Cities are one of the best inventions by humankind. Defined as economic engines,
human agglomerations, and the fields of intense energy, cities are habitat for all
kinds of culture. The joy of life in city is one of the strong forces to attract
population towards urban areas. Like living organisms, cities also originate, grow
and expand; this process of life of the city is critical for us to understand. The
urban design programme at SPA Bhopal aims to imbibe knowledge to the students to
invent newer approaches to the issues of urbanity in Indian and Asian cities through
the process of collaboration and amalgamation between the disciplines of architecture
and planning. Urban Design at SPA Bhopal will initiate new theoretical as well as
practical ways of dealing with cities posed with challenges from the forces of the
Urban Design Programme at School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal is a four-semester
course of two years duration and leading to a degree of Master of in Urban Design.
Each semester consists of wide range of theory and studio subjects ranging from
history, sociology, ecology and legislation, sequentially increasing in their complexity
to make students well versed with urban design issues and approaches of universal
values. Urban design programme at SPA Bhopal will explore ways to design, create
and sustain the rich and productive urban environments.
Urban Design at SPA, Bhopal will focus on finding new dimensions of urbanity based
on theory and praxis relevant in today's context.
1) School of Planning and Architecture at Bhopal aims to sequentially expose the
students to the complexity of urban environments to understand-analyze-synthesize
and then contextually intervene in an urban structure.
2) Urban Design at SPA Bhopal also aims to make the students acquainted with various
tools of urban design to intervene in rich and complex urban fabric of India and
to encourage participatory approach and inclusive design encompassing all stakeholders
of the city.
3) Being located in Bhopal, SPA intends to focus on important issues of city of
Bhopal and its surrounding areas and thus providing a platform for various authorities,
local bodies and other organizations to discuss the future of the city.
4) School intends to encourage dialectic method of dialogue to achieve a more global
approach to urban design including the diversities and possibilities, any culture
offers to make urban design rich in experience. Students will be free to decide
the method and insight of design.
5) SPA Bhopal intends to imbibe the skills in students to critically analyze the
surrounding environment based on theoretical and intuitive knowledge gained through
personal experience of reading urban and corresponding social-economic-political
6) School intends to develop a strong database to form a hub of information relating
to Indian cities. School will also start consultancy services in the field of urban
design and systems.
Structure of the Programme
Urban design course at SPA Bhopal aims to create a holistic approach towards analyzing
and designing complex urban environments with critical importance to the context
of the place by sequentially exposing the students to the hierarchy of subjects
encompassing history, sociology, economics, ecology, politics and design.
The first semester in the course introduces the realm of urban environment and components
of its complexities through design studio and urban design methodologies wherein
the focus lies on techniques of documentation, analysis and representation. History
of urbanity is an important area to be explored in order to understand the various
movements and schools of thought which shaped our urban surrounding. The other major
thrust is on site planning and systems studio to grasp better understanding of multiple
factors influencing the design process at both urban and site level.
The second semester further increases the thrust on dealing with issues of urban
design at city level in the Networks and Systems Studio by conducting the actual
case study of a city. These studies are reinforced by the parallel theoretical inputs
through the subject of Theory of City form. This semester also introduces the planning
aspects of urban design through transport planning and planning theory to understand
urban design as a bridge between the disciplines of planning and architecture. Administrative
and legal aspects of urban design will further strengthen the legislative and practical
angle of urban systems. Short duration practical training during the summer will
make student acquaint with the office practices in organizations imparting consultancy
in urban design.
Design studio in third semester stresses on more complex issues of city through
the aspects of conservation, renewal and extension with simultaneous inputs from
the theory subjects of Urban Conservation and Advanced Theory of City Form. The
subject of Sustainable Development introduces the critical components of balanced
development in urban context. The Housing subject in this semester concurrently
introduces the dynamics of housing policies and design in Indian context.
A common pool of electives is being introduced in the third semester of the course.
It will be a group of subjects pooled in from all Post Graduate Programmes running
in the institute. Students will have a choice of picking one elective from this
pool. This shall give the students a choice to take a subject of his or her interest
from a different discipline. This is in addition to the electives available in other
semester within the Urban Design programme.
Pre-Thesis seminar is introduced in the third semester, so as to enable the students
build up their ideas towards finalization of the thesis topic, either by research
or design, and to carry the same in to the fourth semester.
The fourth and the culminating semester requires Students to continue their thesis
work on the topic finalized in the previous semester. Students are required to undertake
the research or design based inquiry into the urban domain ranging from theory to
practice and develop an opinioned thesis to showcase the understanding in a comprehensive
way. Two related subjects are also taught in this semester.
In addition to above mentioned subjects, Urban Design at SPA Bhopal will also conduct
joint studios, workshops, conferences to create environment for interactions and
debates with discussions on national and international level Urban Design Projects.
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