PLEASE NOTE: The MS_DR program or 2012-2013 has been cancelled. For urgent inquiries regarding the MS_DR and other MS programs, please contact Associate Dean and Director of Professional Programs Milton S.F. Curry at

Master of Science in Design Research
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

The Master of Science in Design Research (MS_DR) is one of the post-professional degree concentrations offered by Taubman College. Exemplary of the range, depth, and precision of emergent platforms for contemporary design research, STUD10 (MS_DR 2011-12) has developed a formidable series of collaborative and individual projects; details regarding their exhibitions at Taubman College, which are free and open to the public, can be found below.

Master of Science _ Design Research (2012-13)

Call for Applications
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is currently accepting applications for the Master of Science _ Design Research (MS_DR). The MS_DR is a two semester, post-professional degree that posits architectural studio work as a design research protocol. The 30 credit-hour curriculum is constructed around a two-semester studio/seminar combination that asserts ideas, ideation, and the making of theory as grounds for an independently pursued research inquiry. Additional application information is here.

MS_DR Laboratory
MS_DR studio work attempts to place architecture deep inside its cultural site of reckoning, working vividly with mediated influences, technological imperatives, and representational biases within the contemporary social apparatus and its forms of digital culture. The theory seminar colludes with this studio emphasis, deflecting studio practices through the heuristic making and leveraging of theory across a multitude of considerations within design research. For the 2012-2013 sequence, students will deploy a laboratory model for research, working closely with their MS colleagues and instructors to develop both individual and collaborative projects. The laboratory is not, in our MS_DR research model, a hygienic space partitioned from the world to afford a distanced observation; the _LAB, as studio model, is instead a platform for embedded forms of inquiry, construction, intervention, speculation, and experimentation. These forms of studio practice are affirmed through design research that considers a multiplicity of scales, dimensions, and experiences.

MS_DR Production
The 2012-13 MS_DR program will be organized through the thematic of production, and work towards an exhibition and published text that hybridizes design research and theory—production. We will consider architecture as producer and track the manifestations of architecture as production in the broad sense of the term, examining the critical intersections among architecture, design research, and their spatial consequences. In a contemporary practice, what does architecture aim to produce? Does the production of architecture today enable or prohibit previous disciplinary modes of agency and efficacy? If architecture is producer, how can the architect position herself to encounter new ethical, social, and environmental challenges that pressurize the discipline? Among these and other urgent questions, the MS_DR will orient its studio and seminar pedagogy to challenge normative assumptions regarding the PRO_duction of contemporary architecture theory and practice.

MS_DR Sequence
Fall 2012

PRO_LAB I - The Apparatus of Production
studio directed by Assistant Professor Robert Adams

THEORY - Making | Theory | Work 1: Architecture as Producer
seminar organized by Etienne Turpin, Ph.D.


Robert Adams, Spontaneous Mutations, Genetic Deletions, Adaptive Environments, and Assistive Technology in the Compression of Developmental Time

Winter 2013

PRO_LAB II - Production and Relationality
studio directed by Assistant Professor Perry Kulper

PRAXIS - Making | Theory | Work 2: Documentation/Dissemination
seminar organized by Etienne Turpin, Ph.D.


Perry Kulper, Museum. Section.

Perry Kulper, BleachedOut1.RelationalDrawing.

The application deadline for the MS_DR has been extended to May 1, 2012; however, international students (outside the U.S.) are encouraged to apply by
April 15, 2012, to ensure processing time for legal protocols.

Additional Information
Additional information, including application forms and details regarding application eligibility, processing, and schedule can be found online.

For information, questions, or concerns regarding your application to the MS_DR, please contact Etienne Turpin at

MS_DR STUD10 (2011-12)

Thesis Students

Coordinator + Studio Instructor

Support Instructors

2011-12 Visiting Critics

MS_DR STUD10 Exhibitions

MS_DR STUD10 Thesis Exhibition
Taubman Gallery
Art + Architecture Building
North Campus
University of Michigan
Opens April 25 2012 6pm

Loose canons of architecture oscillate between works outside the current canon of the discipline and producers who explode onto the scene in unexpected and unpredictable ways. At a time when the concept of an architectural canon is contested, what are the possibilities inherent in work that explores the edges of the discipline? As institutions attempt to reposition professional practice, what are the tolerances for robust architectural research? In our post-digital age, how does architectural research operate in the present and anticipate new realities?

