The Berlage Post-master in Architecture and Urban Design
The Berlage Post-master in Architecture and Urban Design focuses intensively on how architects and urban designers practice in a globalized world, concentrating on the complex development of the built environment within different contexts.
“To study at the Berlage is not only to learn how to understand the complexities of our contemporary build environment, but also how to operate and innovate within them.” (from: The Berlage, Prospectus 2014-2015)
The practice of architecture is becoming more and more global. The spread of professional skills and new technologies around the world has expanded the market for design services in both developed and developing countries. It is tempting to view architects and urban designers as members of a global, cosmopolitan culture that transcends national boundaries and identities. Drawings, technologies, clients, and even workforces seem to flow easily between continents and cultures.
Explore the forces that shape the built environment
The Berlage provides the intellectual climate as well as material infrastructure to explore the forces that shape the built environment in the contemporary world. Subsequently developing, by means of design, alternative models and new insights to devise a transformative impact on the built environment. Its programmes insist on direct engagement with real-life conditions, as represented by public authorities, cultural institutions, and private entities with whom students, researchers, and other participants directly communicate and debate. This simultaneous commitment to research and reality prompts reflection, speculation, and an understanding of today’s architectural and urban challenges.
Collaborative and experimental
The study creates a context that invites its students to test and communicate models, insights, and principles that focus on architectural, urban, and landscape issues based in the Netherlands and relate them to a global perspective. As the built environment—and its ever more radical transformations become increasingly complex and ambitious, the architectural profession has tended to break down into distinct, sector-based specializations. The challenge for architectural education today is to directly engage with these transformations while simultaneously developing new types of architectural knowledge, inscribed in a galaxy of networked institutions.
The study is conducted in an in-depth collaborative and experimental setting, characterized by guidance and exchange with leading and emerging practitioners and scholars. Students participate in research– and design-based projects, theory seminars, fieldwork, and master classes. In addition, a series of public events complements the programme.
Composed of three terms of study, the year-and-a-half long programme includes an introductory seminar period, two studios, and a final collective thesis term. Students will work in studios of approximately twelve participants, each headed by a guest professor and assistant. The new programme continues to reflect the unique spirit of The Berlage, expressing its characteristic engagement with reality and producing new forms of operational knowledge in collaboration with high-profile tutors and guests.
The Berlage is a post-master programme for architects and urban designers who have already completed a master’s degree in architecture or an equivalent five-year degree. It is a primarily privately funded, one-and-a-half-year, English-language programme.