Master of Urban Design

[Music]>>Hanin Khasru I’ve kind of lived all over the place and
what brought me to Charlotte was the school. I came here for Grad School. I visited a couple of other grad schools,
um, that had design programs and Charlotte had the best resources for the type of work
that I was interested in. [Music]>>Allen Davis The duration of the program is only a year. Itís a very well thought out program, despite
it being very short, everything is very intense and thatís what I like ñ everythingís not
really drawn out. And another thing, youíre not just talking
about the basics; you are investigating all theÖ all the aspects of urban design. [Music]>>Ashley Powell The first project that we worked on here was
actually in South End and we spent a lot of time just learning what it meant to really
do an urban analysis of an area and talking to people about what they would like to see
in the area. Weíre not a top-heavy, planning, sitting
in a room with other people we think are brilliant deciding for everyone else what should be
the case. Weíre out on the street talking to people
and experiencing things as they experience it and seeing how they want to live. And I think that that was a really good foundation
for us, so when we went to Boston, we did a project in Bostonís South End and the same
principles applied there. And we just got back from China ñ completely
different context ñ but itís still the same principles, just exploded, because you have
such density. Planning at the human scale is whatís important,
even when youíre dealing with the macro-development. [Music]>>Dylan McKnight We all should probably agree that we want
our ñ the places that we live and work – to continue to evolve to something better. Nobody, I think, if you asked around the world,
would want their place to decline into something, uh, not as good as it once was. So to pull it all together into one effort
in this, you know, force in academia here, uh, is helping out with that. [Music]>>Hanin Khasru I thought I would go into urban design to
make me a better architect, to make me more sensitive to community issues, but now that
I see, um, what urban design encompasses I know that it canít just be a side thing. It has to be a more focused part of my career. Iím not sure where itís going to take me;
I really want to find a way to merge these two different experiences. [Music]>>Maria Floren Something else that led me to come to this
program was the international study abroad experience that it included. And so we spent, uh, six weeks in China, um,
traveling throughout from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and uh, Suzhou, and we collaborated
with some students there on a project and so, this is our final semester and weíve
continued to um, develop that project. And so, their urban design and architecture
practices are different and some of them are really different from what we are used to
here in the U.S. It was a great experience working with the
Chinese students and being able to collaborate with them and thatís something that will
really help us in the job market later in the future I think. [Music]>>Ashley Powell The program here is really cool because, since
weíre Uptown, weíre in the midst of everything. So all the professionals that are actually
in urban design and doing what weíre aspiring to do are right at our back door and we get
the opportunity to be involved with them a lot. Charlotte is ñ if you know where to look
– the streets are always buzzing with activity and being positioned here, especially in the
Center City building and not on campus, you really get a firsthand feel for what youíre
trying to do. So Iím in school and Iím learning, but itís
almost like Iím practicing at the same time already. [Music]>>Adam Martin You look right out the window and you can
see all these great examples of streets and architecture and you can look on the other
side of that and see Uptown. You see skyscrapers and the light rail passing
through, um, which is another great addition to this building, is the light rail, um, itís
a great asset for Charlotte. It goes right by this building; the building
was sited expertly. As an urban campus, I mean, itís the epitome
of urbanism.>>Allen Davis Whatís great aboutÖwhatís great about this
building, actually, is that itís Uptown and weíre, weíre located around a bunch of services
andÖand food and things like that. Um, you know whenever youíre in the studio
and youíre working on a weekend night, itís always nice to look out the window and see
the life happening downtown: the lights, the people out, you can hear the, you know, you
can hear the bass from the cars and things like that. Itís really, uh, itís really nice to see
that type of vitality. For me, I live in South End and thatís actually
where the program used to be located. I love living there and I can actually take
the light rail to school. Whatís great about the light rail is that
itís going to be extended to the University. So for me, Iím a dual degree student, and
you know, five years from now, if the light rail was developed, I would be able to go
back and forth between the main campus to this campus on light rail. So, um, thatís going to be a great feature. Charlotteís got great bike facilities; Iím
a cyclist so that Iím able to ride quite easily to studio. You know, Charlotteís a very safe city.>>Hanin Khasru So, I know with the Master of Urban Design
Program, the School of Architecture has put in a lot of, um, resources lately. Every student has their own monitor on their
desk. We are allowed to just kind of spread out
wherever we need to, we have a whole floor for ourselves, so whatever room we need to
go to is always vacant, itís always available. We have this resource center that Iím in
right now which is wonderful. It has a lot of books. We have plotters that are open all day here. We even have a little kitchen area, we have
great views of Uptown Charlotte, we have parking thatís very close to the building. We have 24-hour security, so even when you
have to pull an all-night you donít feelÖalone, I guess and Iím excited that this building
is here and I wish I was here enough for five years to see it happen. [Music]>>Dylan McKnight We have lots of folks from architecture and
landscape architecture backgrounds. Thereís a smaller percentage of us, like
myself, from non-design backgrounds. I really, honestly, have to say that the diversity
is amazing. It mustíve been in the course of a couple
of days, all of a sudden we were all hanging out and all sitting at each othersí desks
and since then, itís been nothing but establishing solid friendships and leaning on each others’
shoulders and staying up late at night and meeting each othersí significant others,
going to, you know, someoneís house for dinner, or throwing, you know, casual backyard get-togethers
and itís beenÖitís been amazing. And we, we do all come from different backgrounds. Different nationalities, you know, itís all
over the place, and itís really rewarding to experience that. I feel like Iíve found some lifelong friends
in the program.>>Adam Martin My peers here, um, again they all come from
different backgrounds. I think the way we fit in is that we get to
see multiple perspectives about approaching urban problem solving. Each of them are extremely professional, the
backgrounds are, you know, art, or of course landscape architecture, we have architects,
we have urban planners, we have interior designers, we have people with NO design background,
we have business backgrounds. I mean, thereís extreme variety and they
all bring this amazing clarity to projects because as a designer weíre always approaching
it from a conceptual level or a design level or a planning level. You know, they bring a kind of a level of
understanding of reality that we sometimes dip out of and we always, you know, at the
end of a project, we always find ourselves trying to get it back because we have to explain
that to the client, or the professor in this case. Um, I think my colleagues, what they bring
is a good solution to a urban design problem and they also bring a level of reality that
leads you along it. [Music]


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