Advanced Architectural Design
The Master of Science degree in Advanced Architectural Design is a three-term program consisting of summer, fall, and spring terms. It provides an ecosystem where leading voices in the field of architectural practice and outstanding young professionals—who hold a Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture degree—together explore architecture as a crucial player in the evolution of major contemporary modes of defiance.
The program has long been a site for architects from around the globe to test concepts and confront changes that affect architecture, cities, and territories worldwide.
Utilizing an environmental paradigm, the program serves as a cauldron for rigorously-curated pluralism, where faculty and students work together on eight areas of knowledge and action:
- Rendering technological systems accountable
- The architecture of climate crisis
- Modes of environmental engagement
- Materiality as a territorial practice
- Interspecies relationships and non-anthropocentric otherness
- Design for social inclusivity
- The articulation of offline and online interaction
- Decolonizing geopolitical design
The program pairs a set of required studios with elective courses that are shared with other programs in the School, promoting interdisciplinary transferences and collaborations.
The Art of Poetic Environmental Architecture
This studio is an experimental spatial course aimed to design poetic architectural public structures that stimulate environmental awareness through perceptual and environmental sensations. This course was designed to question what architecture is and how it can be considered through silence and decay. Silence meaning “to observe” and decay meaning “to transform”. Based on the current state of our climatic and geological weather conditions, this experimental course examined new ways of understanding the role of the architect, and spatial poetics that rethink our environmental relationships. The aim was to expand the mental ecology in relation to environmental poetics and conceptual or symbolic design, while questioning the importance of this as a collective. This was achieved by designing living ecosystems, and spaces of environmental contemplation in our public, and private spaces which act as architectural meeting places for human and non-human inhabitants.
Students: Vinay Agrawal, Rourke Brakeville, Ying Cheng, Yutong Deng, Yefei Guo, Se Lim Jung, Juno Lee, Yiruo Li, Maria Ramirez, Ziyi Wang, Chia Jung Wen, Jiazheng Zhang
Life In-between Death
Life is surrounded by death, predictable and also unpredictable, tangible and also intangible, sl...
Breath of The Isle: Anatomy of Environmental Recycling
The studio focuses on designing poetic public structures that stimulate environmental awareness t...
A space to activate conversations, conversations both from within and with others. A pavilion for...
Symbiosis Healing Water
I come from a family of healers. Throughout my experience in architecture, the blood in my veins ...
This studio began with a group investigation on mineral extraction activities (ores and stone mines) whose outputs included visual aides such as atlases and cartographic models, analytic assemblages, image and textual premises that explore the territory, its actors, the processes, and routes that are undertaken in the abstraction to ore products. This completed the research-base to the studio “Extractive Taskscape”. Students then identified hyper-instruments whose outputs included the development of catalogues, drawings, timelines, and physical props that will trace the manifestation of the agendas and intentions that fuel the aforementioned processes as a curatorial experiment with clear proposal and topic that delimited the investigation. Finally, students assessed and designed mediums with which to model and manipulate the territories and processes of extraction. The outputs included generating synthetic landscapes and cartographic proposals, modeling physical, digital, and conceptual prototypes as nodes for interaction, and generating strategic and architectural schemes that interpret the conclusions and consequences of medium manipulations.
Students: Janice Yuan Chen, Yani Gao, Denise Jiang, Hao-Yeh Lu, Devansh Mehta, Risa Mimura, Carlos Naranjo, Zihan Sun, Irmak Turanli, Qing Xie, Wentao Zeng, Gloria Zhu
Health at the Cost of Health
Copper and gold extractions involve huge-scale land reformation with heavy machines and labor und...
Taking Measure across the Penasquito Mine
This research focuses on Penasqutio Mine, the world’s largest silver mine in Mexico. It int...
Gloria Zhu, Risa Mimura: Water After Oil
The purpose of this project is to explore the intricate water cycle behind the crude oil extracti...
