Two architectural programs are offered at the graduate school level: the Architecture and Urban Culture program (in the field of architectural studies) and Y-GSA (the architectural and urban design program).
The Architecture and Urban Culture program deals with a broad range of subjects from basic and theoretical research to research on realization and design. The Y-GSA program trains architects through practice in design, and its themes are adopted from issues facing contemporary cities. Each program has its particular strengths; together, the two programs represent a cutting-edge blend of research and practice.
To complete the Architecture and Urban Culture program, a student must take standard subjects shared with other programs (at least 6 credits), technical subjects specified by the program (at least 8 credits), and studios or an internship (4 credits), receive guidance in research through exercises (8 credits) and finally present a master's thesis.
Y-GSA (Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture, the architectural and urban design program) is a program for training architects through a system of small, intensive studios that sets the highest standard for such systems in Japan. Professor-architects (teachers who are in actual practice) provide practical guidance in architectural and urban design in the large, renovated "power plant studio." To receive a master's degree, a student must present, not a master's thesis, but a portfolio.
Distinctive Studio Education
Studio education in the Graduate School of Urban Innovation, Yokohama National University, involves exercises in which various issues facing the city or community are adopted as themes, and research or design proposals that may contribute to the resolution of those issues are undertaken together with fieldwork. Each studio is composed of a small group, and experts are called in from outside the university. The training places importance on practicality and realizability.
Graduate students must show creativity in making actual use of the specialized knowledge they have already acquired in solving issues confronting the city or community. They must also take greater interest in, and engage in active communication with, proximate disciplines. It is also hoped that participation in studio education will lead to the discovery of new research themes and the development of new fields that combine the liberal arts and science.
The Goals of Studio Education
Important themes in Architectural Theory include the appropriate evaluation of the existing stock of buildings, the development of skills to preserve, restore and utilize that stock in a society of reduced spending and low rate of growth, and the development of a planning theory and methodology capable of adapting to a society that is extremely advanced in average age.
Themes adopted by studios up to now have included a proposal to remodel a large suburban housing project so that it can better adapt to a society that is extremely advanced in average age, the creation of an eco-museum that makes use of the existing stock of buildings, and activities to maintain culture through the preservation of records concerning historic buildings.
In Urban Environment, information and data gathered from the community on urban issues that the next generation will confront are analyzed. Medium-term and long-term urban issues and future images of the city are considered, and proposals for solutions and innovations responsive to those issues and images are developed.
Themes adopted by studios up to now have included a proposal to revitalize and restore Yokohama's central district (the Kannai and Kangai districts), and a next-generation community development proposal for a suburban area lying between the central district and the mountainous part of the city. The cooperation of local governments including the Yokohama municipal government and local community groups and corporations has led to the adoption of themes that are more practical in nature.
In Structural Engineering, the goal is to develop problem-solving skills, improve judgment and raise the level of basic training for structural engineers through practical projects and exercises in structural engineering in buildings.
Themes adopted by studios up to now have included the ultimate behavior and evaluation of capability of steel-frame structures, the ultimate horizontal strength of reinforced concrete structures and the shapes and structural planning of spatial structures.
Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture
See Y-GSA website.