Calgary university launches new Doctor of Design program

University of Calgary’s new Doctor of Design (DDes) program seeks to help established architects, planners, and landscape architects elevate their practice. Photo © www.bigstockphoto.com
University of Calgary’s new Doctor of Design (DDes) program seeks to help established architects, planners, and landscape architects elevate their practice.
Photo © www.bigstockphoto.com

The School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) at the University of Calgary is launching Doctor of Design (DDes), Canada’s first doctoral program focusing on practicing architects, planners, and landscape architects.

DDes graduates will use the knowledge generated through their research to open new areas of innovation, create competitive advantages, and more clearly articulate their value proposition to clients and the public. The program also provides an appropriate terminal academic credential for design professionals interested in applying for post-secondary teaching positions.

The DDes is different from traditional PhD programs because the research is practice-focused and design-based, with students developing a work-integrated research program centred around a unique inquiry emerging from their experience. Students can remain fully engaged in their working life while pursuing a research program in an intense and rigorous format that is distinct from, but parallel to, their professional work.

Three required courses offered in a blended distance-learning format will help guide students through the early stages of their research. Twice a year, all DDes students will gather for a four-day research symposium to present the progress of their research work in a ‘studio-crit’ format and receive feedback from their supervisors, fellow students, and a cohort of invited critics.

In between symposia, students will work remotely with their supervisors to continue developing their projects. The degree is completed with a written thesis document, gallery exhibition, and public defence conducted during one of the research symposia.

The doctoral degree is open to mid-career professionals with at least five years of work experience. Applications are now being accepted for fall 2020 program start—the deadline is February 1, 2020. Significant professional experience will be considered in lieu of a graduate academic degree. Click here for more information.

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