Global Leadership in Real Estate and Design: Barcelona, Spain and Seaport District, Boston, MA

In today’s increasingly connected urban centers, shifts in cultural preferences, design thinking, and spatial significations often reflect and parallel transitions in capital forces and economic realities, locally and across the globe. This course begins with the premise that globalization imposes forces and tensions that directly impact the formation and production of the urban built environment, and that future real estate and design professionals will have a competitive advantage if they are well-prepared to understand, navigate, and lead amidst cultural and economic disequilibrium and disruptions of the global realm.

This project-based course encourages a forward-looking examination of and exposure to complexity in today’s real estate design, development and investment process. The course integrates domestic and international field studies, lectures, and class discussion, and encourages students to rethink, anticipate, and reinvent practice paradigms in both the real estate and design fields that respond to exigent and projected transformative environmental, market, economic and cultural changes, while fully leveraging highly-interactive, semester-long engagement with accomplished real estate and/or design leaders.

The pedagogical focuses of this course are two-fold: to provide practice opportunities in an academic setting for students to sharpen their professional skills required to traverse global contexts as culturally sensitive and professionally savvy practitioners, and, to establish an intellectual framework for students to understand and embrace the interrelationship between real estate and design so that creativity and design thinking become a value-adding and differentiating component in real estate thought leadership and development.

The interrelationship between real estate, design, and their underlying conceptual and production process are explored thus through thematic analysis of cultural underpinnings, artistic formal deliberations, economic activities, real estate market performance, ownership structures, private and public joint venture, as well as the efficacy of public financing.

Each year, the Global Leadership in Real Estate and Design course focuses on two development/investment sites: one domestic and one international. The two 2017 projects/sites will be an Urban Retail Center Development in Barcelona, Spain and a Mixed-Use Development in South Boston Seaport District, Boston.

Note, a limited number of students will be selected to participate in the Barcelona site via the limited enrollment course lottery. Other enrolled students will participate in the Boston site. Barcelona students will be term billed $300 and are responsible for the cost of all meals and incidentals related to the trip, including any change fees related to modifications to set flight itinerary. Students participating in a traveling option studio are not eligible for the Barcelona site. See the course's Canvas site for more information on these two sites.