Australia’s first joint Master of Architecture and Urban Design has been introduced by Swinburne University of Technology.

The two-year course has been introduced in response to the growing need for future-ready urbanists who can transcend the traditional boundaries of architecture and urban design.

The course will begin in August 2019, with Swinburne celebrating its launch by offering scholarships providing up to 100 percent fee reduction for exemplary students.

It has been developed in close partnership with industry executives and experts from Grimshaw, Hayball, McBride Charles Ryan, MGS Architects, Arup, Aurecon, AECOM, City of Melbourne and others.

There will be a whole-of-practice approach that focuses on preparing students for employment and business. For example, students will get the opportunity to work on live briefs from industry partners, giving them real-world experience and helping them build their networks.

Changing design needs

As cities become larger, denser and more complex, traditional planning approaches are giving way to more emergent and data-responsive evolutionary patterns of development, says professor Jane Burry, dean of Swinburne’s School of Design.

“This program has been designed in collaboration with industry and local government to meet the growing need for design professionals who are skilled in working at multiple scales and in many formats and media, ranging from the building scale to whole cities and regions,” says Burry.

Along with developing design skills, the program also focuses on emerging technologies and digital workflows, such as geographic information systems (GIS), building information modelling (BIM), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and procedural modelling, personal development and the art of negotiation.

Students will utilise Swinburne’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the Factory of the Future, the Smart Structures Laboratory, the new Protolab, Energy Transformation Lab and Design Factory Melbourne. They will also benefit from direct links to research bodies including Swinburne’s Smart Cities Research Institute, Centre for Design Innovation and Centre for Urban Transitions.

Image credit: Swinburne