For this studio, students developed work that aimed to transform a charged site in Jackson Heights, Queens into a 50/50 mix of building and public open space, serving an under-served community heavily impacted by COVID 19. They drew inspiration from art practices to intervene within an existing fabric, by looking curiously and very carefully at what’s already there – and who is already there – and intervening in a nimble and yet profoundly impactful way, both on the social and physical aspects of the site. The studio approached design as a “remix” – a playful and yet serious practice that samples, entangles and interferes with both existing conditions and wider contexts. At the beginning of the semester, the studio made several field trips within NYC.
Students: Thamer AlSalem, Ece Cetin, Tianyuan Deng, Yunlong Fan, Jason Young Kim, Kyounghwa Lee, Yingjie Liu, Yufei Liu, Junyong Park, Yukun Tian, Yusuf Urlu, Fang Wan
Acclimatizing natures or how to intervene within/in them
How is nature adapting to climate change? Which species are acclimatizing, migrating or disappearing in these changing conditions? The studio explored climate/s as situated weather conditions with their natural, social, political and cultural entanglements; and will explore critical vocabularies around climate change. It considered Nature (capitalized) a social construct, and explored how each construct informs specific forms of action; as well as the potential of living with/in specific natures (uncapitalized and multiple). In this context the studio focused on who and what migrates because of environmental or social climates, and who has the capacity, the favourable climate/s or the chance to acclimatize to changing conditions. We challenged the notions of native, invasive, endemic or indigenous species; understand the role that climate, culture, politics and society (in the form of power and inequality) play in assigning those categories to different plants and animals; and explore forms of intervention to (a)cclimatize them.
Students: Pabla Amigo, Hao-Yuan Cheng, Rocio Crosetto Brizzio, Kshama Daftary, Jialu Deng, Gabriela Franco, Ana Hernandez Derbez, Sunghyun Kim, Jinxia Lou, Mia Mulic, Cheng Shen, Sujin Shim
Unlocking Wildness In The Traces of Edisoniana’s Tale
During the 1920s, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone were on a quest to find a domes...
The Declaration of Independence of the Toxic
What is not toxic today? In an era in which air, soil, food, water is polluted, aren’t we all tox...
Oxygenating the Underworld
The intervention activates invasive species: alligator weed, ramie, and rumex found in the Oxygen...
In collaboration with the Mastic Beach Conservancy, a community-led non-profit on the South Shore of Long Island, this studio used the design of an Ecology and Arts Center—a living beach laboratory—to explore questions of site, material, and environment. Mastic Beach exists at sea level and occupies an edge between water and ground and is a coastal community in flux. The temporal and experiential dynamics of this environment guide a multiscalar design framework that foregrounds care, maintenance and education about climate adaptation and cultural resiliency. Located at Violet’s Cove on Narrows Bay, the studio site is on the traditional land of the Unkechaug people, near to the Poospatuck Reservation in Mastic. The studio fundamentally engaged with issues of access, climate and social justice, and empowerment for the local community which was severely inundated by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and continues to experience the storm’s economic and ecological impact.
Students: Benjamin Akhavan, Michelle Clara, Ali ElSinbawy, Zhichen Gong, Jianqiang Jiao, Liang-Yu Lin, Mariami Maghlakelidze, Joel McCullough, Qiwei Sun, Jenifer Tello Sierra, Veeris Vanichtantikul, Wenxuan Xu
Didactic Scalar Ecology
Didactic Scalar Ecology is an eco-sculpture park and museum, located at Mastic Beach, Long Island...
Anticipatory Ruin Collectives
Ruins have long been artifacts that remind us of the passage of time, not only a remnant of the p...
Mastic Beach is affected by superstorm Sandy and many other environmental hazards, with the absen...
Though there are rich natural resources in Mastic Beach, the resources haven’t been fully recogni...
Beach Lab x Leisure
Prior to 1940, Mastic beach was a destination for leisure activities: the ocean was a playground ...
In this studio, students engaged in collaborative research and mixed representational methods to track the circulations of philanthropic capital through the complex organizational forms of institutions like the Ford Foundation and into the so-called “developing world.” The work of the studio consisted in bifocal analysis of the private foundation at-large and its spaces of influence through careful study of a selected Ford-funded project, historical or contemporary. Through this process, the studio identified opportunities for multiscalar interventions that can address or disrupt the interplay between benefactor and beneficiary, American wealth and global poverty, private and public, social problems and their technical solutions. In doing so, students assessed the ideological constructions and use of otherwise familiar terms like “development” and “human welfare” and showed how they are leveraged to engineer social worlds, shape the built environment, and incorporate human subjects and ecological concerns into the enduring time-space of capitalist progress.
