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The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, NYIAUS or Institute for short, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the study of architecture in New York City. The program offers a comprehensive, rigorous and intense design studio individually tailored to students who are interested in architecture at all scales of its expression. The Institute seeks to provoke collegial thought and debate about the future of New York, bridge the academic and professional divide, and broaden the insular architecture culture to include other disciplines: art, new media, landscape design, literature, urban planning, economics, political science, sociology and anthropology. Particular emphasis is placed on architecture as cultural activity, how architecture intersects other disciplines, how advanced technology is used to create new environments, how new ways of living, work and play transform our buildings and how collaboration creates a new paradigm of practice.
The Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies was founded in 1967 as a non-profit independent agency concerned with research, education, and development in architecture and urbanism. It began as a core group of young architects seeking alternatives to traditional forms of education and practice.
The Institute re-opened after being closed for nearly 20 years in 2003 due in large part to the 9/11 renewed awareness of the critical impact of built form—how it is experienced, mediated, remembered and imaged—on our daily lives. At the same time, this new awakening in the power and role of architecture exposed a need for an independent, multidisciplinary think-tank, or pedagogical "free speech zone", in which to question, provoke, debate, experiment, explore and rethink the future of the metropolis at all scales.
Our goal is to keep alive the improvisational spirit that made the Institute at its apogee a mecca for then young architects and critics like Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas, Aldo Rossi, Charles Gwathmey, Frank Gehry, Diana Agrest, Mario Gandelsonas, Rafael Moneo, Robert Stern, Bernard Tschumi, Michael Graves, Richard Meier, Kenneth Frampton, Manfredo Tafuri and Anthony Vidler, among others. Yet this is a new Institute for a new generation and a new time. While the original Institute helped shape much of the autonomous theoretical discourse that dominated architectural culture in the last 30 years of the 20th century, the new Institute will be more engaged with the pragmatic issues of today. The new Institute will concentrate on applied theory and research by utilizing new technology, and a cross-disciplinary approach. Investigations into methods and materials, will guide new discoveries and illuminate the conditions of the built environment, mediated events and social networks that influence the way we live, work and play in the city of yesterday, today and tomorrow.