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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 are united in their attempt 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 networks of food, energy, resources, culture, transportation, and capital.

The M.S.AUD 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 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. The 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, examining biophysical infrastructures, conflicting public and private interests, and ongoing socio-spatial change. The Fall Studio II expands its scope to consider the city-region, examining large scale interdependencies and interactions. Studio research addresses the particular conditions of American city-regions (currently, the Hudson Valley) in which shifting ecological, topographical, infrastructural, demographic, and social conditions call for new strategies for systemic action. The final Spring Studio III takes on problems of global urbanization, extending previous work on variously-scaled physical and social infrastructures, programmatic interventions, and community partnerships. The studio typically travels to two cities, working in close cooperation with local partners and organizations.
Studios

The studio sequence runs adjacent to a number of required and elective courses that develop skills in spatial analysis, critical thinking, research methods, and visualization techniques—and that enable students to rigorously propose urban change in any number of capacities. Elective courses, encouraged at GSAPP and other schools at the university, address the specific and varied problems, facets, and processes of urbanization—from human rights to agricultural policy to systems of finance. Throughout the interwoven studio-seminars sequence, projects emphasize a multi-scalar approach to site and program, embracing local, regional, and global scales and advancing the role of the urban designer as a thoughtful practitioner entangled with a diverse set of actors and existing conditions, and crucial to the implementation of imagined futures.

Studio I

The Summer semester consists of four courses 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 precedents, research protocols, and representational strategies. Faculty and associates overlap, courses and subjects mix, and design agendas are tested in various settings. This teaching model demonstrates how Urban design can weave together varied tasks of storytelling, community engagement, site survey and interpretation, filmmaking, digital visualization, mapping, and 3D modeling, all of which enable students to create urban knowledge and to iterate, represent and communicate design ideas.

Studio II

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

Studio III

The final Spring Studio III takes on problems of global urbanization, extending previous work on variously-scaled physical and social infrastructures, programmatic interventions and community partnerships. The studio typically travels to two cities, working in close cooperation with local partners and organizations.

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.


In this eleventh episode of GSAPP Conversations, Professor and Urban Design Program Director Kate Orff joins Dean Amale Andraos to discuss what it means to think across scales and connect our human life with the geological time scale, how traveling international studios allow students to better address challenges shared by otherwise very different cities, and teaching the reciprocity of physical design and social context.

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

Fall 2022 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A6820‑1 Fall 2022
Urban Design Studio II
Emanuel Admassu, Regina Teng, A.L. Hu, Nina Cooke John, Chat Travieso, Jelisa Blumberg
206 FAYERWEATHER
M & TH 1:30 PM - 6:30 PM; F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
9 Points
12486
A6832‑1 Fall 2022
Toward Resilient Cities and Landscapes
Kate Orff
115 AVERY
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12487
A6888‑1 Fall 2022
Climate Crisis + Housing Crisis
Deborah Helaine Morris
200 BUELL N
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12489
A6940‑1 Fall 2022
Community Engagement Practicum
Kaja Kühl
200 BUELL
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12488
A4050‑1 Fall 2022
Arch Elective Internship
Karen Cover
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
12378
A4625‑1 Fall 2022
Tensile/Compression Surfaces in Architecture: Tactile Methods for Architects
Robert Marino
115 AVERY
TH 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12428
A4399‑1 Fall 2022
Metropolitan Sublimes
Sandro Marpillero
412 AVERY
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12379
A4427‑1 Fall 2022
Architecture Apropos Art
Steven Holl, Dimitra Tsachrelia
412 AVERY
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12380
A4534‑1 Fall 2022
Techniques of the Ultrareal
Phillip Crupi
WARE LOUNGE
W 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12386
A4634‑1 Fall 2022
Advanced Curtain Wall
Daniel Vos
115 AVERY
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12431
A4635 Fall 2022
Architectural Daylighting
Davidson Norris
412 AVERY
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
16094
A4715‑1 Fall 2022
Re-Thinking BIM
Joseph Brennan
WARE LOUNGE
TH 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12387
A4726‑1 Fall 2022
Graphic Architecture Project III: Design Seminar
Christopher Kupski
505 AVERY
W 9 AM - 12 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12388
A4776‑1 Fall 2022
Man, Machine and the Industrial Landscape: Re-Imaging the Relationship Between Industrial and Public Territories
Sean Gallagher
409 AVERY
M 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12439
A4856‑1 Fall 2022
Transitional Geometries
Joshua Jordan
WARE LOUNGE
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12445
A4987‑1 Fall 2022
Architectural Photography: From the Models to the Built World
Michael Vahrenwald
115 AVERY
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12391
A6756‑1 Fall 2022
Make
Ada Tolla, Giuseppe Lignano
WARE LOUNGE
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12399
A6892‑1 Fall 2022
1:1 Detailing + Fabrication
Zachary Mulitauaopele
200 BUELL
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12452
A6893‑1 Fall 2022
Making Kin with Biomaterials
Chris Woebken
408 AVERY
TU 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12454
A6894‑1 Fall 2022
Net Zero Housing - A Machine with a Poetic Bias - Tectonic & Performance
Andreas Benzing
409 AVERY
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12457
A6917‑1 Fall 2022
Seed Bombs: Urban Ecologies and Landscape Technologies
Emily Bauer
504 AVERY
W 9 AM - 1 PM
SES A
3 Points
13210
Pla4577‑1 Fall 2022
Geographic Information Systems
Leah Meisterlin
113 AVERY
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12404
Pla4578‑3 Fall 2022
GIS Lab for Arch & UD
Mario Giampieri
114 AVERY
TH 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
12406
Pla4578‑1 Fall 2022
GIS Lab I
Alanna Browdy
202 FAYERWEATHER
W 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
12512
Pla4578‑2 Fall 2022
GIS Lab II
Daniel Froehlich
202 FAYERWEATHER
TH 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
12513
A6897‑1 Fall 2022
Principles and Praxis of Spatial Justice
Ifeoma Ebo
412 AVERY
TU 3 PM - 5PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12239
PLA6870‑1 Fall 2022
Sustainability + Efficiency for CRE
Adrian Silver
209 FAYERWEATHER
M 4 PM - 6 PM
SES B
1.5 Points
13198
A4892‑1 Fall 2022
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Jia Zhang
409 AVERY
F 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12257
A4341‑1 Fall 2022
Traditional American Architecture
Andrew Dolkart
WARE
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10720
A6830‑1 Fall 2022
Difference and Design
Justin Moore
412 AVERY/ONLINE
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10721
Pla6272‑1 Fall 2022
New York Rising: How Real Estate Shapes the City
Kate Ascher
114 AVERY
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
13183

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