University of Pennsylvania School of Design

In fall 2003, the historic Graduate School of Fine Arts became the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Our new name—familiarly PennDesign—describes what we are now, a single school, within a great university, dedicated to promoting excellence in design across a…



Non Discrete Architectures: Networks, Digital Prosthetics and Augmentation

We are at a pivotal moment in our society, as it has become increasingly clear that design is inextricably linked to the multi-dimensional world and culture of technology. As such, our creative stance has had to evolve with technology. Technology’s operatives: Coding, Data, Networks, Robotics and Augmented Space etc., have ushered in a new aesthetic, one that is mute, virtual and experiential. This represents our new condition, the convergence of the physical and the digital. The Non Discrete Architectures Symposium will catalogue and explore the implications, methods of understanding, research and production of the imminent convergence of the digital and physical…

Therapeutic Landscapes in North America—Genesis, Fate and Future

This symposium explores the nexus between architecture and landscape in therapeutic-institutional design and experience. Although the 19th century constitutes a common referent for much of the discussion, the event also aims to examine how medical, scientific, and environmental assumptions of that period were received, abandoned, refashioned, or rediscovered. What did the rise of state hospitals portend? How did competing forms of knowledge in the increasingly professionalized realms of medicine, landscape, and architecture continue to interact? Did “therapeutic” principles ever cohere? How might they inform contemporary design practices and / or the reuse of older sites?  This one-day and willfully interdisciplinary gathering offers…

Diverse Design Roundtable: Justice + Space

As designers and artists we are concerned with space and as humans we are concerned with justice. We call into question our roles within the current social dynamics in the urban context that have led to the massive demonstrations of protest against police brutailty that have resulted in legacies of racisim, Jim Crow, and damaging consquenences of exclusionary urban design practices. We have the power and responsibility to actively and critically confront social injustice, both in Philadelphia and globally, as the design community at the University of Pennsylvania. We provoke designers and artists to be catalysts of change and intend to…

Pierre Bélanger Lecture: “1 : 1 billion On Landscape, Infrastructure, Power”

Penn IUR has partnered with Landscape Architecture to bring you an exciting talk about urbanism with Pierre Bélanger, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Co-Director of the MDes Postgraduate Design Research Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Also cross-appointed with the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Advanced Studies Program, Bélanger teaches and coordinates graduate courses on the convergence of ecology, infrastructure, media and urbanism in the interrelated fields of design, communications, planning and engineering. Currently completing two core manuscripts on infrastructure and urbanism, Landscape Infrastructure (MIT Press, 2015) and Landscape of Defense (MIT Press, 2015), his work has been recognized by…
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