Expanded Practice Seminars bring students and faculty in the humanities and the design disciplines together at the heart of the design enterprise — the design studio. Expanded Practice Seminars are framed by a theme that is the subject of an ongoing advanced graduate architecture studio, the expanded practice studio. Expanded practice studios are required of all advanced architecture graduate students, and are structured to address meta-issues in global urbanism that challenge narrow conceptions of design practice. They treat themes such as the inadequacy of static zoning models that fail to capture dynamic, urban economics and performance; the cultural and material practices induced by national or ethnic divisions; and the increasingly leaky taxonomy of the terra firma in areas where land/water boundaries are rapidly changing. Recent sites of study have included Hanoi, Seoul, Mumbai, and Amsterdam. The intent of the Expanded Practice Seminar is to unpack the physical condition treated by the studio using theoretical and analytic tools derived in equal part from the design disciplines and humanist studies.
The expanded practice studio includes a site visit to experience the conditions under study, and meet with local experts, designers, and authorities. Seminar participants are expected to participate in a customized version of the studio travel program, typically during the semester break. This on-site component is a vital and novel aspect of these seminars: students and faculty will have an opportunity to experience directly the cultural and material expressions of the urban theme under study.
Travel support and a research stipend in the form of a Mellon Fellowship are available to enrolled students.