Students: Refan Abed, Bisheng Hong, Fan Liu, Konstantina Marinaki, Malvina Mathioudaki, Aikaterini Papoutsa, Emily Ruopp, Qingfan Wu
“Hacking” Philanthropy: Infrastructure interventions as a tool of empowerment for the female farmers in Nigeria
The research of this project explored the role of Ford Foundation and its trustees in the so-call...
The case of Freedom City
Ιn the philanthropic work of Ford Foundation is observed its close relation and perception of lab...
Redirection Project | Teen Parenthood
This intervention focuses on how the Ford Foundation perceives single mothers, and how it present...
This studio focused on the mapping of large-scale infrastructures across North America, as a way to expose the relationships between the managerial view on ecologies, the climate crisis, and practices of dispossession towards indigenous people, rural and urban marginalised communities, and future generations. A series of individual atlases was produced, forming a collective, hyper-accurate portrait of the current state of North-American territory, that mediated the understanding of how material and immaterial systems of extraction have been reconfiguring natural ecosystems over the course of the past century. Combining architectural drawings, spatial datasets, 3D models, statistical analysis and information design, the studio portrayed the entanglement of the technological/military/logistical/scientific/legal apparatus of the country, its reach into the public and private lives of citizens, the racial segregation it enables, and the depletion of resources above and below the ground it perpetuates.
Students: Farah Alkhoury, Faisal Alohali, Yipeng Liu, Xueyin Lu, Hyuein Song, Tianheng Xu, Haozhen Yang, Duo Zhang, Jiajie Zhao, Zixiao Zhu
A Great Loudreading is in the making. But no one has noticed.
The studio focused on the construction of a series of animated Narrative Architectures (storyboards, comic strips, animations, manifestos) that explore the great Loudreading events boiling inside the cauldrons of capitalist production and accumulation before they are about to spill back into the streets. These moments of solidarity and tension capture in the speculative imagination many alternative models of education and how they relate to the construction of an architecture of rebellious emancipation at different scales.
Students: Aahana Banker, Chao Chang, Qijian Cui, Ningyuan Deng, León Duval, Sarah Hejazin, Sophia Le, Vasco Yuhong Li, Ruijing Sun, Francis Tsui, Magdalena Valdevenito, Yingying Zhou
It is Still Extracting
A great loudreading is happening in the Asian Building. Its full name is Asiatic Petroleum Buildi...
Columbia University. In the City of New York?
This project displays the relation between slavery, colonialism, human exploitation, and gentrifi...
Commoditized Warfare is a loudreading event of dissidence and emancipation that exposes MoMA’s ti...
A graphic narrative that describes a revolution. An estimation of the colonial footprint of the M...
Pathfinder-Worker-Wanderer. Chinese artists are always exploring and being expelled. Are there po...
The Power Station of Art (PSA) has a perpetual history. It was a power station, it was an expo pa...
Housing Infrastructures for the Countercollapse
This studio aimed to contribute to the development of modes of architecture practice that respond to the collapse of the welfare state in the United States. Rather than operating in the ruins left behind by the increasing dismantling of assistance programs and support networks, the studio designed the infrastructures for a countercollapse. In the past, states pursued the wellbeing of society through institutions that excluded many populations from the community, including psychiatric hospitals, infirmaries for disabled individuals, nursing homes, and prisons among others–institutions housing collectives that were deemed in need of repair, rehabilitation, supervision, or isolation. Countering those exclusions, the studio explored modes of coexistence, care, and assistance within the community, amplifying feminist, queer, anti-racist and anti-ableist sensibilities. Projects speculated on the transformation of the spatial systems of organization, the assistance programs, the technological mediations, and the networks of resources within which collective life unfolds. While projects sought to take advantage of expanding public investments and programs, they questioned top-down technocratic logics and sought to build on distributed forms of expertise and work in solidarity with different community groups.
