School of Planning and Architecture (SPA)
The School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi is an “Institute of National Importance” under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. From a modest beginning in 1941 as a Department of Architecture of the Delhi Polytechnic and later affiliated to the University of Delhi it was integrated with the School of Town and Country Planning and renamed as School of Planning and Architecture in 1959. The School is a specialized University, only one of its kind in India, which exclusively provides training at various levels on different aspects of human habitat and environment. SPA has taken the lead in introducing academic programmes in specialized fields both at Bachelor and at Master’s level, some of which are not available elsewhere in India. In striving for excellence, the institute has always been in the lead in extending education and research to new frontiers of knowledge. Aspects of human habitat and environment being the basic concerns of the School, the spectrum of academic programmes is being continuously extended by providing programmes in new fields and emerging areas for which facilities are not available, yet, anywhere else in the country.
The school is committed to the following:
• To make SPA a multi – disciplinary academic knowledge house, a pioneer and an
internationally known leader in planning and design of human habitat and built environment.
• To provide innovative professionals who are rooted in our cultural ethos contributing
wholesomely to nation building.
• To position SPA as an internationally reputed institution with a competitive edge in the field of human settlement planning, design, research, training and consultancy.
In 2015, SPA signed an MoU with Heidelberg University with the Department of Urban Design as key partner.
The Department of Urban Design, SPA New Delhi has recently completed 50 years of its functioning ever since its inception in 1969. It offers a two-year Master’s degree program in Urban Design and a doctoral program in the same field.
The degree program in this School exposes the students to various theories and experiments that architects, planners, social and behavioural scientists apply within the broad historical, social and political context. The program imparts knowledge on prevailing issues especially of urbanization in the Indian and Asian settings and skills of design and interventions in the built environment at varying scales through a broad range of subjects, which form the basis to tackle urban problems and prospects.
Instruction and training in this urban design program is imparted at three levels: (i) through interactive design studios where the dynamics of growth and change in Indian cities are documented and design solutions are prepared (ii) through theoretical enquiry and exploration, contemporary directions of city transformations as well as emerging concepts of urbanism are deliberated and (iii) through self- driven research by design explorations for innovative solutions to address contemporary needs and future prospects of our cities. The program covers both community based inner city renewal as well as new growth in cities of all scales.
Research and Design Innovation in the field of urban development are explored through the Centre of Urban Design Innovation (CUDi) using a range of research-by-design platforms. The Centre conducts design inquiries through Urban Form Labs (UFL) in which students, faculty, research scholars, professionals, policy makers and industry partners converge to work on various aspects of the built environment. At present, five tracks of inquiry are under exploration through the UFL. These are:
I. Urban Architecture
II. Form and Determinant
III. Social Urbanism
IV. Rural Urbanization
V. City Futures
The department offers multiple exposures through its versatile, academic partnership program where students, faculty and research scholars from a variety of institutes in India and abroad work together on a wide range of planning and design applications both for academic exchange as well as joint research. Some of the active current collaborations of this department are with the Heidelberg University, Germany, NTNU Trondheim, Norway, Birkbeck College, and Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff, UK, Curtin University, Australia, ENSAP-Belleville, France among others.