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M.S. Architecture and Urban Design

Overview

The Urban Design Program is a three-semester degree in the multidisciplinary study of cities, regions, infrastructures, and ecosystems. The program focuses on the city as an agent of resilient change and on the role of design in redefining the twenty-first century urban landscape, advancing new paradigms of research, practice, and pedagogy to meet the challenges of climate change, rapid urbanization, and social inequality. Students and faculty in the MSAUD program work to integrate and underscore the essential links between public space, social justice, and ecological systems. The program asks the venerable and necessarily shifting question: what is “the good city?”— reframing the city not as a fixed, delimited territory but as a gradient of varied landscapes supported by uneven networks of food, energy, resources, culture, transportation, and capital.

The MSAUD program is open to both pre- and post-professional students, and encourages applications from a range of backgrounds yet focused on the questions and possibilities of the changing field of urban design. All applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university by the time they start the M.S. AUD program. Please note that the MSAUD is not a professional architecture degree and does not in itself qualify for licensure.

The MSAUD program is a designated STEM program eligible under the CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) Code 04.0902: Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology. Learn more about STEM designation.

The MSAUD program encourages students to critically confront planetary urbanization via applied and on-site research that advances the idea of urban design as an inclusive, activist, tools-based project for specific sites and communities and as a critical project examining urban form, knowledge, and research processes. A sign of the program’s success is its strong, catalytic alumni working globally and across disciplines, institutions, and communities to help create robust and equitable places to live.
Curriculum

The Urban Design program’s curriculum balances the need for shared and specialized knowledge with individual student research interests. The core of the program is the three-semester sequence of studios.

Summer Studio I is foundational and addresses the experimental, representational, and constructive aspects of urban design as a process. The studio frames the Five Boroughs of New York City as a learning lab, an aggregate of socio-spatial tensions, an archive of biophysical infrastructures, and an evolving set of lived experiences.

Fall Studio II expands in scope to consider the city-region, examining large scale interdependencies, interactions, and conflicts. Studio research addresses the particular conditions of American city-regions (previously, the Hudson Valley, currently the Atlanta region) in which shifting ecological, infrastructural, financial, racial, and social conditions call for new strategies for action.

Spring Studio III takes on problems of global urbanization, extending previous studio work to include the challenges and scales of the climate emergency, examining physical and social infrastructures, new visions of programmatic intervention, and robust community, governmental and NGO partnerships. The studio typically travels to two cities, working in close cooperation with local partners and organizations.

Semesters
The Summer semester consists of four courses (including studio) that operate intellectually and methodologically as an integrated curriculum focusing on the New York metropolitan region. All work is based on the coordinated learning of concepts, working methods, historical and theoretical frameworks, research protocols, and representational strategies. Faculty roles overlap, courses and subjects mix, and design agendas are tested in various settings. This teaching model demonstrates how Urban Design weaves together varied tasks of storytelling, community engagement, site survey and mapping, film making and digital visualization, and 3D modeling, all of which enable students to create urban knowledge and to iterate, represent and communicate design strategies.

During the Fall and Spring Semesters students take (in addition to Studio II and Studio III), several required seminars in Urban Design as well as required electives at GSAPP or the University. (See degree requirements). The array of seminars and electives asks that students create their own focus in Urban Design, in other words, shaping an agenda, or set of concerns, or a subject area to create a unique experience in Urban Design pedagogy.
PODCAST CONVERSATIONS

Professor Kate Orff, Urban Design Program Director and principal of Scape, discusses rewilding on the At a Distance podcast as one tool among many for restoring ecological infrastructure, oysters as engineering assistants in preventing coastal flooding, and other out-of-the-box solutions local and federal authorities should be considering before the next hurricane hits.


Listen to more podcasts from the Urban Design program by following UD Sessions: The Expanded Field of Urban Design, a series of conversations with urban designers around the globe, who graduated from or taught at GSAPP’s Urban Design program. By discussing their current work and reflecting on how their experience at GSAPP shaped their thinking about design, cities, and politics, the series explores the ways in which the field of urban design expanded since its emergence. Hosted by Faculty Kaja Kühl and Grahame Shane.

Summer 2021 Urban Design Lecture Series
Javier Vergara Petrescu

Learn more about the event.

