Two groups of MUDD students recently travelled to New York and Berlin as part of their graduate program. The international studio is offered annually and forms a central educational experience in the MUDD degree, by preparing students to work in diverse development contexts. This year the studio was made possible by hosts City College New York and Technische Universität Berlin. The international studio allowed students to experience the cities first-hand as well as apply and develop the skills they have honed as part of their UNSW degree program.
New York and Berlin have a mythological status around the world. Students looked beyond this global image of the city and investigated the practical and visionary thinking that goes into making these cities world leaders in urban development and design. The UNSW students worked with local academics, urbanists and students to develop proposals for specific sites in the respective cities. In New York students developed proposals for Seward Park Urban Development Area (SPURA): a neglected area of the Lower East Side, Manhattan which was demolished in the 1960s. In Berlin students looked at the urban precinct of Charlottenburg and Ernst Reuter Platz, which were redeveloped in the 1950s. This cold-war architectural legacy was a major theme for each of the studios.
David Hunter (Berlin)
“The MUDD program delivers new challenges every semester and the International studio, based this year in New York and Berlin, provides two complex and challenging urban projects to expand our knowledge beyond our own city. It challenges you to engage with and adapt to new urban contexts and combine critical and creative thinking with all that you have learnt throughout the MUDD program.
In one intense year, MUDD has provided challenging and rewarding experiences, building on my existing skills and equipping me with the knowledge and skills to launch my career in urban design.”
William Robertson (New York)
“While it is easy to describe life as a continual learning experience, the reality is that it usually follows the ebbs and flow of your daily existence, and the impact that it may have becomes lost.
If you choose to, MUDD actually becomes your existence in the embrace of the learning experience, and the impact becomes rich and profound. This provides rewards that are personal, insightful and empowering and will carry with you throughout your career.”
The passage below gives an insight into the students’ experience.
Berlin, Germany ‘Kreislaufstadt’ | ‘Loop City’
MUDD 17 students travelled to Berlin in November 2011 as part of the International Studio of the UNSW Master of Urban Development and Design graduate program. Students spent several days exploring Berlin with tours, lectures and discussions from key academics and professionals of Berlin to understand the social, political and urban context of the city.
In conjunction with graduate urban design and planning students of the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), the students embarked on a challenging 10 day urban design workshop exploring sustainable urban design using a ‘loop city’ concept.
The students studied the complex urban precinct of Campus Charlottenburg incorporating the TU Berlin campus, modernist styled Ernst Reuter Platz and the wide boulevard of Strasse de 17 Juni, a grand boulevard street extending from Charlottenburg to the Brandenburg Gate. The study area represents a potential site of the Berlin IBA 2020, an international building exhibition which explores innovative solutions to issues facing the contemporary urban context of Berlin.
The students developed a range of thoughtful, imaginative and creative design concepts which explored current trends and best practice sustainable urban design with a complex urban context.
MUDD 17 students will now continue to develop the ideas and concepts into convincing urban design schemes over the summer term in order to contribute thoughtfully to the preliminary discussions on the Berlin IBA 2020.
The MUDD Exhibition opens mid March 2012 and will provide the perfect opportunity to view the impressive work produced as part of the project.
All involved would like to show their thanks to hosts TU-Berlin and CCNY.