Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
CIEE Required Courses
Whose job is it to create a city? Our intention is to jumpstart a new profession that can re-invent and negotiate the complex mix that encompasses a city. We have defined a radical new occupation to regenerate, pioneer, and sustain the future urban realm. These innovative multi-disciplinarian advocates are called Urbaneers. Their immense task is to manifest and facilitate future cities across the globe. Each Urbaneer is an individual with a different set of versatile abilities that merge previously disparate occupations. They range from combined ecological architects and engineers to action based urban planners and developers. Almost any recombined professional activities will work, so long as they meet the constantly changing needs of urbanization. Urbaneers perform in a role akin to Jane Jacobs, but at the magnitude of Robert Moses.
Future Cities Design Studio:
Using New York City, as a laboratory, and in particular, the Brooklyn Navy Yard as focus, the studio will rethink what is salubrious about the city, in both its forms and its life. The design investigations will be based on one illuminating hypothesis: in the future, cities will grow to be self-sufficient in their critical necessities through massive public works and infrastructural support. The studio will explore the effects of technological interventions that can have profound impacts on the planet as a whole. The chief directives will be the shrewd intersection between technology and urbanism, especially under the rubric of ecology. It is our supposition that the prospective ecological city is about extreme solutions to an extreme predicament.
The production of energy, alimentation, and objects are key elements which establish the basic necessities to create self-sufficient habitats. The world's population now largely resides in urban environments, disconnected from where energy, resources, and objects are typically produced. The Studio will address this disconnect and investigate which opportunities exist in urban environments for the production of these key elements. A multi-scalar and multi-site approach will be utilized to explore how the agenda unfolds with the particular economic, biological, and social factors in New York City.
At the city scale, we will identify potential productive regions in our urban habitats. At the building scale we will reconstruct a 'smart city block,' capable of production while mitigating its impact on the city environment. At the tectonic scale we will explore productive facades and building systems which are responsive to local necessities.
Science, Engineering and Technology Workshops:
In a series of hands-on workshops, the students will learn the processes of smart materials, nanotechnology, growing materials, scripting and computational modeling for controlled growth, and many more. The workshops will be developed in collaboration with faculty and innovators from New York City.
Digital Fabrication Workshop
In design, architecture and many other disciplines, Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) fabrication equipment has given designers unprecedented means for executing formery challenging projects directly from the computer. By surpassing the limitations imposed by manufacturing systems based on standardization, the impact of these technologies has fundamentally challenged the paradigm of production, thus opening a wide field of research and experimentation practices and unimaginable design opportunities. In this new context, the workshop will incorporate these technologies as part of its academic agenda and work environment with a Fab-Lab at IAAC that is equipped with several large scale CNC machines (laser cutters, CNC Milling Machines, 3D printers, etc.) and spaces for prototyping in a large industrial warehouse setting.
Soft Infrastructure Workshop
This workshop will explore soft infrastructure for mitigating natural hazards based on the sophisticated understanding and mimicry of such natural systems. We will test the possibility of creating a porous boundary where water meets land to dampen powerful storm currents as well as encourage the development of new estuarial habitats. This water infrastructure consists of estuarine canal outlets to tidal strait and water filtration sponges enabling hydrology of wetlands for plant and organism growth.
Parametric Design Workshop
The conceptual and technical sphere of parametric design will be introduced in this workshop by learning systemic processes capable of reacting to various ecologic factors. We will focus on parametric design logic, computational geometry, modeling techniques, and environmental influencers to create radical design answers. The workshop will focus on formal synthesis based on a combination of scientific rigor and artistic expressionism. A Series of programs will offer the possibility to explore parametric and computational design with extraordinary flexibility. The workshop will reexamine the role of parametric design and demand judgment rather than rely purely on calculus. The use of parametric computation will be less interested in aesthetics than in solutions – a series of fixes that happen fast and smart.
Bio Materials Workshop
The main objective of the Bio Materials is to establish a smart, self-sufficient, perpetual-motion construction technology. By combining fungal mycelia with varying types of organic substrates and carefully controlling their expansion within prefabricated molds, we will create the literal growth of structural materials. Mycoform is grown from biological materials. The process is pollution free, and has the potential to contain a low embodied energy as part of a local ecosystem. The polypore fugal species Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi), possesses enzymes that readily digest a wide variety of cellulose based organic byproducts. The rapid growth of branching mycelia results in a dense matrix capable of structural support.
Future Cities Lectures:
Three momentous changes, occurring only within the last decade, are having a lasting effect on our planet: 1. More people now live in cities than in the countryside, an unprecedented condition in human history; 2. There is now a consensus that human activity is a powerful, adverse contributor to climate change; 3. A new revolution is underway—replacing the previous model created by the Industrial Revolution—that is based on a search for alternative, renewable energy generation and sustainable living. The lectures will concentrate on the myriad consequences of these radical changes to the city, and explore how architectural and urban design is adapting to address these changes.
Productive Cities Lecture
Urban Ecology Lecture
The Makers Movement Lecture
The Future of Biodiversity Lecture