Citylab in Orlando, a program of UF. Anyone knows about it?


Hey, guys.

Do any of you know about the UF's program, Citylab in Orlando? I do want to hear something about it.

Is that a good program worth going? Becasue it is a brand new program in Orlando and a cooperation between UF and UCF. I am wondering if its quality is good.


I'd appreciate any comment from you.

Thank you.

Apr 13, 12 10:13 pm

It's the UF architecture program, but in Orlando.  I think there may be a stronger focus on professional practice there, but that's mostly an accident of the fact that it's away from the main campus in a larger city than Gainesville.  (There is professional support in the community for the program, from what I gather.)

It's the final phase of a '2+2+2' program that starts students off at Valencia, has them finish their bachelor of design (or wahtever) at UCF, and then their 2-year professional MArch at an annex in downtown(ish - near the old Orlando Arena or whatever it wound up being called).  I'm not sure about your background or place in your career, but you might be able to apply for a 2-year MArch at that place, although I'd probably just recommend going to UF in that case (the facilities are better and the program seems more established).

It's pretty new, so I haven't heard much about how it integrates with the rest of the program - it used to be that Citylab was a community outreach/research program for UF in Orlando, and sort of a research annex.  (Gainesville is kind of a small place to research urban issues, although they do have a community design center at UF in Gainesville.) 

If you're looking in the I-4 corridor for any particular reason, USF may also be an alternative - they've recently started a master's degree in urban design and have faculty and a research center in this topic based in Tampa.  (UF is outside of the major cities, but has a very strong urban planning research program that could provide faculty and guidance to achieve similar goals.)

Apr 14, 12 9:41 pm  · 

I think Robert MacLeod the current director at USF School of Architecture started the program when he was still teaching at UF.

Apr 15, 12 6:30 pm  · 

Last semester, I became part of the jury panel. The program is very young and fresh, therefore; the students overall work are weak. They really need to hire professors who had practiced architecture before. I mean common "You need to practice what you preach". If you want to have a strong work for your portfolio, Citylab is not a great place to continue studying architecture. Go straight to UF or look at USF program. Take a look at their work! How can you compete with UF and USF students with a work from a Citylab program; Even Valencia program needs to re- program their curriculum. The students’ work there as well are bunch of haphazardly put up pieces together. A student can talk forever the spatial qualities on their model, but the models are too conceptual. Nothing relates to real world at all. They are not even looking into or studying architects and their architecture. The models are tortured work. We can start from the professors who teach there. Most of the professors are young and a number of them don’t even practice architecture. If you are truly passionate about architecture please do yourself a favor and go to UF or USF. Go to AIA website and look at the professional review of AIA members who are responsible for Architecture School Accreditation. These are unbiased reviews. I am sorry but City lab and Valencia architecture programs needs a lot of work and major changes.

Feb 23, 13 6:14 pm  · 

Beware of polarized personal agendas masquerading as advice. (which I say as someone who believes that most architecture programs are not conceptual enough.) I would say that it depends on your own interests/agenda and what types of programs you are considering overall.

Feb 24, 13 10:24 am  · 

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