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The Aerotropolis Studio 2018-2023
James W Tilghman AIA   
Clinical Associate Professor

University of Maryland 

School of Architecture Planning

and Preservation

First offered by Professor Tilghman as a senior Undergraduate special topic studio within ARCH 403, The Aerotropolis Studio, now ARCH 408, has evolved over the past 5 years into a senior Special Topic Studio offered in the final semester of the Undergraduate program for both BA and BS Track Architecture Students.  The Inter-disciplinary Studio explores the impact of near future UAS (Autonomous Aerial Vehicles-drones and human transportation) and AR/VR Immersive environments on the design and planning of Vertical Communities, Urban settlements, community evolution and destination design.

The Studio leverages Maryland's strong research presence in UAS technology, Urban Agriculture, Public Health, robotics and Sustainable Design to engage in a speculative exploration of what could  be called Vertical Communities. In Spring 2022 and 2023 the Studio returned to the Discovery District in College Park to align the near future vision of the Aerotroplis more closely with anticipated and current development activity now taking place at the College Park Airport and the Aviation Landing Devlopment.


Professor Tilghman has presented at the Smart Cities Roundtable on the Future of Aviation in Spring 2023, and the Winter Research Symposium on the Grand Challenge of Future Cities in February 2022 


Baltimore Avenue 2035  Aerotropolis Studio 2022 

Selected Images from the 2022 Aerotropolis Studio 


James W Tilghman AIA  
New Appointment: Fall 2016 Clinical Associate Professor

James W Tilghman AIA has been appointed to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor by the University of Maryland School of Architecture Planning and Preservation. The Clinical Professor position falls within the Professional Track (PTK)  Faculty designation at the University of Maryland for practitioner-teachers.  

ARCH 403  Studio Coordinator 2016-2018

ARCH 403 Super Jury 2016-2018


ARCH 797 Thesis Proseminar

Coordinator and Instructor  2016-2023

ARCH 600  Fall 2015, 2016
The Comprehen
sive Studio Instructor
University Of Maryland

James Tilghman will be co-teaching the first year Graduate M.Arch advanced path Studio in 2015 and 2016

Arch 403  Spring 2014

Envision Salisbury!  Urban Revitalization at the Crossroads of Maryland's Eastern Shore


James W Tilghman AIA, Lecturer/Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland's School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, will once again be teaching the Senior Design Studio in the Undergraduate progam. Arch 403 is the culminating Studio in the undergraduate sequence, focusing on Community engagement and design in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with a special emphasis on sustainable design and building strategies for climate change and sea level rise in the Bay Region. 


This Spring's studio will reprise the Spring 2012 studio at North Beach MD, but will shift the Masterplanning and Project design site to Salisbury MD, on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the heart of the Delmarva Peninsula. The full day Community engagement workshop took place in Salisbury on February 8th with excellent turnout. 56 Students, 5 Faculty members and over 100 members of the Salisbury Community turned out in the former Salisbury Fire Station to explore guiding themes and urban renewal strategies for  the City of Salisbury.


James W Tilghman AIA

Lecturer/ Adjunct Professor Spring 2013

​University of Maryland

Arch 403:  “North Beach, MD: Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Sustainable Strategies for inhabiting the Chesapeake Bay Coastline, 2013-2113.”


The 403 Studio process of research, community engagement, site analysis, master-planning and building proposal takes as it’s subject the Calvert County Town of North Beach, a historical hamlet and 20th century entertainment destination a 1 hour drive from Capitol Hill. 

The studio will offer first hand engagement with the citizens of North Beach in workshop settings to develop master planning and design strategies for economic, environmental and cultural sustainability on a 100 year time horizon. The Studio will culminate in a Building Design Proposal based on Arts and Education programs that will be developed during the masterplan phase.

ARPL 401  Fall 2014  Visiting Critic

Catholic University

The Cardinal O'Boyle Foreign Studies Competition Studio:

An Experimental Residential Community  in Ward 3 of Houston Texas

Two sections of the  Cardinal O'Boyle Studio took the subject of a speculative Housing Community in Ward 3 of Houston Texas, for the Fall 2014 Competition Studio.


Arch 601  Topical Studio: “Su​stainable Skins” 

Studio Critic and Studio sponsor Spring 2010 University of Maryland

Studio Instructor: Madlen Simon, Director of Architecture Program

Utilizing the optics laboratory program from the GSA/NASA Langley projects (J Tilghman Lead Designer for the GSA Design Excellence Program) this topical graduate level design studio brought the students, the client and the professional office environment into direct contact during an 8 week building design problem for an optics laboratory at NASA Langley in Hampton, Virginia.

​The studio format included a site Visit to NASA Langley, and attendance at the final review of the Head NASA Langley PM for the New Town Program.  James Tilghman, AIA, participated in all interim and final reviews, and led student presentation and work critique sessions held at AECOM involving engineering and design staff.


Guest Critic as Jurist:

Catholic University Visiting  Critic and   Thesis Super Jury 2013-2015

University of Maryland   Thesis Final  Reviews  2007- 2013

Comprehensive Studio Final Reviews January 2009, 2011

​Catholic University  Undergraduate Design Reviews 2012​​
Philadelphia University, Thesis Reviews 2010
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY Architecture and Interior Design Programs
Parsons School of Design- The New School:  Studio final reviews
New Jersey Institute of Technology- Studio Final reviews;
Columbia University-Studio interim reviews


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