Students: Abriannah Aiken, Daniela Beraun, Xumin Chen, Chiun Heng Chou, Shikang Ding, Chenxi Dong, Ruben Gomez Ganan, Tianran Li, Bingyu Xia, Haotong Xia, Zheng Yin, Xiangru Zhao
New York City Camps
This project reimagines how we can challenge the school system that remains heavily segregated. T...
Imagine New Life in Octagon Center
In China, many elderly people reject nursing homes. Home-based elderly care is a traditional conc...
The studio provided a space to re-think the concept of accessibility.
What new and additional layers of participation can we incorporate in a project’s agenda to be more inclusive? The studio investigated new ways of dealing with limits, divisions, and raptures within the urban fabric of the Sunset Park Waterfront and transforming the environment of the Brooklyn Army Terminal—using design as a way to transform conditions of exclusion into possibilities of building community.
We questioned how to expand on the products of the architectural practice and address the disconnect with the academic discourse—creating a more solid social construction that ultimately brings back a vibrant civic life. The studio asked:
- What are the strategies to reach wider, multicultural and multilingual audiences in the immediate neighborhoods?
- And, in this context, how is this ideal of accessibility implemented in the Brooklyn Army Terminal?
- Above all, how do we build a community that resonates and thrives from this local manufacturing hub?
Students: Ata Gun Aksu, Luz Auyon, Yuchen Huang, Jasmine Jalinous, Keonyeong Jang, Radha Devang Kamdar, Han Kuo, Yining Lai, Junho Lee, Rushdan Majumder, Jiaying Qu, Richard Sa
Accessibility to Well-Being, Waterfront, and History at BAT
The Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) is a light goods manufacturing hub with an unused and inaccessib...
With access to parks and a recreational waterfront, higher-income residents of Bay Ridge enjoy cl...
The studio addressed the impact of the biosecurity regime in the production of (trans)national identities, architectural space, and technosocial realities at the US-Mexico border. At the border, public, private, and military actors are enlisted in coordinated biosecurity efforts in the name of the preservation of public health and biopolitical sovereignty. Everyday travel across the international boundary subjects bodies to invasive inspection and dangerous decontamination procedures. Health crises in border cities become politically expedient tools to opportunistically push aggressive immigration agendas. Travelers are forced to relinquish sensitive biometric and private health data to gain permission to cross the border, and denied access if deemed unhealthy. The studio interrogated the borderland biosecurity regime through explorations at three scales: the territories of transnational biosecurity; the infrastructures of borderland bioengineering; and the technologies of biosurveillance.
Students: Angel Castillo, Wanqi Jiang, Dhruva Lakshminarayanan, Jonathan Liang, Alonso Ortega, Shulong Ren, Zenah Sakaamini, Wanqi Sun, Zhijian Sun, Xinan Tan, Can Yang, Qingyang Yu
Welcome to Coddle Critter Crest
So picture this: there are more tigers in U.S. suburbia than in the wild worldwide. Let that sink...
The Circle of Life
The Circle of Life is a project that attempts to engage the duality of the life cycles of persona...
Seam and Border
The US-Mexico Border is 1989 miles long, with 14 sister cities and 42 official crossing points al...
Cattle life journey
When studying cattle and beef trade between the United States and Mexico, we discovered a problem...
Sky Island is an infrastructure design sited along the US-Mexico border for jaguars to act as a p...
Air Governance: Soil, Fungus, Air, and Humans
This project establishes a new air governance system which intend to solve transmission problem r...
Hawai'i Non-Linear: At Sea
This studio is part of an ongoing social practice in architecture project conducted in collaboration with Honolulu-based Pacific Islander American artist-architect and activist Sean Connelly, to radically re-imagine the future for architecture in Hawai‘i, the most remote island in the world on the frontier of the COVID and climate crisis. The studio explored a trans-scalar and trans-temporal approach to understand an indigenous concept of ground (‘āina) as the basis to interrupt existing US urbanism through a network of pedagogical sites (hālau) for indigenous knowledge (‘ike) at an architectural scale. The organizing conceptual framework of the studio aimed to empower indigenous Hawaiian knowledge and the local ecologies of guardianship (ahupua‘a) in a way that Mary Pukui described as “utilizing the resources of sustenance to a maximum.” Following an intensive agenda focused on Hawaiian culture, social justice issues, and indigenous knowledge, the studio designed a “living memorial” operating among a constellation of pedagogical sites, or “academies for ahupua‘a recovery.”
