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Rice Architecture offers an intensive, three-semester research-based program of advanced architectural studies: Present Future. The program’s aim is to re-conceptualize the role of the architect from within the complex sets of relationships in which we live today. We are interested in how the discipline constructs new possibilities from never before seen political, economic, and environmental circumstances—by shaping new publics in support of new institutions, by forming new architectural and urban models, and by asserting new ambitions and optimisms. In short, Present Future is a forum through which we can rethink the nature of the architect’s social contract.
Present Future is a concentrated undertaking culminating in a Master of Arts in Architecture degree. The program is structured around a three-semester-long exploration of a topic led by a Rice Architecture faculty member and advertised in advance of the application process. A select group of students forms the core: a collective intelligence responsible for developing a discourse that synthesizes theoretical, historical, and design ambitions. Subjects will be of contemporary importance and will be framed by a three-credit seminar in the first and last term and a twelve-credit collective thesis in the second term. In addition to free electives, each semester will include additional required credits that are deemed appropriate to the research topic.
The program’s student body will include those with backgrounds in architecture as well as other fields; individuals with B.A., B.S., equivalent, or more advanced degrees in architecture or other disciplines are invited to apply.
Present Future is decidedly proposition-oriented. To that end, each three-semester sequence will culminate in a book, exhibition, or symposium. The program is intended to be at once intensely focused and enthusiastically extroverted.