Urban Design Studio I: Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, Columbia University


The 5 Borough Studio is the first studio in a three-semester sequence in the Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. It is held each summer from June to August. Three ambitions guide the first Urban Design Studio: to nurture a design process specific to existing urban environments; to critically consider site and program; and to interrogate the role of Urban Design as serving the public as a client. The studio provides a framework for students to expand their design thinking using New York City and its 5 Boroughs as a laboratory. Students are introduced to a post-industrial, built-out American city through its past, current and future layers of neighborhoods, public spaces and infrastructure. Designing for growth and change in the context of the built-out metropolis requires an array of emergent urban design tools for researching, mapping, investigating and hypothesizing the continuous transformation of the city. Over the course of the semester we explore methods of defining and representing urban sites and their multi-scalar, multivalent systemic linkages within the city and the region.

In the summer of 2017, the studio will look at five neighborhoods at the water and are speculating how water transportation might transform these places.

sites for the 2017 5 Borough Studio