Architectural Design in the City

Junior Studio | ARCH 374

Building design in the community setting; creation of place; introductory urban design and site planning issues, including universal design and accessibility; human-built environment relationship issues; architectural design and presentation methods; required field trips.

Course Overview:
Designing within a city requires the comprehension and ability to encompass a plethora of complex criteria that influence physical characteristics and human experience. Urban environments develop out of aesthetic, economic, social, and political influences acting within their region. These factors underlie the basis for this studio where students are asked to examine the city at multiple scales while instigating new propositions that will engender a more tenacious and versatile metropolis.

The basic principles of Urban Design tell us to observe the city within its regional landscape, recognizes its systematic anatomy and resource, understand the varying districts and neighborhoods, and operate at the scale of streets, plots, buildings, and exterior open spaces. While Architecture in the City should acknowledge the local fabric, enhance a given place, and be specific with its intentions.

Exploring issues such as density, diversity, and urbanity along with pattern and aggregation can be organized at the scale of the city, however students must develop a position on global topics and articulate them at the scale of site, building, and interior spatial experiences.

Overall Goals:

  1. Advance design intelligence, processes, and theoretical discussions through historical, current and emergent ideas.

  2. Connect critical and conceptual design ideas to the fundamental architectural discourse.

  3. Investigate new ideas, theories, and methods of architectural production.

  4. Explore multiple relationships between analog and digital modes of production and representation.

  5. Produce work at the highest standards and qualities possible.

  6. Comprehend the multiplicities and depth of the field of architecture.

Cultural Building:
The final studio project will challenge students to select a site – based on previous research and develop a public cultural building. One requirement is the site be located near or adjacent to a public space, allowing students to incorporate, reject, or respond to another layer within the city. This project will iterate many relationships between architecture and the city while asking students to respond meaningfully through built form. Final outcomes will focus on translating ideas into a building and reinforce them through the use of structure, material, and systems.