NewSchool of Architecture + Design

NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, CA


NewSchool of Architecture and Design Students Completing Conceptual Plans for San Diego Projects

By NewSchoolSanDiego
Jun 14, '12 11:38 AM EST

Photo: A team of NSAD students, including Brandon Nash, worked on alternative plans for San Diego's Westfield UTC Mall during their 4th-year design studio sequence.


San Diego—June 14, 2012—NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) undergraduate students will present conceptual plans for several significant San Diego sites—Qualcomm Stadium, Westfield UTC Mall, Golden Hill and the Chollas Creek area of Southeast San Diego—to a jury of local urban specialists. The June 20 final presentations, which are open to the public, are a culmination of the students’ year-long participation in NSAD’s 4th-year design studio sequence.

The urban-focused design studio is taken by students in the NSAD Bachelor of Architecture program, and it gives students experience in applying theoretical knowledge to a specific community project. As in all design studio courses, students present project updates to a jury of urban planners, architects, designers and public officials as part of the NSAD studio juror process, giving students valuable professional feedback and critiques.

  “This urban-focused design studio provides an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in solving real architectural and urban design challenges that are close to home,” said NSAD faculty member Michael Stepner, a former San Diego city planner and architect. Stepner oversees the studio, which is taught by a team of instructors. The projects underscore NSAD’s role as an urban laboratory that connects students with the surrounding community.

Projects that will be presented to juror panels are:  


·           Qualcomm Stadium. What could the city of San Diego do with a vacant Qualcomm stadium? Students see an opportunity to create a new community that maintains half of the stadium area as an entertainment/sports venue and also includes a park and open space along the nearby San Diego River with an eco-bungalow community. Mixed-use apartment buildings with roof gardens would rise from the north side of the stadium, and an innovative transportation system would emphasize a pedestrian-friendly environment. Instructors: Frank Wolden and Andy Duncan.


·         Westfield UTC Mall. As the Westfield UTC Mall in University City/San Diego embarks on a $1 billion renovation project, NSAD students are taking a different approach to updating the mall. The project will demonstrate ways that malls can evolve from parking-lot dominated spaces to pedestrian-friendly layouts that are connected to the adjacent community, moving away from the traditional “self contained” mall area. Instructor: Michael Stepner.


·         Southeast San Diego/Chollas Creek. This part of San Diego has been the focus of regional efforts to improve public safety and to rehabilitate the creek area. Student designs encourage a more vibrant community business district by enhancing the area’s connections to the creek. The project is founded on extensive research and analysis of the community, and input has been gathered from professional architects, urban planners and members of the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation. Instructors: Drew Aitken, Diego Velasco and Linda Bui.


·         Golden Hill. Students developed plans that integrate the community’s desire for an urban renaissance in this neighborhood, which is adjacent to San Diego’s downtown. The area they concentrated on was Golden Hill’s 25th Street, from Balboa Park to the SR-94. They identified specific sites to design commercial and mixed-use building projects that fit with the character, desirable uses and scale of the community. Instructor: Diego Velasco

Adjunct  faculty members who teach the course with Stepner bring a wide range of experience in community projects. Frank Wolden is a design principal with design and architecture firm Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. Andy Duncan does consulting work in architecture and design. Drew Aitken is an urban design planner and architect who works for the U.S. Navy. Diego Velasco works for the architecture and planning firm M.W. Steele Group, Inc., and Linda Bui is an architect in private practice.

 Final presentations are scheduled June 20 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the NSAD main campus, 1249 F. Str. in San Diego. The public is requested to RSVP through Public Relations Manager Anna Cearley at 619-684-6791 or

About NewSchool of Architecture and Design
NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD), founded in 1980, is located in San Diego, California. NSAD is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). ACICS is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. NSAD’s Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture and Executive Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NSAD also offers a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, a Master of Landscape Architecture, a Master of Construction Management and a Master of Science in Architecture. NSAD was ranked among the top 10 undergraduate architecture schools in the western United States, according to the DesignIntelligence report “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools 2012.” For more information, visit