IU to pilot new architecture master's program in fall



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The Arch of Constantine stands in Rome. A new architectural master's program at IU will combine architecture with art principles, said T. Kelly Wilson, director of graduate studies in architecture.  Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

The School for Art, Architecture + Design on IU’s Columbus campus is opening a new Master’s of Architecture program next fall.

According to an IU press release, the new program is designed to educate students to think like artists as well as architects. It features curriculum in Architectural Studios and Visual Studies Studios.

According to its website description, the program is designed to be completed in three years and one summer in an attempt make the degree more financially feasible. 

A key component of the program is the Nomadic Studio, through which students explore buildings in Columbus, which is known for its modernist architecture, as well as New York, London, Beijing, Copenhagen, Buenos Aires and Rome. The program also offers the opportunity to explore cities in China and India through IU’s Global Gateway Network.

T. Kelly Wilson, Columbus’ director of graduate studies, said Nomadic Studio will enable students to see great masterworks of design from around the world, which he said is instrumental in students developing their own voice. 

He said most programs generally cover the techniques of architecture but don't connect drawing with architecture.

“What they don’t do so much is teach architects how to think with their eyes,” Wilson said.

Marleen Newman, associate director of IU Center for Art + Design Columbus, said there is a movement to replace drawing with computers. However, she said the latest neuroscience shows students aren't as adept to think three-dimensionally when working with only computers. 

"There's a direct, almost reflective, link between our brain and your hand," Newman said.

She said IU's curriculum is designed based on the connection drawing has to architecture.

Wilson said he prides the program on the focus of helping students hone architectural drawing techniques all three years of the curriculum. 

“That in itself is unique,” Wilson said. 

Wilson said the degree program is designed to prepare students to be leaders in architecture, which he said is a noble profession.

“It is a reminder to ourselves and others of the nobility of mankind,” said Wilson. 

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