Program Introduction


(Post Professional Program in Architecture and Urbanism)

CHRIS PERRY, Assistant Professor
Program Director

Sahar Mihandoust and Tazy Momtaz, Coropolis (Geofutures design studio, Spring 2013)

Sahar Mihandoust and Tazy Momtaz, Coropolis (Geofutures design studio, Spring 2013)

Program Description

Fifteen years ago, Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen announced that the world had entered a new geological age, what he termed the Anthropocene, a period characterized by industrial anthropocentrism as a new geophysical force on Earth. The principle qualities and conditions of this new age, namely those of global warming, mark a fundamental shift in human-nonhuman relations, the end of one world and the beginning of another, in which human social, psychic, and philosophical space has been infiltrated by a nonhuman presence, bringing with it a new period of environmental anxiety and existential uncertainty.

Geofutures seeks to engage this new period of environmental anxiety and existential uncertainty by posing the question as to whether architecture should embark on establishing new affiliations beyond the human; a fundamental realignment of the discipline as something no longer significant for us alone. In doing so, the program endeavors to convert crisis into opportunity by harnessing both the pressures of a planet at risk and the promise of emerging environmental technologies to generate a broad spectrum of possible, if not probable, urban and architectural futures for the twenty-first century.

Concentration I: Environmental Parametrics

The Environmental Parametrics concentration places emphasis on knowledge and expertise in performance design, including state-of-the-art as well as next-generation building systems, structures, and environments. The primary intention of this program concentration is to provide a foundation in the physics of buildings, the performance analysis and evaluation of the built environment, and performance design strategies.

Concentration II: Ecological Urbanism

The Ecological Urbanism concentration places emphasis on theoretical speculation and design experimentation. Situated within a long and rich history of speculative urbanism particular to the discipline of architecture, including such visionary proposals as Antonio Sant’Elia’s La Citta Nuova (1914), Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City (1932), and Kenzo Tange’s Plan for Tokyo (1960), this program concentration challenges students to mine the daring and often prophetic urban visions of previous generations as a means of speculating on the future of the city in the twenty-first century.


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Evan Douglis, Professor


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
School of Architecture
110 8th Street - Greene Building
Troy, NY 12180 - USA

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