The Master in Architecture program is housed in the School of Constructed Environments (SCE). This academic home facilitates cross-disciplinary inquiry and innovation—a Parsons signature. M.Arch students share research and fabrication facilities, as well as open studios with wireless digital capability, with SCE’s other graduate and undergraduate students. Proximity encourages collaboration. As students apply specific perspectives and skills to the challenges of global society, disciplinary boundaries erode in favor of an innovative learning community.
New York City represents unparalleled potential for the study of urban ecologies, economies, and sustainability. The city’s built landscape itself as well as its collections and archives, make New York an ideal place for graduate work. Students enjoy access to museums, galleries, and various activities attended by the design world, and uniquely, they may tap into Parsons’ dense network of local practitioners, institutional partners, and commercial clients.
Engaging with premier New York–based architecture studios, industry resources like the Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Architectural League, and Material ConneXion, important patrons of architecture, students pursue opportunities ranging from internships to design competitions and research funding. SCE also takes advantage of the wealth of nonprofit groups that call New York home. The Design Workshop exemplifies the school’s mission of socially responsible pedagogy, working with numerous local organizations to create innovative sustainable design solutions that integrally address the needs of their clients.
At Parsons, the diverse M.Arch student body engages in critical thinking with the prominent practitioners, theorists, historians, and critics who comprise the faculty. The Architecture program melds that inquiry with conversations taking place within the wider architecture community. Into the Open: Positioning Practice, the U.S. pavilion of the 11th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, for instance, brought visiting architects like Deborah Gans and Teddy Cruz to campus to share their diverse perspectives.
In addition, a vigorous Public Programs schedule that features on-campus talks by prominent practitioners, tours of relevant local design examples, and visits to the offices of pre-eminent architects and designers provides SCE and M.Arch students with a broad perspective of the architecture and design fields. Recent speakers include Thon Mayne of Morphosis, Dan Wood and Amale Andraos of Work, AC, Craig Dykers of Snohete, and Dan Wood and Amale Andraos of Work, AC. Students have also toured the New Museum, Alice Tully Hall, and the newly completed foundations at the World Trade Center.
Some of the ideas discussed find their way into print, in publications like Scapes, the intellectual design journal of SCE. Others are put into practice in various speculative and pragmatic ways. Third-year students recently competed against other architecture graduate students in Iron Designer, a charrette to redesign the archway beneath the Manhattan Bridge for public use. In addition, M.Arch students recently collaborated with faculty member Douglas Gauthier on assembly of his architectural firm’s entry, Burst*008, for MoMA’s recent Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling show exploring prefabricated dwellings.