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Master of Architecture (M. Arch.)

Introduction

The Balwant Sheth School of Architecture (BSSA) has launched a Master of Architecture program. Master of Architecture program is a Two Year Full-time Degree Course, approved by Council of Architecture. 

In an effort of understanding the needs for the habitability of the 21st century cities and the significant role of technology for the formation of the new urban environments, BSSA proposes a new Masters program oriented in training the new professionals that both City Government and Industry need in order to develop projects for the transformation of the cities using the potential of technologies of information.

The Masters Program is developed as a Full-Time 2 Academic Years-4 Semesters program.

Vision Statement

The next 40 years will see an unprecedented transformation in the global urban landscape. Between 2010 and 2050, the number of people living in cities will increase from 3.6 billion to 6.3 billion. Almost all of that growth will occur in developing countries. By 2025 there will be 37 megacities, each with a population greater than 10 million; 22 of those cities will be in Asia. The impacts of this new phase of urbanization on the global economy and on existing urban infrastructure and resources are al- ready being felt. They are also spurring innovation in urban design, technologies, and services.

Trillions of dollars will be spent on urban infrastructure in this period, presenting an immense opportunity for new transport management systems, smart grids, water monitoring systems, and energy efficient buildings. Information and communication technologies will be deeply embedded in the fabric of both old and new cities and will change the way we think of city operations and how we live and work in these environments. Pike Research forecasts that the networked city technology market will grow from $6.1 billion annually in 2012 to $20.2 billion in 2020.

Metaphors based on futurism and utopianism have been used over the past two decades to describe the changing ICT-based city. The information era and the technological advances in communications allow specific planning and design ideas to get far away from futuristic approaches; concepts for the future agglomeration seek bottom-up processes where importance is not final aesthetics or final accountancies but rather than data and information that prepare the ground for the birth of an urban metabolism.

Urban environments have always stood in close relationship to the technologies of production, transport, and communications. By introducing ICT in spatial planning, it can be conceptualized as a new type of infrastructure providing for the transport of data or information. As technologies and their impacts on urban environment change, their relationship calls for new or adapted concepts, where the emerging pattern language of electronic connections tie in seamlessly with the language of physical connections.

The great challenge for a new urban metabolism lies in the capacity of the city to interact, to give and receive information among interconnected nodes of different scales and natures (infrastructure, buildings, public space elements, environmental conditions, flows). This anticipates fundamental concepts related to the importance of proposing symbiotic systems of organization based on real time data that can be further articulated into responsive systems and metabolic organizations, where small decisions can have a large impact at an urban scale. Cities, then, perform as organisms and become behavioral.

The city is a connective network among human beings and their activities. This is what led to urbanization in the first place: individuals clustered so that communication distances would shrink to a minimum, while the number of connective nodes in- creased.

The future city model gives a leading role to information and communication technologies as well as to user empowerment in terms of interaction and innovation.

  • One of the prime questions that were raised involved the conventional role of the architect as mere provider of the services according to the market laws of demand and supply; or as technicians providing sound building solutions.
  • Right from inception of this new school, the attempt is to open up the architecture and design towards other fields ranging from socio cultural studies to management studies. This would be the primary concern of the formulators of the agenda that the school would follow.
  • Thus the role of the school would be determined by the attempt to create the appropriate academic environment for such an endeavor.
  • Our endeavor at the new school would be to constantly adapt and infuse new concepts, technologies and management skills that would affect the field of architectural education and profession at large.

The Degree

The Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) is a Masters program oriented in training the new professionals that both City Government and Industry need in order to develop projects for the transformation of the cities using the potential of advance technologies.

The program aims to develop new categories of projects, technologies and solutions that can be extended systematically to the cities of the world, thus helping them to become more efficient and more human. Every Master Candidate will develop technological seminars, city studies, cultural analysis, and pilot projects in order to have a global comprehension of the development of City Projects based in real-life environments.

Participants will be introduced to concepts such as Open Innovation and will learn the new necessary processes and tools on how cities, surrounding regions and rural areas can evolve towards sustainable, open and user-driven innovation ecosystems to boost Future research and technology-enabled services of public interest and citizen participation.

Master Candidates will learn to develop and implement symbiotic systems of organization based on real time data that can be further articulated into responsive systems and metabolic organizations, where small decisions can have a large impact at an urban scale.

They will learn how to make projects that integrate the design of public space and buildings, the infrastructures of services, the user interaction and the technologies of information, developing technical, social and economic skills.

The program will be developed with the collaboration of companies and industry, and will form new professionals interested in leading this new field of city economy that is emerging worldwide.

Course Objectives:

The Master of Architecture is an innovative educational format that offers interdisciplinary skills and understanding through the researching on new categories of projects, technologies and solutions in contemporary urban environments.

The Institute would give students the opportunity to create individual Studio agendas and develop Pilot Thesis Projects based on Innovation, Urban Apps, City Infrastructures, new Citizen-based Services, Open Data Development and more. In this way BSSA has put together an experimental and learning environment for the training of professionals with both theoretical and practical responses to the increasing complexity of contemporary urban environments.

Students have the opportunity to be part of a highly international group, including faculty members, researchers and lecturers, in which they are encouraged to develop collective decision-making processes and materialize their project ideas.

The aim of the Institute is to form graduates who, after the completion of the programme, will be able to develop their acquired skills in a diversity of professional environments, related with the transformation of cities through technologies of information.

The Program comprises the following elements:

  • Workshop Studio Semester I 
  • Seminars Semester I 
  • Design Studio Semester II 
  • Seminars Semester II 
  • Research Studio Semester III 
  • Seminars Semester III 
  • Pilot Project Thesis 
  • Seminars Semester IV 
  • Lecture Series All Semesters

Scheme of Examination:

Four Continuous Internal Evaluations (CIE) would be conducted by the Internal Faculty through the course of the semester.

At the end of the Semester, a Term End Evaluation (TEE) would be conducted jointly by a panel of Internal Evaluators and External Examiners.

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