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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

Fall 2023 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A6820‑1 Fall 2023
Urban Design Studio II
Emanuel Admassu, Jelisa Blumberg, Nina Cooke John, A.L. Hu, Oscar Oliver-Didier, Christin Hu
206 FAYERWEATHER
M + TH 1:30 - 6:30 , F 9AM -11AM
FULL SEMESTER
9 Points
10084
A6832‑1 Fall 2023
Toward Resilient Cities and Landscapes
Kate Orff
115 AVERY
TU 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10085
A6888‑1 Fall 2023
Climate Crisis, Housing Crisis
Deborah Helaine Morris
203 FAYERWEATHER
TU 6 PM - 8 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10087
A6940‑1 Fall 2023
Community Engagement Practicum
Kaja Kühl
200 BUELL
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10086
A4397‑1 Fall 2023
Speculative City: Crisis, Turmoil, and Projections in Architecture
David Eugin Moon
300 BUELL NORTH
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
13711
A4050‑1 Fall 2023
Arch Elective Internship
Karen Cover
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
10058
A4625‑1 Fall 2023
Tensile/Compression Surfaces in Architecture: Tactile Methods for Architects
Robert Marino
300 BUELL SOUTH
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10080
A6932‑1 Fall 2023
Embodied Research Speculative Methods
Jonathan González
115 AVERY
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10306
A6941‑1 Fall 2023
Architectural Acoustical Ecology
Ethan Bourdeau
115 AVERY
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10309
A6942‑1 Fall 2023
Daylight, Metabolism
Elliot Glassman
115 AVERY
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10311
A6947‑1 Fall 2023
Designing Spaces for Children
409 AVERY
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10313
A6948‑1 Fall 2023
Home is Where the Toxics Are
Marta H. Wisniewska
408 AVERY
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10350
A6958‑1 Fall 2023
Modern Iran
Nader Vossoughian
409 AVERY
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10800
A4399‑1 Fall 2023
Metropolitan Sublimes
Sandro Marpillero
412 AVERY
TH 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10280
A4427‑1 Fall 2023
Architecture Apropos Art
Steven Holl, Dimitra Tsachrelia
412 AVERY
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10059
A4441‑1 Fall 2023
Interlaced Existence: Death, Life, Liminality
Karla Rothstein
504 AVERY
TU 11 AM -1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
17974
A4715‑1 Fall 2023
Re-Thinking BIM
Joseph Brennan
WARE LOUNGE - 600 AVERY
TH 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10068
A4726‑1 Fall 2023
Graphic Architecture Project III: Design Seminar
Wael Morcos
505 AVERY
W 10 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10065
A4987‑1 Fall 2023
Architectural Photography: From the Models to the Built World
Michael Vahrenwald
115 AVERY
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10066
A4988‑1 Fall 2023
Coding for Spatial Practices
Celeste Layne
WARE LOUNGE - 600 AVERY
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10072
A6756‑1 Fall 2023
Make
Ada Tolla, Giuseppe Lignano
WARE LOUNGE - 600 AVERY
F 11 AM -1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10067
A6917‑1 Fall 2023
Seed Bombs: Technologies in Ecological Design
Emily Bauer
323M FAYERWEATHER + 203 FAYERWEATHER
TU + TH 11 AM - 1 PM
SES A
3 Points
10082
A6886‑1 Fall 2023
Building the Engine: Industry + the African Urban Agenda
Fatou Dieye
323M FAYERWEATHER
TH 9 AM - 1 PM
SES A
3 Points
10081
Pla4577‑1 Fall 2023
Geographic Information Systems
Jonathan Stiles
UP COMPUTER LAB + 204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 10 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10157
Pla4577‑2 Fall 2023
Geographic Information Systems
Jonathan Stiles
UP COMPUTER LAB + 204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 5 PM - 8 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10160
A4892‑1 Fall 2023
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Jia Zhang
409 AVERY
F 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10070
A4341‑1 Fall 2023
Traditional American Architecture
Andrew Dolkart
209 FAYERWEATHER
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10091
A6830‑1 Fall 2023
Difference and Design
Justin Moore
412 AVERY / ONLINE
T 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10004
A6922‑1 Fall 2023
Ways of Experiencing
Karen Wong
209 FAYERWEATHER
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10352
A6927‑1 Fall 2023
Science + Technology Studies
Albena Yaneva Counts for AAD Vis/Tech Elective
323M FAYERWEATHER
M 11 AM - 1PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10303
A6929‑1 Fall 2023
The Reimagining of Lower Manhattan Post-Sandy
Michael Kimmelman
408 AVERY
W 9AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10304
Pla4444‑1 Fall 2023
The Future City: Transforming Urban Infrastructure
Kate Ascher
113 AVERY
TU 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
18443
Pla6272‑1 Fall 2023
New York Rising: How Real Estate Shapes a City
Kate Ascher
114 AVERY
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
13183

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