Current Faculty
Candelaria Mas Pohmajevic
Deborah Helaine Morris

Spring 2024 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A6849‑1 Spring 2024
Urban Design Studio 1
Nans Voron, Sagi Golan, Sean Gallagher, Daphne Lundi, Grant McCracken, Austin Sakong, Ankita Chachra
TBA
M + TH 3 PM - 8 PM
FULL SEMESTER
9 Points
11762
A6851‑1 Spring 2024
Urban Design Studio III
Ud orff jiayeli xueyuanwang yuhanxu yuxuanwang sp24 03
Ms.aud orff saakshisawant xinyucao shaoyangdu mining area vision
Ud orff hyungkyungseo anadyakukreja heqiaomeng fa24 image
Kate Orff, Thaddeus Pawlowski, Adriana Chavez, Dilip da Cunha, Geeta Mehta, Claudia Herasme
206 FAYERWEATHER + 114 AVERY
M + TH 1:30 PM - 6:30 PM; F 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
FULL SEMESTER
9 Points
11070
A4385‑1 Spring 2024
Arab Modernism(s): Experiments in Housing, 1945-present
Yasser Elsheshtawy
200 BUELL
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11081
A4050‑1 Spring 2024
Arch Elective Internship
Karen Cover
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
11060
A4507‑1 Spring 2024
Unorthodox Practices 3: Practice as a Project
Juan Herreros
408 AVERY
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11062
A4688‑1 Spring 2024
Recombinant Urbanism
David Grahame Shane
504 AVERY
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11067
A4995‑1 Spring 2024
Power Tools
Jelisa Blumberg
115 AVERY
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11136
A6676‑1 Spring 2024
Cartography + Property
Molly Burhans
209 FAYERWEATHER
F 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11068
A6702‑1 Spring 2024
Investigative Techniques
Amanda Thomas Trienens
Preservation Technology LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
W 1 PM - 3:30 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11322
A6815‑1 Spring 2024
Public Space: Rhetorics + Practices
David Smiley
115 AVERY
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11069
A6880‑1 Spring 2024
Towards a Trans-Species Architecture—Rethinking Lina Bo Bardi
Mark Wigley
412 AVERY
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14061
A6951‑1 Spring 2024
Material Kitchens: Cultures, Formulas, and Mix-Designs
Arch ben alon mingyuezhang sp23 02
Arch ben alon foteinikallikouni sp23 05
Arch ben alon doyeonkim sp24 01
Lola Ben-Alon
323M FAYERWEATHER
W + F 9 AM - 11 AM
SES A
3 Points
18723
A4715‑1 Spring 2024
Re-Thinking BIM
Joseph Brennan
WARE LOUNGE, 600 AVERY
TH 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11138
A4987‑1 Spring 2024
Architectural Photography: From the Models to the Built World
Michael Vahrenwald
115 AVERY
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11131
A6414‑1 Spring 2024
Digital Heritage Documentation
Bilge Kose
Preservation Technology LAB - 655 SCHERMERHORN
W 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11321
A6892‑1 Spring 2024
1:1 Crafting and Fabrication of Details
Bst mulitauaopele kiaron aiken mohamed ismail sp24 model 8
Zachary Mulitauaopele
200 BUELL
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11077
A4890‑1 Spring 2024
Conflict Urbanism
Laura Kurgan
300 BUELL SOUTH
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11086
A4411‑1 Spring 2024
Climate, Technology, and Society
Reinhold Martin
300 BUELL SOUTH
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11690
A4861‑1 Spring 2024
Footprint: Carbon and Design
Hp benjamin annemaxwellfoster sp24 alumni center emissions and offsets
Arch benjamin yingxidong sp24 pvpanelsupplychain
David Benjamin
409 AVERY
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11075
A4063‑1 Spring 2024
Spatial Data Narratives
Cdp begley yaozhi liu sp24 2
Vs begley hunterwolff sp24 2
Josh Begley
300 BUELL SOUTH
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14170
Pla6831‑1 Spring 2024
Joint Studio / Clinic - OVERGROWN / undergrowth
Adam Lubinsky
203 FAYERWEATHER
W 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14048
A4047‑1 Spring 2024
Immeasurable Sites
Immeasurable sites admassu erichagerman heqiaomeng sp24 plot artboard
Immeasurable sites admassu yueyangluo kelvinlee sp24 02
Immeasurable sites admassu kanchaporn kieatkhajornrit angel miguel langumas sp24 local collective 01
Emanuel Admassu
409 AVERY
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10980
A4407‑1 Spring 2024
Methods in Spatial Research
Adam Vosburgh
WARE LOUNGE, 600 AVERY
F 9 AM - 11 AM
SES A
1.5 Points
11700
PLA6036‑1 Spring 2024
Urban Political Ecology and the Climate Crisis
Hugo Sarmiento
412 AVERY
F 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
14163

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