Yale vs Penn M.Arch I


I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on UPenn vs Yale for M.Arch I.

I really enjoy UPenns design approaches and how technology-heavy they are. I know they're more similar to sci-arc too. However, Yale is still an amazing school that also gives students the freedom to show their work through different mediums. So I can potentially still experiment with digital software to showcase my work, I just won't have the direction that UPenns provides. I would also like to be a professor in the future as well and I have seen more professors who have graduated from yale than Penn. So does that really affect your chances of becoming a professor? I am just so confused. I have great offers from both. So money really isn't the issue. My goal is to be a multifaceted designer that is an architect but is also many other things - possibly production design, architecture animation, etc. There is visiting professor at both institutions - Nate Hume - who graduated from yale but the architecture he designs isn't the traditional approach. So I'm assuming it is possible to not go through the traditionalist route after graduating from Yale?

Also during my undergrad, I had an awful experience as a POC woman. I was wondering how truly diverse and accepting these programs are --- more particularly with Latinx representation and how professors interact with POC vs people who have Eurocentric backgrounds.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Mar 30, 21 12:01 pm

One faculty member at Yale that may interest you is Mark Foster Gage. He has a really interesting portfolio, with mostly speculative architecture that relies heavily on digital mediums. I would also recommend looking through previous student's work, I definitely think there are opportunities to explore non-traditional design even at a famously conservative school like Yale. Best of luck with your final decision!

Mar 30, 21 2:53 pm  · 

Thanks! I have looked into him and see that there is a pattern amongst the interns he hires. They're either from cal poly or UPenn. It's very discouraging... not sure why he wouldn't hire someone from the institution he teaches and was a dean at previously .

Mar 30, 21 5:12 pm  · 
1  · 

Maybe they don't want to work for him.

Mar 30, 21 5:51 pm  · 
5  · 

yeah, I assume Mark's allure dissipates when he's put beside Phil Bernstein and Anna Dyson. You probably don't wanna work for him. When did it become cool to NOT learn how to build?? Just study art if you wanna make funny shapes. The value (in any professional really) is being proficient. Architecture school will not do that for you, so you should look for people that will help you bridge the gap. And in regards to the "non-conservative" conversation, I don't know why making things in the world is considered conservative. The climate is changing... please don't waste your time making VR environments and paper architecture when the real world is much more interesting. Sorry if this sounds a bit like a rant, but it just drives me nuts!! I hope you make the best decision for you, only a week left to decide.

Apr 8, 21 10:37 am  · 
1  · 

Yale is by far the superior school of the pair, in my opinion. Fantastic facilities (definitely the coolest), incredible faculty, passionate / friendly student body. The curriculum seems much more grounded in the advancement of the built environment than that of Penn.

As for the tech stuff - one thing I've kind of realized is tech is not necessarily just representation. Consider the differences between the Media Lab and Sci-Arc.

My advisor / studio prof in undergrad is from Yale and she's just incredible in every way - work, teaching, professionalism, etc. Her work is definitely not "conventional" in any sense; I think her current project is designing a fictional city / building a huge model of it with a group of computer scientists to test out urban design strategies for autonomous cars. Pretty crazy stuff - shoot me a PM and I can send a link to her website.

Mar 31, 21 11:16 pm  · 
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Loved the "tech is not necessarily representation". Tech is amazing because it allows us to streamline construction methods, NOT because it lets us make pictures with a lot of lines that no one really understands!

Apr 8, 21 10:39 am  · 

Take a look at the student work - wherever you can find it. That will tell you a lot, not necessarily about what your work should look like but about the atmosphere and culture of production. You will see that they will veer quite differently. Faculty/location are only complementary considerations when comparing these two programs in my opinion.

Apr 8, 21 11:32 am  · 
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