Jul 20, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Advanced Architectural Research Studies (Performative Design and Technology) (MAARS)

The Master of Advanced Architectural Research Studies, Performative Design And Technology Emphasis is a 42-unit graduate design program at the USC School of Architecture that focuses on the integration of architectural design, building performance and technology, within the context of digital design and fabrication. As a design-centric approach to building science concepts in the spirit of Ralph Knowles and the legacy of the Natural Forces Laboratory at the USC School of Architecture, issues of sustainability, structure, daylighting and thermal comfort will be explored in the context of architectural design. In this program, students will explore digital and analog techniques for discovering form through variable material and geometric organizations and force simulations, while simultaneously considering the design opportunities being afforded by advances in computation and fabrication technologies. The proposed curriculum will respond to emerging shifts in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry towards integrated technologies, increased efficiency, and productivity, and a digital workforce driven by digital, sensing and intelligent technologies. An integrated design curriculum that incorporates these concepts will support students in developing the skill necessary to foster innovation in practice with a focus on: data, technology, integration, performance, ecology and sustainability. 

A travel component will be included in Semester 1 through field trips in the Los Angeles and Southern California region to connect students with the real-world context and challenges faced in urban cities. In Semester 2, a week-long trip to a foreign or domestic location will provide students with a global context and interface and connect with the CD+H program. Students will have an option in Semester 3 to participate in an extended and immersive trip in a foreign or domestic location that will support completion of the final project. The USC School of Architecture is developing the Latin Americas Cities Initiative and Asia Cities Initiative, which will be expected to interface with the MAARS CD+H and PD+T programs.

Completion of the degree requires 42 units, including 8 units of Architecture Directed Design Research.

Core Requirements (28 units)

This degree is intended for qualified students who have completed a professional degree in architecture (BArch/MArch) with interest in advanced non-professional graduate study who are pursuing careers in architectural design, structural design, parametric design, design optimization, environmental design and performative architecture.

Electives (14 units)

The curriculum is designed to be flexible to allow students to customize elective courses to a specific topic of interest within the thematic framework of the degree program. A list of electives currently offered for all themes is summarized below. Additional electives outside of the School of Architecture are possible upon approval.