Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session

Course Description

The course is designed to provide a better understanding of the built environment, globalization, the current financial crisis and the impact of these factors on the rapidly changing and evolving international architecture, engineering, construction fields.

We will, hopefully, obtain a better understanding of how these forces of globalization and the current financial crisis are having an impact on the built environment and how they will affect firms and your future career opportunities. We will also identify, review and discuss best practices and lessons that can be learned from recent events.

We will explore the “international built environment” in detail, examining how it functions and asking what are the managerial, entrepreneurial and professional opportunities, challenges and risks in it, especially growing crossover and multi-disciplinary opportunities; and we will seek to understand what makes this “built environment” so different from other sectors.

Course Format

This course will, hopefully, assist you to better understand:

  • the growing forces of globalization, periodic financial crises and their impact on the built environment;
  • the skill sets you must acquire to successfully navigate and flourish in this emerging world;
  • your career objectives — and maybe even help you change them, while providing some essential and practical tools to move forward.

The classroom style is participatory, modeled after major A/E/C (architecture, engineering, construction) corporate operating committee or management meetings. You will each be treated as promising managers just appointed to the committee, so we hope you will all actively participate in class discussions.


Attendance and participation 20%
Homework 30%
Term paper and presentation 50%

Term Paper

Later in the semester we will break into individual teams to prepare a formal presentation and business plan for the “Board of Directors” of a hypothetical company (a real estate developer/property manager, engineering company, constructor/design-builder, concessionaire, etc.) to justify funding and opening an office in a developing country.

Students may also prepare individual papers rather than a group business plan, if they prefer. Finally, remember that a large number of important careers and enterprises have been launched on such college papers and ideas (e.g., Fred Smith’s FedEx, Edward Land’s Polaroid, Mike Milliken’s Fallen Angels, Saul Steinberg’s Computer Leasing).