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Research

Singapore Urban Design Studio
Professor John de Monchaux

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning and its sister department of Architecture offer a wide variety of paths for IDRP students and faculty to follow according to their interests and skills. Professor John de Monchaux's Singapore Urban Design Studio is an example of this type of collaboration, which offers IDRP students important opportunities to explore the field, pursue research and expand their experience.

Each year during the fall semester, the Urban Design Studio at MIT's School of Architecture and Planning investigates current urban design and planning issues in one of the world's dynamic urban settings. The studio is a deliberate collaborative effort between the Departments of Architecture and Urban Studies and Planning at MIT in order to foster participation by students with strong form-making skills on the one hand and strong institutional/planning skills on the other.
In the fall of 1999 plans for the intensification of a significant downtown area in Singapore were the subject of the studio, sponsored by Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority, (URA). Students and faculty traveled to Singapore during the summer for an intense briefing on the opportunities and issues associated with the 50-hectare site centered on Pearl's Hill.

While in Singapore, the MIT planners and architects prepared sketch ideas for the site to elicit immediate responses from officials and others. Throughout the fall semester, the students and faculty developed these and other ideas, leading to a formal presentation in December of the different design and implementation proposals to the URA, visiting experts, and faculty. Their completed report contains these proposals along with reflections by the faculty on the issues raised by the proposals.

Faculty on this project from the School of Architecture and Planning included John de Monchaux, Julian Beinart, and Eran Ben-Joseph.