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policy & design

khan wong

Member
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I'm planning on starting a Masters program in Fall 2005 (hopefully at Berkeley, but we'll see). My professional life to date has really prepared me for the policy aspects of planning, particularly with economic and community development. However, I have a deep interest in architecture and urban design, though I have no formal design background. I would like to work as an urban designer when I'm finished school -- how realistic an expectation is this? Considering my strong policy background, should I just build on that rather than switching focus? The programs I'm applying to: UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Washington/Seattle and University of British Columbia/Vancouver--all have urban design components to their planning programs, so as far as my schooling goes I can certainly work at the intersection of policy/design, but in the professional world, is such a synthesis possible or do jobs tend to require one or the other?
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,289
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30
Stuck

khan wong said:
I'm planning on starting a Masters program in Fall 2005 (hopefully at Berkeley, but we'll see). My professional life to date has really prepared me for the policy aspects of planning, particularly with economic and community development. However, I have a deep interest in architecture and urban design, though I have no formal design background. I would like to work as an urban designer when I'm finished school -- how realistic an expectation is this? Considering my strong policy background, should I just build on that rather than switching focus? The programs I'm applying to: UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Washington/Seattle and University of British Columbia/Vancouver--all have urban design components to their planning programs, so as far as my schooling goes I can certainly work at the intersection of policy/design, but in the professional world, is such a synthesis possible or do jobs tend to require one or the other?

I hate to say it, but people tend to get pidgeon holed into one job or another (government or private sector).
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
My background is similar to yours, as is my interest in doing more design work. It took a lot of extra effort and the right employers to make it happen. You will not get there in a typical larger city, where people do specialize and economic development is often in a separate department from planning. Think small.
 
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