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Digital Technology Guide for Incoming MArch, MUD, and MLA Students

As an integral instructional tool, digital technology is understood as both a mode of conceptual thinking and as a set of tools for the representation of that thinking. It provides a critical framework for the exploration of multiple systems of design inquiry in our graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. While an emphasis on conceptual thinking and on representation is, of course, not exclusive to digital technology, the School’s teaching addresses the complete range of modes of thought and techniques.

State-of-the-art digital technologies are fully integrated in the design curriculum. In addition, there is ongoing investment in and improvement of the School’s facilities and electronic infrastructure for research, teaching, presentation, CADCAM, rapid prototyping, and general computing.

The Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design emphasizes the use of laptops as the basic digital tool in the design process, facilitating digital media-based education in our classrooms and studios. The School’s pedagogy relies upon a decentralized, dynamic, and mobile environment tailored to individual needs and contemporary use. This model provides a more sophisticated integration of computing in the design studio, classroom, and workshop.

The recommendations in the attached file reflect our digital technology pedagogy, while recognizing the ever-changing pace of technology and user preferences. While we understand that students have a number of options for securing both hardware and software, our faculty, staff, and students collaborate yearly to provide the most up-to-date information to aid you in this process.

All first-year students are required to purchase Adobe CC through the University. The University has secured a highly reduced annual cost of $50 per license. This cost will be billed to your WashU student account and a license will be issued to you at the beginning of August to your email. You will continue to be billed each year while you are a student for this license.

Assistance & Advice

Richard Viehmann coordinates digital technologies for the School, working with the faculty and with the Information Technology staff. If you have questions about digital technologies, please contact Richard at 314.935.9286 or; he can assist you or direct your question to the right personnel.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with financial aid, you can borrow funds to assist with the purchase of your computer. If requested, an additional student loan to cover your computing expenses will be added to your existing loan package and disbursed at the same time as your fall loans – i.e., the week before the first day of class. Federal regulations prohibit the disbursement of student loan funds earlier than this date, so if you wish to purchase your computer over the summer, you will need to cover the purchase cost and the student loan to cover this expense will be disbursed at the beginning of the semester. If you believe that additional loan funds are necessary to support the purchase of a computer/software, contact Candice Brooks, Assistant Director of Student Financial Services, at or 314.935.3642.