Multi-disciplinary collaboratively taught studios

Urban design education should strive to create professionals who understand and employ a full range of urban design concerns. Students who are introduced early in their education to the design perspectives and concerns of other disciplines are more sympathetic and are better able to synthesize these elements into complementary and supplementary paradigms of urban design. Individually the College’s programs address many of these concerns. However, as an isolated model, Architecture's bias towards physical form in urban design education typically underplays the elements of community and social interaction. Conversely, in planning education, the physical design elements necessary to achieve a sustainable community are usually not taught. These narrow courses expose students to only one piece of a large puzzle. A fuller approach to urban design education should begin with an exploration of urban spaces using many puzzle pieces. Beginning each program with a survey class that introduces a number of urban design perspectives forms a broad base upon which more specific courses can later build. The broad base allows students to develop more complete models into which they later integrate more complex information. This studio produces designers who are better equipped to understand and employ the specific concerns and skills of each area.