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Enrichment Opportunities

The MArch Program offers a comprehensive array of enrichment opportunities to students, in particular our unique Block Week courses, which occur three times a year (October, January, and February). During Block Weeks, regular classes are suspended so students can take intensive courses taught by distinguished visiting scholars and architects. These courses include theory seminars, design charrettes, fabrication workshops, and others. The Faculty's Design Matters lecture series hosts additional guest lecturers each year in a public venue, while our EVDS Gallery shows the work of our students and alumni, artists, and researchers in environmental design.


A variety of study abroad opportunities, including the longstanding program in Barcelona, and the more recently developed program in Tokyo are available in the MArch Program. There is annual exhibition of student work from our students that traveled abroad held in the Spring term in the EVDS Gallery. Students also have the opportunity to arrange individual study abroad terms at various institutions around the world, working through UC International.


One of the flagship opportunities offered by EVDS is the study abroad term held in Barcelona, Spain. Initiated almost twenty years ago, it is conceived as a rigorous semester abroad, in which students are immersed in international design culture. The Faculty has engaged a group of independent Barcelona-based design educators, from a range of disciplines, to deliver a design studio and an urban theory course using BCN as a laboratory.


New this year, Tokyo is an interdisciplinary option open to Architecture and Planning students. Students not going abroad will undertake projects in the Pacific NW (Portland, Seattle, or Vancouver). The Barcelona and Tokyo options in the Fall semester focus on urban design in complex urban settings. They immerse students in dense built environments, networks, and systems that comprise the ecologies of contemporary cities. Urban issues and urban sites are experienced, and a building or intervention is designed, in relation to social and cultural contexts, but also in terms of infrastructure, public space, and environmental impacts for sustainable communities. Students are exposed to cities such as Barcelona, Tokyo, and Portland that have gained international reputations as progressive cities that have innovated in many areas including growth management, transit-oriented communities, district revitalization, sustainable infrastructure, public space design, and urban design. 


The MArch Program has a number of unique programs that bring in prominent architects and educators to work with students during Block Weeks. These include the following lectureships:

Gillmor Visiting Lectureship

The Gillmor Visiting Lectureship brings a prominent historian or theoretician to the Program annually to give a series of advanced seminars on a selected topic during the October Block Week. 

William Lyon Somerville Visiting Lectureship

The William Lyon Somerville Visiting Lectureship, established in 1992, brings a prominent architect to the Program during the January Block Week to direct a five-day design charrette with a group of students.

Taylor Visiting Lectureship

The more recently established Taylor Visiting Lectureship is a design workshop that focuses on digital fabrication, technology, or building science, and occurs during the February Block Week.

Click here to learn more about Block Week Lectureships and to see the names of past distinguished visitors.