GSAPP 2005-06 (columbia university-city of new york)

Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design

Director: Enrique Walker


The Master of Science degree in Advanced Architectural Design is a three-term program consisting of summer, autumn, and spring terms. The objective of the program is to provide outstanding young professionals who hold a Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture degree the opportunity to enter into an intensive, postgraduate study that encourages critical thought in the context of design speculation. The program is viewed as a framework in which both academic and professional concerns are explored. Overall, the program emphasizes an experimental approach to research and architectural design rigorously grounded in multiple, complex realities. Specifically, the program seeks to:

1. Address the challenges and possibilities of global urbanization by exploring the city—and its architecture—in all its forms.

2. Engage in a complex definition of architecture, from the questioning of the program to the formulation of design strategies.

3. Produce architectural objects—both digital and physical—which reflect an open, critical engagement both with new and existing technologies.

4. Articulate architecture as a cultural practice that combines critical thought, design experimentation, and ethical responsibilities in an interdisciplinary milieu.

5. Activate a wide debate on the contemporary conditions that critically affect the course of the discipline and the profession.

The program brings together a set of required studios with elective courses that are shared with other programs in the School and that promote intellectual cross-fertilization among disciplines. A required lecture course on the twentieth-century city and on contemporary architectural theory, exclusive to the program, provides grounding for disciplinary exploration in the studio. The advanced studios frequently utilize New York as a design laboratory—a global city that presents both unique challenges and unique opportunities. The program has long been a site for architects from around the globe to test concepts and confront changes that affect architecture and cities worldwide.