What does it mean today to be an architect who’s open and receptive to international practices? To provide an education-based answer to this question, while offering the right tools to a new generation of professionals, a new master’s degree course has been launched by the IE School of Architecture and Design in collaboration with UNStudio.
The official announcement in early February 2022, which saw the participation of Ben van Berkel, the founder of the Dutch studio, was made at the IE University campus – that is, the 590 foot (180 m) high sustainable IE Tower with 538,000 square feet (50,000 m2) of floorspace and 75,000 square feet (7000 m2) of green spaces in the heart of Madrid.
The program is a new addition to what has been a highly varied course offering for some time, as demonstrated by courses in business for architecture and design, strategic interior design, and real estate development. Beginning in September 2023 and with course work of ten months, the new degree program will address the most urgent challenges of today, focusing in particular on sustainability and technology in architecture and design – both important goals at the global level. And it was this last factor that Martha Thorne, dean of the school of architecture, was keen to focus on when thanking van Berkel, describing the course as bringing “together the best of international experience and academics for a truly 21st century degree.”
One of the most innovative aspects of the course will be the way it combines more traditional units with a 12-month final thesis project with a design management module. Van Berkel, who’ll be thesis chair for the course, spoke about his conviction that he was part of a “master’s course able to provide tools, inspiration, and innovative perspectives to grow and transform the profession.”
As mentioned, particular attention will be given to sustainability, new technologies, and all the important strategies that need to be integrated with well-established practices. This approach is already reflected in the tower that houses the Spanish institution, where co-working and co-living in contact with nature are the foundations of campus life.
The course, aimed at students needing to complete their professional training, is open to all graduates in Spain holding five-year degrees, as well as to students from other countries with equivalent qualifications (subject to different admission tests).
Enrolling at the IE Architecture School simultaneously opens the doors to a network of students, researchers, professionals, alumni, and teachers with whom to work, exchange ideas, and share ambitions.
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Location: Madrid-Amsterdam or Segovia-Amsterdam
Duration: 10 months
Format: Full Time
Intake: September 2023
Main pictures: ©Roberto Arribas, courtesy of IE School of Architecture and Design
Gallery: courtesy of IE School of Architecture and Design