Loose Canons curates the work of MS_DR as ten individual projects, deploying the gallery as a collective platform that encourages deep reads of the work.

MS_DR STUD10 Selected Works Exhibition
Duderstadt Building
North Campus
University of Michigan
Opens April 6 2012 6pm

MS_DR curated a pop-up exhibition, BAD INFINITY, at the Duderstadt Digital Media Commons Gallery from April 6 – 11. BAD INFINITY traces a relentless pursuit of perpetuation in spaces and contemporary culture as it intersects the ten individual projects of the MS_DR students.

MS_DR STUD10 Bad Infinity photographs courtesy of Catie Newell.

MS_DR STUD10 Final Critical Conversation
March, 2012

Thesis presentations and conversation with Visiting Critics Ricardo Dominguez and Johannes von Moltke, with guest critics Lori Brown, Kerstin Barndt, and Amy Kulper, and MS_DR instructors Jason Young and Etienne Turpin.

MS_DR final critical conversation images courtesy of Jesse Wetzel.

MS_DR STUD10 Critical Conversation 3
December, 2011

MS_DR critical conversation photographs courtesy of Jonathan Lejune.

Let Them Eat Pancake
a breakfast Launch dinner for
SCAPEGOAT Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 02: Materialism

Thursday, 15 December 2011, 9pm
TCAUP 3rd Floor, East Review Space


Issue Editors: Adam Bobbette & Jane Hutton
Editorial Board: Adrian Blackwell, Adam Bobbette, Jane Hutton, Marcin Kedzior, Chris Lee, Christie Pearson, Etienne Turpin
Designer: Chris Lee
Publisher: SCAPEGOAT Publications
Issue 02 Contributors: AK Thompson, Andrew Payne, David Graeber, Curt Gambetta, Kirsty Robertson, Eric Cazdyn, Alex Livingston, Jane Bennett, Una Chadhuri, werker magazine, Societe Realiste, LAAC, Stiefel Kramer, Thilo Folkerts, Rodney Latourelle, Kika Thorne, Owen Hatherley, James Khamsi, Wayward Plant Registry, Catie Newell, Dan Handel, Justin Fowler, Byron White, Jeff Powers, Francesco Gagliardi, James Macgillivray, Scott Sorli

Let Them Eat Pancakes photographs Jonathan Lejune.

A Studio Talk with Visiting Critic Ricardo Dominguez, Associate Professor in the Visual Arts Department at UC San Diego
East Review Space
Art + Architecture Building

Professor Dominguez was the Visiting Critic for TCAUP's workshop with students in the Master of Science_Design Research (MS_DR) for one week. He shared some of his current work with students in Taubman College in a studio talk that was intended to promote dialog around Prof. Dominguez's work, which attempts to engender "a geo-aesthetics that can construct ethical and performative complexities for the new earths to come, touching new geographies for new bodies."

Ricardo Dominguez is a co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT), a group who developed Virtual-Sit-In technologies in 1998 in solidarity with the Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico. He is co-Director of Thing an ISP for artists and activists. His recent Electronic Disturbance Theater project with Brett Stabaum, Micha Cardenas and Amy Sara Carroll the *Transborder Immigrant Tool* (a GPS cellphone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/U.S border was the winner of "Transnational Communities Award", this award was funded by *Cultural Contact*, Endowment for Culture Mexico - U.S. and handed out by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico), also funded by CALIT2 and two Transborder Awards from the UCSD Center for the Humanities. Ricardo is an Associate Professor at UCSD in the Visual Arts Department, a Hellman Fellow, and Principal/Principle Investigator at CALIT2. He also co-founder of *particle group* with artists Diane Ludin, Nina Waisman, Amy Sara Carroll a gesture about nanotechnology entitled *Particles of Interest: Tales of the Matter Market* that was presented in Berlin (2007), the San Diego Museum of Art (2008), Oi Futuro, and FILE festivals in Brazil (2008). Find a recent video: (nano_Garage(s): Speculations about (Open Fabbing).

STUD10 MS_DR studio work can be found here.