Contemporary Theory of the Built Environment

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The theory track is a four semester program with 36 credits and a written master thesis. It invites students to investigate the theoretical backdrop of a design theme in a way that a solely studio-based setting would not allow. Through a flexible study plan, students have the opportunity to deepen their architectural knowledge while attending electives outside of the School of Architecture. They also benefit from the exchange with the students of the other MSA tracks, as both, an inspiration for the gradual development of their individualized thesis topic, and an opportunity to playfully practice their analytical skills. The theory track hence critically advises, and simultaneously is nurtured by, the representational work of the more applied tracks.

The program culminates in the redaction of a final master thesis that provides structure to a methodologically diverse body of work over the year.

The ability to successfully cope with the complexities of integrative research predestines the graduates not only to future teaching and advanced doctoral study, but also to leading positions in the private and public sector. 

Due to the track’s focus on theory, applicants do not necessarily need a professional architectural degree as a prerequisite.

36 credits

01 Fall

5 Courses / 15 Credits

ARC 620
Responsible Architecture (3)

ARC 629
Research in Design Methods (3)

ARC 682
Special Problems 
Architecture Discourse (3)

ARC 699
Directed Research (3)

Theory Elective (3)

02 Spring

4 Courses / 12 Credits

ARC 609
Design Studio
Research Studio or PAIR (6)

ARC 622
Urban Design History and Theory (3)

ARC 682
Special Problems 
Contemporary Architectural Theory (3)

Elective (3)

03 Summer

1 Course / 3 Credits

ARC 683
Special Problems
Independent Study/Field
Research (3)

04 Fall

1 Course / 6 Credits

ARC 810
Master's Thesis (6)