Course Structure
RESEARCH - PROTOTYPE - MAKE - WRITE
The program is composed of four semesters. Each semester is devoted to a particular phase of the research by design project. The first semester is research. The second semester is reserved for prototyping. The third semester is devoted to the realization of the project, i.e making. Three studio projects form a project cycle followed by the writing of the thesis.
The studio sequence constitutes the backbone of the program. For three semesters, in collaboration with industry partners the students will research and develop a design focusing on a contemporary problem, that will be eventually built. For each cycle, a new research theme will be introduced. The studio is supported with courses enabling students to develop a broad background as well as to pursue specialized investigations.
Each project cycle is complete in itself, designed consecutively, complementing one another. This requires each graduate student to successfully complete the first three semesters of the program without any breaks.
The students will start developing their thesis proposals during the first semester and advance them in their second and third semesters. The Thesis will be finalized in the fourth semester, completing the requirements of the graduate program.
Curriculum
First Semester Research
ARC 501 Project I: Research 
ARC 521 Alternative Design Practices
ARC 511 Research Methods 
ARC 5xx Elective 
ARC 561 Thesis Proposal I
Second Semester Prototyping
ARC 502 Project II: Prototype
ARC 522 Current Debates
ARC 562 Thesis Proposal II
ARC 5xx Elective
ARC 5xx Elective
Third Semester Making (Summer)
ARC 503 Project III: Make
ARC 563 Colloquium
ARC 591 Thesis
Fourth Semester Writing
ARC 565 Seminar
ARC 591 Thesis

Project I: Research 
The Project sequence will start with an intensive research in collaboration with industry partners. Although all students will work on the same project, different aspects of the research will be conducted by different students / groups. The research process will be complemented by the Thesis Proposal.
Living on Water, Research book prepared by MEF University Architecture students and Boğaziçi University Sociology and Civil Engineering students. The book and the design proposals are exhibited at 4th Istanbul Design Biennial and Luma Arles.

Project II: Prototyping 
In the second phase of the project the students will be working on the design. Differing from undergraduate studios, the design process will focus on real life implementation possibilities. The design will be optimized through prototyping using and furthering know-how from industry partners. ​​​​​​​

Structural prototype for İstasyon in Merzifon, Design Build Studio - MEF FADA Students

Project III: Making
Finally, after developing feasible solutions through Prototyping phase, one or more examples will be built in a real site for the use of real people or a community. ​​​​​​​

Kayıkhane for Boğaziçi University in Kilyos, Design Build Studio - MEF FADA Students


Thesis Writing
The students will start developing their thesis proposals during the first semester and advance them in their second and third semesters. Finally, the Thesis will be completed in the fourth semester, completing the graduate program.  ​​​​​​​
ARC 521 Alternative Design Practices
This course aims to speculate about the concept of 'alternative design' through studying different practices. The prominent examples of design practices and texts will be featured in order to set up a theoretical framework for the 'alternative' which is also the title of our program. The cases will be studied through their historical contexts, emerging conditions and (if they are built) their construction processes. The course will help forming necessary conceptual terminology on the subject.

Hayallere Köprü in Ayazağa, Design Build Studio - MEF FADA Students

ARC 511 Research Methods
The course presents methods for research in design, architecture and related fields. It explains quantitative and qualitative research methods in theory and practice, and how to select and develop specific methods to respond a particular research question. The course introduces methodological processes such as data collection, analysis and interpretation together with an overview of mixed-methods and research by design. The prominent aspect of this course is to combine the qualitative and quantitative methodology theories with the design practice.
ARC 522 Current Debates
We are living in the times of Anthropocene. This geologic time period, marked by the human-influenced geologic indicators, points to an excess human interference on changing Earth and its processes far more drastically than natural forces. From the sourcing of raw materials to the construction of a building, from inhabiting and using that building to its final demolishment, the global extent of our actions as architects have reached an alarming level. This course concentrates on such issues from an alternative architectural practices framework, by focusing on debates not only of architecture, but also of other areas that inform architecture such as economy, sociology, geography, geology and engineering.

ARC 561 Thesis Proposal I
This course constitutes the preliminary step towards a thesis topic and outline that is linked to the series of projects in the graduate curriculum. It introduces the process of formation of a graduate thesis from exploration of ideas to a well-defined topic. Students are expected to follow this path and conclude the course with their topic and draft objectives of the thesis.

ARC 562 Thesis Proposal II
This course is the prelude to writing the thesis. Under the guidance of the thesis supervisor, students convert their initial thesis topic and objectives into a well-defined thesis structure within this course. In this process, students are expected to familiarize themselves with the related research and literature to locate their own thesis in the related field. As well as the thesis structure, methodology of the thesis is the expected and major outcome of the course.
ARC 563 Colloquium
This course aims to help students to find appropriate research methods in different research problems, to show how to apply these methods in their own research projects and to discuss their research proposals with faculty members and invited critics.

ARC 565 Seminar
This course aims to evaluate, design and describe the research methodology for their own thesis research projects through analyzing various academic examples. During this course; academic writing and presentation techniques will be introduced. The students are expected to write an article and give a seminar on their own research.
ARC 5xx Elective Courses​​​​​​​
Elective courses will be announced.