Professor Koen Steemers
Cambridge Design Research Studio (CDRS) is a collaborative institute of design research within the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge, UK.
The core focus of the MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design, a RIBA/ARB part II Masters degree, is a hybrid of independent research through design and a structured technical learning resource. It is designed for students that join us with a distinct area of interest and provides guidelines to their research, access to specialists of various fields relevant to their studies, and a matrix of deliverables that foster an informed body of work. The course places a strong emphasis on design as a means of engaging with areas of active academic discourse and contemporary professional debate.
The course is structured in two parts, the residential period dedicated to the intensive study of the cultural, theoretical, and technical factors shaping each thesis topic, explored through a rigorous set of design tests and culminating in a full written thesis and project portfolio; and the second, a fieldwork period (after two terms of study) in which the implications of outline proposals are examined on site, or within professional practice. These components provide an opportunity to explore distinct design approaches in various settings, whilst offering a sound framework to pursue meaningful research.
The two stages of the course address two scales of investigation, the first focusing on a specific design response to a carefully examined physical and cultural context, and the second reflecting on the larger impact of this proposal on the strategic reconfiguration of the surrounding environment, and the factors that might lead to its fruition. We treat every project as potentially 'live' and encourage students to carry their projects through to fruition after graduation within the structure of the Cambridge Design Research Studio.
For more details go to http://www.cambridge-design-research-studio.com