Birmingham City University
This forward thinking, exploratory, design focused MA, is rooted in a deep connection between theory and practice. In completion, you will know how to critique, create and experiment with the design of high quality, trans-disciplinary urban places.
As ‘an umbrella’ field of study and profession, Urban Design lies at the critical junction of an ever-increasing urban population that continues to add pressure to global systems, with effects that connect through scale, from political strategies right down to an individual's every-day personal experience. Now is the time we must be innovative and joined-up in our thinking. Whether you have a background in architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning, or other fields; Urban Design is an acknowledgement that we need to work together to face the current global challenges and develop integrated responses that open new opportunities for all of us.
On this course we embrace collaborative, creative processes, which connect and transcend traditional discipline boundaries, ‘silo’ processes and mentalities, to promote the dynamic diversity of human conditions. You will explore ways to refine the way we think about, and make, the places that represent and support our lives. We want to make places that can facilitate a happier and more sustainable world, supporting both the short- and long-term success of humanity and our fellow species.
This course is an integration of best practice and innovative learning strategies from the widely regarded Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, and the Department for the Built Environment. As a highly collaborative course, we bring expertise from a rich diversity of backgrounds.
Drawing on extensive experience in research and practice, this Master's in Urban Design provides a balance of practical and theoretical learning, within the following themes:
- Exploratory, iterative design creativity
- Strategies and framework design processes
- Life and Place: curating sustainability, value, character and function
- Socio-economic and physical analysis across diverse contexts
- Collaborative design strategy and the role(s) of the urban designer
- Contemporary visualisation for urban design - best practice and innovation
- Mixed-media design communication: explorations in interface and interactivity
- Communicating with structure, character and precision
- Professional and ethical evaluation
- Transdisciplinary, participatory and inclusive practice
- Sectors, trends and the targeted marketing of design
- Time and process management
THEORY AND DEBATES
- Contemporary global questions and debates
- Between practical theories and theoretical practices
- International urban-isms, people and design
- Research practice and process
We see design as a way to imagine alternative futures that are more sustainable, or even environmentally restorative. Our research methods include design and practice-led methods, design based archival research, collaborative and co-design approaches, design pedagogies and cultural theory, engineering and fabrication, and action based research and activism in order to critique, challenge and disrupt traditional thinking and develop radical alternatives to current conditions