The lead programs in this partnership are graduate urban programs at Parsons School of Design and the Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning [MAUSP] program at the KU Leuven.
Parsons' new urban graduate programs draw from the strengths of its School of Design Strategies (with parallel graduate program in Transdisciplinary Design), the School of Constructed Environments (with parallel graduate program in Architecture), and the School of Art, Media and Technology (with graduate program in Design Technology) in the broader context and progressive mission of The New School.
KU Leuven provides a strong mixture of tradition and innovation with emphasis on urban analysis, which identifies the existing rationalities in a seemingly chaotic urban landscape in order to modify them as structured devices for the projection of urban visions and framing of strategic projects.
The EU side of this transatlantic partnership comprises two additional participating universities: IUA Venezia, Italy, and Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. Each university supplements the mobility project with a clear set of pedagogical objectives: IUA Venezia focuses on the interpretation of material conditions of production of the territory by revealing new objects of design/research in varied strata of critical inquiry that concentrate on the ancient city and heritage valorization, to the territories of dispersion as new forms of settlements. TU Eindhoven brings an integrated and technical approach to techniques for urban modeling and planning, design of sustainable energy systems for built environment, master project design and decision support systems, real estate management and development.
The European partnership KU Leuven and IAUV offer programs embedded within and dealing with emerging European urban contexts (known as territories of dispersal), be it in culturally very distinct environments (North-Western Europe and the Mediterranean). While the orientation of KU Leuven urbanism program on urban development issues in developing contexts/contexts of development, made inclusion in social terms a central concern of the program, inclusion in the IUAV can be understood more in terms of including discourses and practices of other technical and economic disciplines (hydraulics, etc.) within there approach of urbanism. As a renown institution in the Netherlands, TU Eindhoven offers an international program on urban design with a strong connection to the forceful and rich tradition of Dutch Urbanism and Planning that nevertheless also recognizes the challenges and potentials of peripheral, non conformist developments (amongst others in the border regions of the country), which is necessarily leading to questions on territorial cohesion and inclusion).
The American side of the transatlantic partnership also includes the University of California San Diego, and Morgan State University. UC San Diego’s graduate program in Visual Arts seeks to provide an integrated and comprehensive education into the possibilities of contemporary design and art production, and takes advantage of a large megalopolis stretching from Los Angeles across the border to Tijuana. Courses in the graduate program linked into this exchange, focus on developing a practice and pedagogy that emerge out of an investment in complex multicultural urban territories, trans-border urban dynamics, mobility and migration, and on using a territorial approaches simultaneously with the working on a micro-scale of the neighborhood and community. Students attending UCSD will also be able to choose independent yet supervised research project taken in the Center for Urban Ecology at UCSD, for 3-9 credits (6-18 ECST). Center for Urban Ecologies, is a Laboratory that forms part of the Public Culture Initiative at the Visual Arts Department at University of California. In the absence of a school of architecture at UCSD, the Center has become its urban and environmental arm.
The Graduate Landscape Architecture Department, housed within the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University, is one of the few landscape architecture programs in the United States that offers a curriculum focused on urbanism relative to social, spatial, environmental, economic and community development concerns. As a Historically Black College (HBCU), MSU has the design school, School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), that houses graduate architecture, landscape architecture and city and regional planning programs together as a team of allied professions. For this reason, the SA+P will be able to offer interdisciplinary opportunities for exchange students. The Morgan State’s graduate landscape architecture program has gained national recognition for its integration of service learning within the city of Baltimore, Maryland and the region. The realignment of the program’s urban sustainability focus to include social, cultural, historical, political, financial, and environmental issues has helped to broaden the education of the students and the research potential of the faculty members. In particular, these community outreach projects have expanded the visibility of the program and its educational and interdisciplinary breadth. The work of students and faculty members in urban Baltimore City and regional communities has helped to educate the public as to the diverse scope of professional landscape architects: in particular, the unique cross-disciplinary research currently under development with the Baltimore Ecosystem Studies project (www.beslter.org), funded through the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research network, highly positions the landscape architecture program for participation in this EU-US Atlantis grant program.