School of Architecture University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



ARCH 372 - Architectural Design Studio - Spring 01

Robert I. Selby, AIA, Associate Professor of Architecture

in conjunction with
UP 378 and LA 338
A Collaborative, Interdisciplinary East St. Louis Action Research Project (ESLARP) Studio Workshop

Neighborhood Redevelopment

This course is an architectural design studio working collaboratively with an Urban Planning Workshop, UP 378, conducted by Janni Sorensen, and a Landscape Architecture Studio, LA 338, taught by Prof. Gary Kesler, FALSA, Head, Department of Landscape Architecture.


Revitalization of Creek Corridor
Lansdowne Town Center
Walkable Paths

To find out more about Professor Selby see:

This studio will be conducted in association with the East St. Louis Action Research Project.  For information on ESLARP see:

ESLARP interdisciplinary team studio:

This studio will be conducted by Professor Selby.  The studio will be comprised of interdisciplinary teams working on neighborhood master planning and the programming an preliminary schematic design of a community facilty to be determined as part of the planning process.

You will be working for a community based orginazation in the Lansdowne neighborhood of East St. Louis..  Perhaps we will learn that the neighborhood wants housing prototypes (as Emerson Park has for several semesters) or other projects (such as the Emerson Park Light Rail Station.)  But today, we're not sure what architectural project type will fit the comprehensive plan, which you will help develop.  This is the nature of ESLARP studios.  The real world is messy and not always in synch with the academic calendar. To sample a multi-disciplinary, multi-year planning and architectural study conducted in the Emerson Park neighborhood click here.

The ESLARP team should expect to make several field trips to East St. Louis to meet with your clients, to study the site context, and to meet with representatives of the community based organization.  ESLARP studios generally have two or more field trips on Friday/Saturday work week-ends, working on clean-up, fix-up, paint up projects.  In addition to these trips, you should plan to attend regular meetings of the community organization.

Who should elect this studio?

Students who elect this studio should have a passion for team work, reciprocal learning (you learn from neighborhood residents and they learn from you as you about innovations in revitalizing inner city neighborhoods), making a difference, being involved in the "real" world, having your work judged and appreciated by "real" people, and a passion for hard work.

Students who elect this studio should be flexible.  Unlike "unreal" world studios, the faculty do not have absolute control the schedule, or the program.

Students who elect this studio will learn about web publishing, and will be expected to publish your research reports, programming recommendations, and design guidelines and neighborhood plans on the world wide web.


Part One:   Background research, Principles of Neighborhood Physical Planning and Design, Group Presentations on Theories of Neighborhood Redevelopment, Study of 1992 Plan, Develop Power Point presentations, Post final approved text and images on the ESLARP web site.  Four weeks, 30% of grade

16 Jan 01 1st Meeting with Community Partners in ESL

17 Jan 01 1st Day of Class

19 Jan 01 1st Friday Interdisciplinary Meeting of UP 378, LA 338, and Arch 372 students and faculty. 1:30 – 2:30 in Plym Auditorium Prof. Gary Kesler, FASLA, lecture on 1992 Lansdowne Plan.  2:30 in 225 TBH Tutorial on Census Data Collection.  Reading assignments distributed and assigned to Design Research Teams to be formed today.

26 Jan 01 Friday Interdisciplinary Meeting: UP students present: Urban Poverty, LA and Arch students present: Environmental Justice.  Tutorial on Neighborhood Condition Survey (NCS) and web publishing.

02 Feb 01 East St. Louis field trip #1.  Agenda: tour ESL, meet with residents (LNSC) determine LNSC’s work agenda for the semester, conduct Neighborhood Condition Survey (NCS).

07 Feb 01 Preliminary presentation of design research topics in studio.

09 Feb 01 Friday Interdisciplinary Meeting: UP student present: Participatory Action Research and Empowerment.  LA and Arch students present: Defensibility.  Prof. Selby presents: Participatory Action Research in Emerson Park, 1990-2001.

14 Feb 01 Final presentations of design research topics in studio.

16 Feb 01 Friday Interdisciplinary Meeting 1:30-2:30 in Plym Auditorium: UP student present: Economic Development (part 1).  LA and Arch students present: Sustainability/Affordability 2:30 in 225 TBH GIS Tutorial

20 Feb 01 1st Monthly Meeting with Community Partners, Lansdowne Neighborhood Steering Committee (LNSC).  (3rd Tuesday of every month.)  LNSC.  Agenda: SWOT Exercise. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

Part Two: Preliminary Planning and Design for Neighborhood Quality of Life: Applying theoretical perspectives. Translation of SWOT exercise into a preliminary “program” for client review and discussion.  Formation of design issues to be addressed and the formation of design teams.  Four weeks, 30% of grade.

