ARC 5804 Critical Practice  

Comprehensive Course Summary 

A leading design practitioner and collaborating faculty define a specific topic and process for an advanced design investigation exploring current issues in critical practice. Students research, generate, and represent design ideas in a collaborative team format and working process, reflective of studio practice in the design professions.

Extended Course Description

Critical Practice Studio (formerly called Master Class) is the first of three required design studios required in the Master of Architecture program. The course has been a vital part of our program for over ten years and has developed into one of the most challenging and innovative graduate design studios in the country. The focus of the studio is to teach students about innovative design and successful teamwork. The goal is to create high functioning teams that produce high quality design. A teaching team is formed for the annual studio, led by a nationally recognized practitioner. The practitioner is invited as a visiting professor to define the studio process and determine a relevant topic. LTU design faculty support this vision and concentrate on design education. Two LTU faculty members with Doctorate degrees in Education and Psychology support the studio vision and concentrate on teamwork. 


Graduate standing in the Master of Architecture program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

Course Schedule, Brief Summary

Critical Practice Studio is completed on the LTU Southfield campus during the summer semester, over five intensive weekend sessions including a field trip. 

Course Schedule, Extended Summary

Critical Practice Studio is offered during LTU's eleven-week long summer semester. Formal class sessions with faculty and students are conducted during five intense weekend periods, typically all day Friday and all day Saturday. Four sessions are held at the LTU campus in Southfield, Michigan and the fifth session is a class field trip with the locations varying from year to year, always beginning and concluding on the LTU campus. In the period between each formal class session, students work in teams with meeting schedules determined by each student team.
The course schedule is designed to support the schedules of working students and students who like outside of the Detroit Metropolitan Region. The schedule also reflects the typical work pace and meeting structure commonly found in professional architectural practices.  

The Lawrence Tech NAAB Accredited Master's in Architecture may be completed online with the exception of the Critical Practice Studio.  This studio must be completed on campus during the summer semester. The class sessions meet on Fridays and Saturdays. One weekend is devoted to a class field trip.  The Critical Practice Studio is led by a firm engaged in critical practice and students work in groups to complete studio projects during the summer semester.  The LTU Master's in Architecture is a total of 36 semester credit hour program. Elective courses are also available online and a dual with the M.Arch. and MBA can be completed online as well. 

Critical Practice Website

For more information on the Critical Practice Studio, including examples of student work, general news, pedagogy, and the course schedule for the upcoming summer, please refer to the site.