Housing Urbanism: 4 Scenarios

Research exploring new housing in Chicago, 2008-09


Team: Clare Lyster, Judith K. De Jong, Mclain Clutter, Jillian Lindner and students from UIC School of Architecture (Arch 554: Housing the City, 2008)


Contemporary discussions of urbanism require contemplation of where and how people live in the city. By 2030, 60% of the world’s population – 4.9 billion people - will live in cities, making housing fundamental to a larger discussion of the metropolis. Yet architecture has abdicated its role when it comes to housing as a critical planning mechanism in favor of one-off buildings that have little or no dialogue with the environmental complexities or opportunities of their macro urban field. Rather than pursue housing solely through the design of individual units or buildings, the design of housing must extend beyond the property line to encompass larger metropolitan and regional systems; architects and educators must frame housing as a broader infrastructural proposal.


“Housing Urbanism”, is a research project that pursues the design of housing from the perspective of contemporary topics in infrastructure, ecology and urbanism through a series of theoretical essays and interviews from experts in the field of housing and urbanism along with design proposals produced in Architecture 554: Housing the City, a graduate design studio conducted at the UIC School of Architecture in 2008. At the urban scale, Housing Urbanism uses exemplary projects from this studio to articulate the coexistence and feedback among housing design and other urban and regional systems such as public space, transportation infrastructure and recreational amenities. At the architectural scale, it explains how these macro-planning decisions inform practical and alternative unit typologies that address contemporary domestic lifestyles such as work/live, intergenerational communities and aging populations.



We are extremely grateful for contributions by Dana Cuff, Sarah Whiting, Jonathon Solomon and Moshe Safdie and for funding from the UIC College of Art and Architecture Research Prize in 2008 and 2009.


Clare Lyster Urbanism and Architecture (CLUAA) 2018 — Chicago, Illinois