SA+P Announces New Degrees and Certificates

November 23, 2020

UNM SA+P is pleased to announce the creation of four new pathways that build upon existing faculty specializations and—in some cases—harness the skills of new faculty members. We will admit students into the following four new offerings in the Fall 2021 semester. To learn more about the admissions process, go to Admissions. Students may also be interested in our existing MS in Architecture: Public Health and the Built Environment degree, led by Professor Michaele Pride.

Graduate Online Certificate in Indigenous Planning
The intent of the certificate is to provide professional development in Indigenous planning for working professionals, and to promote socially responsible practices that empower tribes to manage and take control of planning, community development, and related processes. Indigenous planning is first and foremost about strategically shaping the physical and social character of Indigenous communities by informing planning and community development to improve economic and social viability, paying close attention to how cultural values can be engaged to generate and sustain places that are productive, beautiful, healthy, and safe. Indigenous peoples, or tribes, have been subjected to assimilative policies and practices for generations. Nowhere is this more evident than in the built environment. This Certificate builds on the current Indigenous Planning concentration in the MCRP degree, offered within the Community and Regional Planning department—the only Indigenous Planning concentration offered in a U.S. planning department. (15 credits)

MS in Architecture: Historic Preservation + Regionalism
How can we address the continuous threats to the diverse cultural resources of New Mexico, the Southwest region, and Latin America? The protection of historic sites depends on educating the next generation of specialists in historic preservation and heritage tourism. This area of focus allows advanced students to develop a research program that investigates how preservation can be achieved using different analytic methodologies, from GIS mapping technologies, to oral histories, archival historical data, and community participation. Students will learn how to identify, document (record), evaluate and register prehistoric and historic properties, gaining hands-on experience. They will study vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes, and learn to use emerging technologies, such as photogrammetry, 3D laser scanning, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Area of Focus Committee: Tim CastilloMoises GonzalesFrancisco Uviña-Contreras (33 credits)
MS in Architecture: Climate Change and the Built Environment
How can designers and planners address climate change by conducting research in the country’s sixth-fastest warming state? Weather patterns are already being altered by climate change, and the infrastructure and resource-management plans that were appropriate for the built environments of the past will not meet the needs of the future. This area of focus allows advanced students to develop a line of research that begins to identify strategies that go beyond energy conservation, to address the full impact of increasing temperatures and shrinking water resources on construction practices. As we confront the reality of climate change, graduates will study various approaches to the built environment, including biomimetic architecture, sustainability, a building’s capacity to achieve zero net energy, and the impacts of innovative material choices—including pre-fabrication, locally sourced materials, and sustainable building techniques, such as rammed earth and adobe. Investigations into sustainable futures for the built environment may also consider how climate change intersects with economic, racial, and environmental justice. Area of Focus Committee: Gabriel Fries-BriggsKuppaswamy IyengarJohn QualeKristina Yu (33 credits)

MS in Architecture: Culture, Politics, and the Built Environment
Architecture plays a critical role in the cultural and political forces that shape society, through physical interventions that permanently alter the built environment. Rarely neutral or benign, these design decisions articulate the spatial dynamics between those who hold power and those who are subject to this power. This focus area allows advanced students to interrogate the political and cultural determinants of architecture, and analyze how it has been deployed to uphold historical and disciplinary exclusions, including those of marginalized groups. Specific lines of inquiry may include: borders and boundaries, nationalism, gender and LGBTQ+ studies, global architectural practice, the politics of representation, and racial and spatial justice. Engaging all three of the School’s departments as well as other departments across campus, this focus area will confront architecture’s entanglements with politics and economics, and imagine new trajectories for critical speculation and scholarship. Students will gain a broad view of the many historical and contemporary accounts of the distribution and potential redistribution of power in the built environment. Area of Focus Committee: Robert Alexander GonzálezCesar Adrian LopezNora Wendl (33 credits)