Students: Kurt Man Hin Cheang, Xin Chen, Yunha Choi, Wei-Chun Chou, Francesca Doumet, Hyeon Jin Hong, Siye Huang, Nanjia Jiang, Kan Lin, Zida Liu, Di Wan, Beiyi Xu
What is the role of design in creating more gender equitable futures? How is sexism propagated through technological media, and how does scientific research produce and reinforce concepts of gender? This studio investigated how scientific and technological media shape culture and society, particularly through the lens of gender and sexuality. Engaging in interdisciplinary design, this course used various technological media to reflect on the social, political, and ethical domains of technoscientific feminism. The studio redesigned certain iconic objects including but not limited to: the breast pump, pregnancy test, birthing rooms, lactation rooms, chest feeding kits, menstruation products, birth control, artificial wombs, maternity wear, car seats, incubators. Students examined systemic issues that entangle the issues of race, socioeconomic status and gender. By the end of the course, students created unique works within the realms of art, architecture, industrial design, and activism that imagines more empowered, equitable futures.
Students: Jiahua Cai, Gaole Dai, Marie Christine Dimitri, Zhanhao Fan, Camila Nuñez, Hemila Rastegar-Aria, Domenica Velasco, Anthea Viloria, Lewei Wang, Jiayue Xu, Eunjin Yoo, Jingrou Zhao
Wearable Chest Pump
Current protocols and products regarding lactation serve only as guidelines for the care of breas...
The Bittertang Farm: Go Wild
With exuberance, the studio conflated multiple threads of research to propose wild ecosystems for a New York City block. While an urban block could be considered an ecosystem, its strict order, rules, and organization prevent it from being self-sustaining and it is a far cry from being wild. We see the wild as an emerging trend for healthy bodies, ecosystems, and the planet. To apply these concepts architecturally, the studio analyzed the relationship between ecosystems and cities and the types of representation that have shaped their aesthetics and management. By working with theories of rewilding and permaculture, the studio entangled this history while walking on the wild side of architectural ideas.
Students: Fahad Al Dughaish, Noor Begum, Nora Fadil, Adrianna Fransz, Behruz Hairullaev, Sanober Khan, Wan-Hsuan Kung, Yinlei Pang, Kennedy Van Trump, Kai Wang, Enfeng Xie, Yu-Jun Yeh
As an integral part of an ecosystem, water is often present in the various parts of the system&rs...
Urban Food Forest
How long has it been since you’ve grown a vegetable or enjoy a harvest? For most people, vegetabl...
Artificial Life Preservation Center
This project is about wildness and sanity, urban and nature, human and non-human. It is also abou...
Speculative City: Flushing Corona Meadows (Post-20)
The studio outlined changes in the discourse and practice of architecture following the seminal events of 2020 and their influences on speculative architecture and urbanism. The years leading up to 2020 were compounded by disrupted economies, contested political grounds, and increasing realizations in climate change that culminated in social and political turmoil - instigated in part by a global pandemic and racial injustices. As a point of inflection, the studio studied architecture in the wake of these seminal moments as an opportunity for transformation in the typical processes in architecture and urbanism, and questioned equity in public and shared realms, top-down and bottom-up social hierarchies, and other norms. The studio studied the current practices of the architecture of crisis and disruption while referencing the historical significance of previous post-traumatic yet productive periods from the post-war periods in the U.S., the nadir in New York in the late 70s, and other seminal moments that projected and shaped the modern environment.
Students: Omar Badriek, Jishan Duan, Renee Gao, Jiafeng Gu, Mandi Hu, Mu Dong Jung, Mark Kantai, Xianghui Kong, Keon Hee Lee, Malavika Madhuraj, An Wang, Danlei Yang
Sited in Corona Flushing Meadows Park, this project is a commentary on the future of food infrast...
