculty, guests, partners, and the Urban Design critic at large. Studio subjects engage an array of topics including, but not limited to, urban interiority, composite building typologies, and alteration, all with an emphasis on challenging conventional notions of adaptive reuse, infill development, and architectural and urban conservation. The broader strokes of this area of Urban Design Directed Research shifts its discourse away from “architecture and the city,” and away from its semiological and/or quantitative performance-based understandings of design toward one which conceives of context as a qualitative endeavor, requiring a ferocious curiosity and committed imagination to engage the inhabitability of contemporary and future cities. 

Program Coordinator
Ariane Lourie Harrison

Faculty Bios

A cross section of large building with mixed-used spaces. Neon accents are used throughout and there are people shown doing various activities around the building.
A render of waterfront protection effort using green wetlands and concreted structures.

David Erdman

Chairperson of Graduate Architecture


Alexandra Barker

Assistant Chairperson of Graduate Architecture; Adjunct Associate Professor - CCE


Erin Murphy

Associate Manager of Admissions


Jessica Pineda-Henriquez

Assistant to the Chairperson