The Design of Housing in the United States

Drawing largely from the work of the instructor, weekly presentations 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 and discussions 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 assignments dealing with a central theme for the semester. The first will be short paper topic either assigned by the instructor or submitted by the student. The second, a class project consisting of a series of case studies of outstanding examples of housing designs in the United States, according to the selected theme for the semester. It is intended that these case studies will be incorporated into a book to be \’\’published\’\’ by the class. Both assignments are intended to sharpen one\’s skills in thinking about, and in evaluating, the design of housing.