The Interim City
In response to the re-development crisis that takes place in Willet Point and Flushing Meadow dur...
Building Bridges not Walls
As aligned with the studio’s exploration on crisis to speculate future environments, our pr...
Residues in Rust
Willets Point is a unique business incubator that provides jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities...
In cities and in landscapes, building, growth, erasure, and reconstruction are continually unfolding and reshaping the environment. Successions of occupants and activities inhabit shifting spaces as the epochs advance. Palimpsests delete and accrue, with uneven layers of time, memories, technologies, politics, and social agency contouring and recontouring the environment. Traces linger, but vitality requires change. Death makes palpable our relationships to the past and the future. Each remembrance is reconstructed in the present, rewriting histories and intertwining place with memory. As opposed to cementing memorials, or edifying power, remembrance is evanescent, evolving with time and perspective. Now is a time for reevaluation and transformative intervention. This studio engaged the city with optimistic, multi-scalar attention, scaffolding spaces where humans and other species thrive. Architecture frames new ways of living and coexisting in the world. As designers of constructed environments, the studio work either intentionally or unwittingly engaged the climate crisis and implicates social justice. Projects mobilized the material, ecological, social, technical and political agency of design, to steward an improved future.
Students: Jiyong Chun, Jindian Fu, Seonggeun Adam Hur, Sungmin Kim, Sumi Li, Yuedong Lin, Yuanming Ma, Shengmian Frank Wang, Yuexi Xu, Hyosil Yang, Tian Yao
Death can be highlighted and reframed. Human composting commemorates death by efficiently returni...
This studio, taught together with poet and psychoanalyst Nuar Alsadir, utilized techniques of looking inward to unlock creative potential in the design of a private house. It is an experimental house, on a site of each student’s choosing, that attempts to move beyond the “dream house” to one that embodies a broader range of subconscious actions, desires, emotions, gestures, elements. Students embarked on a journey that may have failed. Indeed, the studio embraced failure as a distinct possibility. It explored the essence of the creative act, with its origins in the often hidden “inner child” who is not afraid to do or say things that might be considered ugly or unconventional or even foolish. As Chekhov wrote, “Don’t be afraid to show yourself foolish; we must have freedom of thinking, and only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write [design] foolish things.”
Students: Santiago Alvarez Santibañez, En-Ho Chan, Erxiao Chu, Eric Chyou, Yuening Jiang, Yueyang Wang, Meichen Wang Siyu Xiao, Ye Xu, Chen Yang, Tianyi Zhang, Mingxun Zou
House of anxious configuration
This design originated from a poem. The poem described the feeling of anxiety felt by a crew surr...
Through initial experiments on materializing abstract emotions in drawings and 3D sculptures, the...
The studio begins from a loose, and intuitive, analogy. As the late-19th and early-20th century architecture of the industrial economy was to the culture and urbanism of late capitalism, so will the late 20th century architecture of the service economy be to whatever comes next. If formerly industrial “lofts” were at the heart of the “revival” of urban centers in recent decades, first as sites of cultural experimentation, and then as vectors of commodification and gentrification, office parks and other suburban and exurban architectural types will be at the center of the inevitable transformation of the vast areas surrounding those urban centers. In their programmatic afterlife, what possibilities might emerge from the spatial and material framework that this architecture provides? What images and desires might this architecture produce? And what role might architects play in the continuing evolution of suburban and exurban areas, in which a majority of the population of the United States lives, works and consumes?
Students: Abdelrahman Albakri, Cong Diao, Liwei Guo, Susan Lee, Timlok Li, Yuan Liu, Terry Tang, Lichong Tong, Zhongwei Wang, Xian Wu, Zihan Xiao, Fengyi Zhang
Energy Plan: Tubular Solar Absorbers
The project redefines solar trackers by providing a significant advantage for renewable energy. W...
In-Between Exterior and Interior
This project, located in the office park of Alexander Park Drive, intends to renew the 777 Alexan...
What is suburban? Suburban is community intimacy. We believe community intimacy is something that...