Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Ahmedabad, India; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • Program Terms: Spring- Embedded
  • Restrictions: PSU applicants only
Program Description:

Program Overview     

The World is experiencing significant growth in population and fast urbanization particularly in the regions in the global south. This rapid "uncontrolled" development puts an enormous pressure on cities giving rise to numerous political, social, infrastructural, and ecological, problems. The formal sector does always not always accommodate people immigrating to urban centers, forcing them to be entrepreneurial and develop alternative settlements, with varying forms of governmental engagement. This studio investigates these complex problems of people, place, and property using a computational design approach. In this advanced studio, we will consider rapid urbanization in Ahmedabad, India. The desire is to create neighborhoods that are socially and economically viable for residents and ecologically resilient. Students will be given the opportunity to use computational technology including advanced geometric modeling and algorithmic design.

The studio will expand on the use of a design methodology that has been tested before in different contexts (Duarte and Beirão, 2012) and which is based on the combined use of the concepts of a pattern language (Alexander et al., 1977) and shape grammars (Stiny and Gips, 1972). Shape grammars are used both as an analytical device to describe the genesis of existing forms and as a synthesis tool to specify design solutions.

Keywords: Computational design, Algorithmic design, Urban settlements, Shape Grammar

Program Quicklinks     

Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links



Any pre-requisite courses are established by the faculty leader or department hosting the course.  The following have been listed as pre-requisites for consideration to enroll in this course and travel on the embedded education abroad program:
  • No pre-requisites.
  • This course is open to Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Architecture Engineering majors only, at all campuses.
  • Admission in the course and permission to travel with the group are at the discretion of the faculty leader and/or academic department hosting the course.  Academic standing and disciplinary or conduct issues may impact eligibility.

Housing and Meals

During the embedded travel component, housing will consist of overnight accommodations in a hotel/hostel.

Program Costs

Students pay regular Penn State tuition (either in-state or out-of-state) for the credits associated with the embedded course.  Travel costs, lodging, meals, excursions, and other fees are determined by the program budget which is set by the program leader.  Please consult the program leader for additional information.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Global Programs administers a scholarship that is specifically designated to support students studying abroad on embedded courses.  The scholarship is competitive, and the deadlines to apply are strictly enforced.  Please review the Embedded Programs Scholarship eligibility, deadlines, and application process.

For More Information

For more information about this course, please contact the program leader: Jose Duarte by emailing

How to Apply

 The process for enrolling in an embedded course varies according to the instructor and/or department.  The program leader has indicated that in order to enroll in the course and travel component, students must contact program leader.

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.




Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring- Embedded 2020 08/21/2019
Rolling Admission 02/02/2020 02/08/2020
NOTE: The application deadline date is NOT as it appears above. Please contact the program leader Jose Duarte by emailing if you are interested in applying for this embedded program.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed