Department of Urban Design


Placement Brochure

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 contemporary world.

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.

Academic Focus
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 systems.
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.