November 21, 2022

New M.S. in Advanced Urban Design Launches at Cornell AAP in NYC

With the city as both setting and subject, AAP's new graduate program prepares students to address pressing urban, environmental, and social issues using the tools of design.

AAP Communications

Aerial view illustration of manufacturing buildingsIllustration by Ohjin Jo and Thakan Navapakpilai (both M.S. AAD '22), created as part of the spring 2022 option studio Prototypologies.

The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning has announced a new post-professional Master of Science in Advanced Urban Design program. Based in New York City at the Gensler Family AAP NYC Center, this specialized three-semester course of study sits at the intersection of design, community, ecology, and technology in order to ask big questions, address contemporary challenges, and invigorate public spaces with creative and critical research and design practices. The M.S. AUD program is directed by Architecture Associate Professor Jesse LeCavalier and promotes design approaches that operate between scales to connect grounded local conditions with the possibilities of larger systems, all in support of imagining and pursuing more just, nourishing, and inspiring urban futures. 

"By understanding our urban world better, we are not only encouraged to be better stewards today, we are also inspired to imagine what cities and communities could be tomorrow," says LeCavalier. "The new M.S. AUD program at AAP NYC is an opportunity to get involved with the forces shaping the processes we call urbanism. The program's emphasis on connecting emerging tools with people, systems, and design will position graduates to engage these processes in meaningful  ways." 

Master of Science in Advanced Urban Design (M.S. AUD) Open House Presentation

The new program uses the city as a laboratory to explore the processes by which urban transformation happens through three instructional tracks: engaged design studios; tools / methods courses; and theory / analysis seminars. Engaged design studios provide opportunities to work on existing challenges with stakeholders and practitioners. Tools and methods courses expose students to a range of skills related to the intersection of design, data, and technology. And theory and analysis courses situate the technical components of the program in broader social, political, and economic contexts, as well as within the various forms of practice that comprise urban design.

M.S. AUD students are encouraged to embrace complexity in order to generate speculative urban futures that support equitable and energizing forms of collective life. Throughout the program, participants will deepen their understanding of a range of conceptual topics while developing the ability to uncover, visualize, and translate data into designs of material, spatial, and experiential consequence. Graduates will be equipped with advanced skills and expanded knowledge of how to apply what they learn in order to make meaningful urban change.

The program is open to individuals holding a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree, a professional Master of Architecture degree, or a professional degree in an adjacent design field (e.g. M.L.A., M.U.D.). Students with professional or terminal degrees in related creative fields (e.g. M.F.A.) will also be considered.

The deadline for applications to the program is January 3, 2023. UPDATE: Deadline extended to January 15, 2023. Please visit the M.S. AUD program page to learn more.

Coinciding with the launch of Cornell AAP's NYC-Based Master of Science, Advanced Urban Design degree (M.S. AUD), the Department of Architecture hosted a virtual discussion with leading urban designers to address the ways in which the pillars of this new program — ecology, community, technology, and design — intersect with the urban in meaningful and nourishing ways. Moderated by Jesse LeCavalier, director of the M.S. AUD program.

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