DESIGN 4197/6197: Special Topics in Design; ARCH 4509/6509: Special Topics in Visualization; TECH 5900
Product Studio

Three rectangles showing two-to-three people interacting, and text.

The collaborative Product Studio process is part of new pilot between AAP and Cornell Tech.

  • Instructor: Karan Girotra, Josh Hartmann, , Jenny Sabin
  • Time: M-F 8–9:00 a.m. Flex time T/TH 2–7:00 p.m.
  • Location: OL
  • Credits: 3
  • Territory of Investigation: Architecture and Ecology, Architecture and Representation, Architecture and Urbanism

Product Studio is a mandatory course for all master's students at Cornell Tech and is part of an exciting new pilot program between AAP and Cornell Tech. During the semester, you will work on a collaborative team with students from AAP and Tech to develop a new tech product or service in response to a challenge posed by a real company, institution, or non-profit. The teams are composed of students from AAP and across the Cornell Tech campus—engineers and computer scientists, architecture, planning, law, business, and information systems students — to maximize cross-disciplinary peer learning. A Company Advisor from the company provides support to the student team. You'll experience first-hand how the product development process works in the real world and begin to build a network within the New York tech community. Previous challenges have come from organizations as diverse as Bloomberg, the New York City Mayor's Office, Adobe, Arup, MITRE, The New York Times, Google, Microsoft, and IBM Watson. Every fall, leading startups, companies, and organizations in NYC pose business challenges to Cornell Tech. In Product Studio, you and your classmates will develop and present new products, services, and strategies that respond to those challenges. The world is being transformed by builders — individuals who combine engineering, business, design, and interpersonal skills to build new products, services, and businesses. The most successful and innovative business leaders are builders, high-performing companies want to hire individuals with builder skills, and builders are making the most impact in transforming communities and lives. Product Studio will provide you with the key skill sets to be a world-class builder. The best way to learn to be a builder is by building new products, services, and businesses. Therefore, Product Studio will be organized around the central activity of building a new product, service, or business model that addresses a need that will be presented to you in terms of a "How Might We" challenge.

Instructor permission required:

This course is limited to upper-level B.Arch., M.Arch., M.S. MDC, and CRP students. Once enrolled, you may not drop this course. Product Studio is followed by Startup and BigCo Studio in the spring semester. We encourage AAP students to strongly consider taking the year-long studio sequence as you will get the most out of the collaborative experience and curriculum. If you are interested in taking Product Studio, please email Andrew Meis to enroll,

View a PDF of this class description.


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