The Design of Housing in the United States

Drawing partially from the work of the instructor, weekly lectures and discussions will consider those aspects of the design of housing that are critical for successful residential and community development. Program formulation, development economics, client/community participation, and design intent are among the topics to be discussed for the design of housing that comprises the vast majority of residential urban and suburban construction in America today: the adaptive reuse and conversion of existing buildings to residential use; the rehabilitation and renovation of existing public housing stock; new low, mid and high rise construction; and new suburban construction. Through a series of lectures this course will investigate architectural, urban design and planning related components of the design of multi-family housing, from the early part of the 20th Century to the present day. Historically, we will study seminally important multi-family housing projects including Forest Hills Gardens, Sunnyside Gardens, Radburn, Levittown, Sea Ranch and Seaside. Analytically, we will evaluate different housing prototypes, their applicability and resultant densities. In addition to the requirements of the weekly classroom lecture/seminar and discussion, there will be two written paper assignments. The first will relate to a central theme for the semester with the topic either assigned by the instructor or submitted by the student. The second, a more comprehensive investigation of a housing related topic of the student\'s choice, will also be the subject of a series of weekly discussions. Both assignments are intended to sharpen one\'s skills in thinking about, and in evaluating, the design of housing.