Architect as Developer


I am looking to join the architecture as developer parade. I need a program that can take a business savvy, entrepreneurial urban planner and turn them into a successful architect / developer. 

What are the best programs out there combining architecture and development?

Which programs actually teach one how to design, build, manage, fiance and marketing? Not just based off the syllabus but exposes and trains you to understand that shit and how it works.

Can you mention Woodbury MArch + MRED in the same sentence as say UPenn or Columbia?

Woodbury seems very professional and real world's also much less than the others. 


Any thoughts?

Jun 14, 13 1:28 pm

I have a friend currently in that program (MRED) in San Diego. You learn from some of the best - architects turned developers who do it for a living and are successful at it as opposed to teachers who only teach.

Jun 14, 13 6:11 pm

Woodbury is actually very tempting. Their MRED staff is incredible and there is a lot to be said for learning from practitioners and not academics.

Interested in hearing other peoples perspectives and experiences. 

Jun 14, 13 6:21 pm

I just started the MRED program and it has blown me away so far.  It teaches you to be an architect first and to understand cost, financing, construction, management, zoning...on and on.  The professors have all been successful in this area of work so you get first hand knowledge and access to their work.  Each professor takes a different approach to architect as developer, but they all have a common goal of creating better architecture through understanding and controlling the entire process.  I would not separate the practitioner from the academic for the MRED program.  Yes, they all practice architecture, but academia plays a huge role in the program in terms of influences on design, creating better cities, and better housing.  Most professors are researching and applying for grants to do research with the city and with potential new developments.

You cant compare it to Columbia or UPenn because those programs approach RED from the developer side, not the architect side.  It really is the only program of its kind in the country.  The goal for everyone is to have a project ready to build when you graduate.  You cant say that for many other Masters programs, especially a 1 year program.  Last class had 4 or 5 students in escrow on land at the end.

(My background...Cal Poly SLO grad, just got my license, have worked for 6 years on very large projects in a range of firm sizes.  I got tired of traditional practice and find this program to be my avenue to work in a whole new way and control the product).

Sep 23, 13 1:05 am

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