Yugal Solanki headshot

Master of Urban Design


/ Recent Taubman Graduate

Yugal Solanki

The Taubman community is special and exciting because it strives to create a vibrant, accessible, and sustainable environment. There is a strong focus on collaboration and engagement, which is evident in their commitment to fostering relationships between students, faculty, and staff.

Mumbai, India

Degree Program(s)

Expected Graduation Date
December 2023

Academic Areas of Interest
As a master’s student of urban design at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, my primary academic interests include urban planning, sustainable development, and land use policy. I am especially interested in exploring how design and planning can create equitable and liveable cities. I also have an interest in architecture, transportation planning, housing, and international urbanism.

Hobbies or interests outside of academia
I enjoy exploring the outdoors and participating in physical activities like running and soccer. I also enjoy spending time with friends, listening to music, playing pool/snooker and cooking. Additionally, I volunteer with local organizations to help support my community.

Why did you choose Taubman College as the right program for you?
After researching the various urban design programs across the country, I chose to pursue my master’s degree at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor’s, Taubman College because of its highly regarded faculty and rigorous academic curriculum. The college offers classes exploring the full spectrum of urban design, from public policy to environmental science to architecture. I am confident that the Taubman College program will provide me with the strong foundation I need to become a successful urban designer. Additionally, the college is deeply engaged in the local community, which was important to me as I wanted to make sure that my studies would be relevant and applicable to real-world issues. Furthermore, the University of Michigan’s central location in Ann Arbor provides me with easy access to some of the best resources and opportunities in the country.

What is special or excites you about the Taubman community?
The Taubman community is special and exciting because it strives to create a vibrant, accessible, and sustainable environment. There is a strong focus on collaboration and engagement, which is evident in their commitment to fostering relationships between students, faculty, and staff. They are also dedicated to supporting research and scholarship, as well as developing innovative solutions to complex urban problems. Additionally, the Taubman community is committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity, as evidenced by the variety of research projects and initiatives that focus on underrepresented populations. The Taubman community is a dynamic and progressive hub of activity, and it is a privilege to be part of it.

If applicable, tell us about studio culture – what is inspiring or innovative or unique?
Students in the studio are encouraged to approach their work in an innovative and creative manner. As a result, the culture emphasizes experimentation and exploration. We are encouraged to think outside the box and challenge ourselves to find novel solutions to complex problems. We are allowed to experiment with our own ideas, so the environment is constantly changing and evolving. Furthermore, the studio culture is one of encouragement and support, which promotes collaboration and fosters a culture of trust and respect. Reflection and self-awareness are also valued in the studio culture. We are also encouraged to reflect on our work, assess our progress, and think critically about our own creative process. Overall, this helps us to be innovative, creative, supportive, and reflective.

Describe your experience with faculty and professional staff during your time at Taubman?
My interactions with Taubman faculty and professional staff have been extremely positive. Professors and advisors are available at all times to answer questions and guide students through difficult concepts. The faculty is well-informed and well-researched, and they encourage students to think critically and openly. The professional staff is also extremely helpful and supportive. They are always willing to help out and offer their expertise on any project. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with the team on a few projects and found them to be extremely professional and knowledgeable. They also have a great sense of humor, which helps to make the work environment enjoyable.

How has Taubman’s career and professional development support prepared you for a successful career in your chosen field?
Taubman’s career and professional development support has been instrumental in helping me prepare for a successful career in urban design. Through their career services, I have been able to take part in a variety of workshops and events that have enabled me to gain invaluable experience and knowledge. From resume-building workshops to mock interviews and networking events, Taubman has provided me with the resources to help me gain confidence and sharpen my skills. Additionally, I have had access to internship opportunities and job postings through their career services website. Ultimately, these resources have helped me to become a more competitive applicant and have given me the opportunity to gain valuable experience that will be beneficial in my chosen profession.

What benefits have you experienced being part of the University of Michigan?
Being a part of the University of Michigan has provided me with numerous advantages. For starters, I was able to benefit from the university’s renowned faculty members’ high-quality education. Second, I’ve had the chance to network with other students, professionals, and alumni to broaden my career opportunities. Third, the university has provided me with a variety of resources to help me further my studies, such as library access, research materials, and technology. Finally, the university has provided me with numerous extracurricular activities, such as sports and other student-run organizations, through which I have explored my interests, learned new skills, and formed relationships with other students. All of these advantages have been invaluable in my development as a well-rounded professional.

What do you like most about being part of the Ann Arbor community?
It’s an honor to be a part of the Ann Arbor community and to learn about its diverse culture and history. I like how the city has a variety of attractions, such as unique shopping centers and eateries, fun outdoor activities, and world-class museums and galleries. Furthermore, Ann Arbor is home to some of America’s most prestigious universities, including the University of Michigan. The city also has a vibrant and diverse culture, with a diverse range of music, theatre, art, and nightlife. Overall, Ann Arbor is a fantastic place to live, work, and play, and I am proud to call it home.

What advice would you give prospective students as they consider Taubman College?
Learn as much as you can about the faculty and staff. Familiarize yourself with their previous works and experiences so you can understand what they bring to college. Examine the courses that are available. Check that their interests and goals align with yours. Consider your options for a career after graduating from Taubman College. Learn about the types of jobs and opportunities available to you after you graduate. Learn about the tuition and financial aid options available at your college. Investigate the school’s culture, and never be afraid to reach out to students, alumni, faculty, or staff members; everyone is always happy to help!

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in urban design and architecture. My goal is to use my experience, knowledge, and skills to contribute to the growth and development of cities. I am passionate about creating a sustainable and livable environment for all and believe this is one of the most important issues facing our world today. I am also interested in exploring the possibilities of creative urban design, including green energy and other environmental solutions. I’m excited to see where my career will take me, and I’m eager to make a positive impact on communities around the world.

Additional advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective students?
As a prospective Taubman College student, it is critical to make the most of your time and resources to achieve your goals and make a difference in the world. Participate in the community and cultivate relationships. Be open-minded and accepting of new ideas and perspectives. Connect with peers, faculty, and professionals by networking. Use the resources that are available to you. Take care of yourself and put yourself first. Remember to have fun and do not forget to – work hard on the weekdays and party harder on the weekends.