At one of the U.S.’s prestigious Ivy League schools, the dean of the School of Architecture – world-renowned architect Deborah Berke – has sought over her tenure to make enrolment more accessible by expanding the amount of financial aid provided to prospective students. She has also broadened the scope of the graduate programs (Yale School of Architecture offers a three-year M.Arch I degree and a two-year M.Arch II degree) to include design courses with the School of Public Health (on issues of accessibility), and the Law School (on examining and addressing slavery in contemporary construction around the world). Students can now also pursue a joint degree with the Yale School of the Environment.
“We seek to respond to the complexity of today’s globalized world — rapid urbanization and climate change, contested spatial and geographic borders, the increasing disparities in living conditions — with the claim that architecture has never been more important, more challenging to create, and more potentially transformative,” Berke explains in her dean’s letter.
Beyond the rigorous curriculum they encounter at the Yale School of Architecture, students can participate in the Yale Urban Design Workshop and Center for Urban Design Research (YUDW) along with faculty. The YUDW provides planning and design assistance on projects ranging from comprehensive plans, economic development strategies, and community visions for both local and international projects. These include the Resilient Bridgeport strategy and pilot projects, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild by Design program, which integrates new blue-green infrastructure with the public realm (to be constructed by 2024); and the Dwight Healthy And Just Neighborhood plan in New Haven, funded under an EPA Environmental Justice Grant in 2022.
Norman Foster, Ma Yansong (MAD Architects), Aaron Betsky, Siamak Hariri (Hariri Pontarini), Marion Weiss (Weiss/Manfredi), Maya Lin, George Nelson, Richard Rogers, Eero Saarinen
Anthony Acciavatti, Mae-ling Lokko, Tatiana Bilbao, Francis Kéré, Joel Sanders, Billie Tsien, Tiantian Xu, Brigitte Shim, Robert A.M. Stern, Olalekan Jeyifous, Frank Gehry