The M.TBVU Fall 2023 design studio program was under the instruction of three senior colleagues at SOM: Scott Duncan, Design Partner; Jorge Rovira, Associate Principal & Studio Head; and Jason Fisher, Associate Principal & Studio Head, and was themed "Nova Pro Forma." The goal for the students was to reimagine the tall building as the embodiment of emerging and entirely new uses that speak to new modes of working and the ecological imperatives we are experiencing today.
Under the instruction of Dr. Antony Wood, CTBUH President and Director of the MTBVU program at IIT and Dr. Yohan Kim, CTBUH Academic Coordinator and Assistant Director of the MTBVU program at IIT, students were tasked to design a future city of 10 million inhabitants, built out of timber to the greatest extent possible, as a response to contemporary and future pressures of climate change, rapid population growth and massive urbanization.
Through the generosity of a sponsorship by Ramboll Group, an extraordinary opportunity was provided to the first intake class of the Masters of Tall Buildings and Vertical Urbanism (MTBVU) program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), led by Antony Wood, PhD, CTBUH President and Director of the new MTBVU at IIT. In support of the design studio “Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2070 – Future Timber City,” seven MTBVU students accompanied Wood and CTBUH Research Director Daniel Safarik to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur from 6 – 19 February 2023.
The multidisciplinary MTBVU advisory and teaching panel, consisting of prominent and distinguished experts in the industry, interacted with MTBVU students throughout the 2022-23 academic year. One of the panel members, William Baker, Consulting Partner, SOM gave the comprehensive presentation, “Tall Building Structural Engineering Principles” as part of the MTBVU “Tall Building Technologies” course.
The degree emphasizes design and research and are organized around design studios, technology, research methodology, and seminars that address the cultural, historical, design, and built context of tall buildings. Altogether, it’s the first multidisciplinary advanced degree program focused specifically on the high-rise. Research topics for students to address include materials like mass timber, structural technologies, the integration of vegetation, sky bridges, and new finance models.