GSD MDesS program announces new concentrations for fall 2011

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The Master in Design Studies program has announced two new areas of concentration for students enrolling in fall 2011: Anticipatory Spatial Practice and Critical and Strategic Conservation.

Anticipatory Spatial Practice will address the inevitability of unpredictable shocks to the built and natural environment, whether due to earthquakes and floods or radical social ruptures. It acknowledges that the certainty of catastrophic disruptions demands anticipatory plans and practices that provide people and societies with the tools to effectively prepare for, cope with, and manage rapid change. The concentration will provide students with the intellectual skills to develop preemptive, anticipatory practices in the areas of design, analysis, urban and territorial management, and development. Associated faculty will include Michael Hooper, Rahul Mehrotra, Joyce Rosenthal, and Christian Werthmann.

Critical and Strategic Conservation uses the techniques and procedures of design to extend the social, economic, and cultural usefulness of buildings, landscapes, and cities. While it is related to historic preservation and shares a concern for the built environment, it is distinct insofar as it construes the contexts for analysis very broadly, including the cultural histories of a place, and attempts to consider a wide range of possible strategies for intervention. The area coordinators are Michael Hays and Rahul Mehrotra; associated faculty include Anita Berrizbeitia, Timothy Hyde, Mark Laird, Toshiko Mori, Mark Mulligan, Erika Naginski, Antoine Picon, Jorge Silvetti, and Charles Waldheim. These two new concentrations complement the six existing MDesS tracks, two of which were launched last year and admitted their first students in fall 2010. Krzysztof Wodiczko, professor in residence of art, design, and the public domain, is area coordinator for Art, Design, and the Public Domain, and Charles Waldheim, professor of landscape architecture serves as area coordinator for Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology. Each of these areas has 11 students enrolled. These programs join with History and Philosophy of Design, Technology, Real Estate, and Sustainable Design to comprise a strong entering class of 48 students.