ENVIRONMENTAL URBAN DESIGN 2nd Level Joint Degree Master Course in Architecture // starting in 2017

Environmental Urban Design is a 2nd level Postgraduate Master course, jointly offered by the Alghero School of Architecture, ranked among Italy’s best schools of Architecture and DIA , one of the most international Architecture Schools in Germany).


No more than two decades ago, sustainable architecture ceased to be an option.

As soon as designing for sustainability became a mainstream interest, a large number of directives and ubiquitous standards flourished to guide practitioners out of the uncertainties of the experimental phase. But sustainability turned out to be a quick moving target.

In less than three decades, our understanding of the relationship between human activities and the environment evolved, so that always new considerations come into play.

However, national or local regulations often lag behind the scientific discourse, occasionally hindering any design research about the topic. Furthermore, many standards were conceived when energy efficiency was the main concern, and consequently focus on a conservative rationalization of energy flows. They encourage considering buildings like closed system, thus missing opportunities to positively interact with the physical and cultural context.


In order to explore the role of architecture beyond the increasing rigidity of practice, the course aims to bring to the fore the design process and its interaction with the site.

It focuses on accomplishing sustainability by means of design, exploiting the specific features of architectural thinking that are most beneficial in a holistic approach: the use of design as a knowledge tool to investigate the natural and cultural processes on site, the blurring of scales of intervention, the continuous recursion from the general concept to the detail, ...

These tools respond to a double need.

On one side, they allow to reorganize the existing spatial framework to favor an adequate quality of life both in the densely populated metropolis and into the scarcely populated areas, where the conflictual relationship between natural and artifice often turns into attrition with catastrophic consequences.

On the other side, they are useful to deeply understand the tangling of artificial and natural processes that characterizes our spatial environment and our time, in order to be able to disentangle it and recombine them in a socially beneficial way by design.

The course encourages the reuse on existing settlements and the role of heritage as the ground for a sustainable future


Architects are nowadays global professionals, whose work opportunities span all over the world. At the same time, the object of their work is always site specific.The course takes in account this apparently contradictory situation, allowing working on local issues in different countries.

One half of the course takes place in Sardinia, where the natural landscape and the warm climate heavily influence human settlement.

The other half is located in Dessau, in the different climate and landscape of the industrialized north-east of Germany, close to Berlin, punctuated by famous Modernist buildings. Thus, the students get a broader scope, and can compare strategies and solutions across different countries and climates.

The cafeteria in Dessau Campus, in a familiar building close to DIA's classrooms.
One of the main buildings of the Alghero School of Architecture, looking over the harbor.
The Course enjoyed different locations (< Alghero, Sardinia. Dessau, Germany >).


*Students could choose the elective courses among those offered by DIA.

Time schedule

May, 15th 2017...........................................................Call for applications

End of May - Early June 2017.................................................Begin of classes in Alghero

October 2017......................................................Begin of classes in Dessau

February 2018.....................................................Internship

End of May 2017..................................................Final Exam

Certificates and awards

The Master's students must deliver and present a project work at the end of the course. The candidates will define precisely its content and structure in collaboration with the professor that they will choose as adviser.

The partner Universities will award a joint Degree Certificate in "Environmental Urban Design" to the students that will successfully complete the course.


Admission to the Course is permitted to those who are in possession of a Master of Science Degree in Architecture or equivalent; Master of Science Degree in Planning or equivalent, or equivalent degrees in civil and construction engineering, or other equivalent qualification obtained abroad, as defined in the call for admission.

Another mandatory requirement is a good knowledge of English, preferably attested by international language certificates (TOEFL, Cambridge, or equivalent).

Admission to the Post Graduate Course, regardless of the number of applications, is subject to the assessment of qualifications and to pass an interview for the assessment of knowledge of the English language, in order to define ranking of admitted candidates.


INPS Italian National Social Insurance Agency) awards up to ten study grants to children and orphans of people registered to the Unitary management of credit and social benefits and retired members of public employees Management for the Academic Year 2016/2017. We are currently contacting other private or public agencies to award grants to admitted candidates.

Please enroll or ask for further information using the buttons below.

Created By
UniSS, HSA Spanedda


Università degli Studi di Sassari, DADU Anhalt University of Applied a Sciences, DIA, Francesco Spanedda, Giovanni Maciocco, Wikipedia

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.