ARCH 412

This studio course, the first in the 3-year Masters of Architecture (3G) sequence, introduces students to the basic skills of architectural design (drawing, modeling, visualization) and the core components of architectural knowledge (terminology, concepts, and discourses) through weekly reading and design assignments and one final group project – a co-living + learning building for college students. Students were asked to reimagine residence-based higher education as communal and caring, and to think radically and playfully about how form, organization, and aesthetics can support and spur new domestic relationships centered around learning. The project brief described a near future scenario where those in higher education are actively developing new approaches to “residency” through hybrid models where groups of students gather or reside in satellite buildings to build community while taking classes remotely. Programmatically, the projects aims to increase student access by offering more locations to study, flexibility around duration of stay, and services that aid those with extra-educational obligations such as work or dependent care. These new building types are embedded in cities so people don’t have to relocate to college campuses, and include facilities that allow for variable durations of stay accommodating learners for a whole semester, a couple weeks, a night, or a few hours during class. The new flexible remote learning spaces are intended to create new categories of learners outside residential (someone who lives on campus full-time) and commuter (one who travels to campus for classes but lives at home) in order for more people to participate higher education.

The project is team-based, requiring students to co-author their vision for co-living, the distribution of program on site, and the individual roles within the overall design effort. The collaborative structure for the student’s very first design studio aims to instill values of cooperation and mutual support that will continue throughout their education and design career.

Laida Aguirre, Jacob Comerci, Adam Fure


Melissa Bissett + Pauline Gerd + Cal Graziano + Andrew Hoover + Lingjing Shi

A design centered on community, education, and accessibility, home is what you MAKE it reimagines residence-based higher education that depends on remote-learning.  Isolation, disconnection, limited and inequitable resources are only a few of the many challenges facing remote learners.  Through the aggregation of individual “home” shaped solid masses, the proposed design fuses school, home, and a makerspace into a new typology.

The inclusion of a makerspace captures our design intentions by providing a space to bring people together of all ages and backgrounds, interests and hobbies. It creates an opportunity to explore new technology, learn new skills, and collaborate with community members and residents to make things and foster new relationships. The makerspace also provides access to tools and equipment that few hobbyists and students can afford at their own home while at the same time providing a place to work and learn from knowledgeable people.

While the aggregation appears individualistic, a section cut through the center reveals tiny study nooks, flexible sleeping spaces, and three roof openings bringing light and air into a large communal space. The doorless entrances on all sides of the building and open-aired experience removes barriers and welcomes the community.  The vinyl decals and texture patterns visually draw visitors while blurring the boundaries between the interior and exterior spaces.  The wood texture brings an organic home feeling to the building and emphasizes a connection to the surrounding environment.

Iman Messado, Will Kirsch, Yuchen Guo, Aaron Damavandi, Deesy Xu – Ramp House

Ramp House is a co-living project designed for college students with dependents. It’s building form and program strives for a “caring” architecture that balances academic needs and community-oriented care. The ground floor serves as an extensive commons for social gatherings, the second-floor holds cooking and other domestic activities, and resident sleeping pods occupy the third floor. The ground floor embodies the concept of a “landscape for living” with its modular furniture. It can easily accommodate playtime in the morning, productive work or study in the afternoon, and social gatherings in the nighttime. The three floors are connected by a continuous, gradual ramping. As one progresses up the building, the programming moves from less to more intimate. The ramp also provides clear lines of sight between and across floors, allowing caretakers to keep an eye on their dependents while they study. Finally, the ramp offers comfortable traversal between programs for a variety of mobility needs. These spaces are designed to be open, flexible, and accessible to the shifting  needs of the residents. Ramp House explores how architecture can foster a culture of care through accessible design and community living.


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