Urban Works

MAAD Urban Works is a one-year (two semester) Master of Advanced Architectural Design post-professional degree with a concentration in urbanism and landscape architecture. 

The Urban Works post-professional program draws upon the entrepreneurial spirit of San Francisco and the Bay Area to engage students as active agents in forming a product that has a direct or indirect effect on the city.

San Francisco Bay Area

As a hub/incubator of technological innovation, San Francisco provides an urban laboratory for onsite research. The region’s history of activism and entrepreneurship has produced fertile ground for discussions on contemporary city-making, alternative urban planning, and environmental innovation.

Urban Works prepares students to conduct independent and innovative research, to work collaboratively with urban agencies and nonprofit organizations, and to form new experimental, entrepreneurial design practices that actively and provocatively engage urban issues.

Urban Works focuses on the design challenges of the urban environment in the 21st century. As the globe’s network infrastructures continually become more integrated, the redistribution of populations, wealth, energy, matter, and ecologies has created complex urban conditions never witnessed before in design history.

Architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture are three of the most potent spatial disciplines to address such challenges and leverage new design opportunities.

Engaged Thinking

Urban Works leverages spatial design to act on the urban environment in a holistic and sustainable manner. The program provides designers who have entered the profession the opportunity to advance their knowledge base and engage in entrepreneurial, socio‐politically engaged thinking that will create the future of the profession itself.

The program focuses on an interdisciplinary curriculum integrating organizational, systemic, and morphological investigations in architecture and urbanism with urban geography, landscape design, and digital technology.

Advanced seminars and studios develop the unique skills and abilities that designers must leverage to operate in and on the large-scale built environment.


The program is focused on research-driven, project-oriented design that builds on multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration. Each program cycle is framed as a think tank on a particular topical issue, which structures the advanced studios and seminars.

The program leverages and fuels advanced urban research in the Urban Works Agency. Depth to the topic at hand would be developed by a visiting critic paired with a core CCA faculty member.