21 Feb 01 Begin Part Two Preliminary Design Strategies.

23 Feb 01 Friday Interdisciplinary Meeting: Analysis of SWOT exercise. Begin to predict what the important physical design issues are in Lansdowne based on the SWOT exercise.  I think it’s important for the designers participate in this meeting.

02 Mar 01 Friday Interdisciplinary Meeting: UP student present: Economic Development (part 2).  LA and Arch students present: Urban Ecology

09 Mar 01 Friday Interdisciplinary Meeting: UP student present: Ideology and Public Policy.  LA and Arch students present: Liveability/Walkability

20 Mar 01 2nd  Monthly Meeting with Community Partners, Lansdowne Neighborhood Steering Committee (LNSC). Agenda: Analyze data collected.  Develop preliminary physical design goals/agendas.

Part Three: Final Planning and Design for Neighborhood Quality of Life: Project Planning. Completion of design projects and publishing on the ESLARP web site. Six weeks, 40% of grade.

23 Mar 01 Prepare for ESL field trip #2, Neighborhood Summit.

30 Mar 01 East St. Louis field trip #2, Neighborhood Summit.  Agenda: Review resident’s agendas for economic, social and physical design improvements; students present alternate design strategies for review and comment; residents and students break out into smaller issues discussion groups.

02 Apr 01 Design teams begin final design projects.

06 Apr 01 Friday Interdisciplinary Meeting: UP student present: Gender in Community Development.  LA and Arch students present: Race and Gender Issues in Neighborhood and Residential Design

13 Apr 01 Friday Interdisciplinary Meeting: UP student present: Race in Community Development.  LA and Arch students present: Legibility.

17 Apr 01 3rd Monthly Meeting with Community Partners, Lansdowne Neighborhood Steering Committee (LNSC). Agenda: Present major findings of the plan and neighborhood design strategies.

18 Apr 01 Design teams finalize neighborhood design and selected projects.

27 Apr 01 All final projects due on the web.

02 May 01  Last day of class

15 May 01 4th Monthly Meeting with Community Partners, Lansdowne Neighborhood Steering Committee (LNSC). Agenda: Class volunteers to deliver final plan and designs to the residents.


The studio will be divided into seven teams to work on the following design research topics.  Note that the topics have hot links to previous research.  All teams should visit the linked web site.  All new research presentations are to exceed previous research presentations.  Each team is to do read the literature and report summaries on the following: 1) Most salient issues, 2) Design implications or guidelines to meet the issues, 3) Bibliography on texts consulted.  Research may include web sites but should emphasize library materials.  Use the following bibliography (texts on housing and neighborhood design) as the standard for style and content.

Team One: Environmental Justice

Team Two: Defensibility

Team Three: Sustainability/Affordability

Team Four: Urban Ecology

Team Five: Liveability/Walkability

Team Six: Race & Gender in Issues in Neighborhood and Residential Design (See bibliography below and consult libraries)

Team Seven: Legibility


Bacon, Edmund N.  Design of Cities.  New York:  Viking Penguine, 1976. (A father of city planning and the father of Kevin Bacon, film actor.)

Bullard, Robert D. Dumping in Dixie.  Bolder, CO: Westview Press, 1990.  (A book on race, class and environmental quality.)

Bullard, Robert D. (Ed.)  Unequal Protection. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1994. (A book about environmental justice in communities of color.)

Calthorpe, Peter.  The Next American Metropolis.  New York:  Princeton Architectural Press, 1993. (Good content, good graphic techniques to copy.  Good reference to walking distances in community planning.)

Chermayeff, Serge and Christopher Alexander. Community and Privacy.  Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1963.  (An important early work on zoning for privacy, a critical  environment/behavior issue in housing.)

Cooper-Marcus, Clare and Wendy Sarkissian. Housing as if People Mattered. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.  (Focuses on multi-family housing, but many of the environment/behavior issues translate to single family and duplex housing.)

Cullen, Gordon.  (The Concise) Townscape.  New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1961. (A way of viewing cities as one moves through space.  Also a great book to use for copying quick freehand sketches that capture the essence and details of urban and architectural spaces.)

Dramstad, Wenche E., James D. Olson, and Richard T. T. Forman. (Eds.)  Landscape Ecology Principles in Landscape Architecture and Land-Use Planning.  Washington, DC: Island Press,1996.  (Simple but holistic book that ties together land, water, wildlife, and people.)

Forman, Richard T. T. Land Mosaics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. (The ecology of landscapes and regions.)

Freyfogle, Eric T. Bounded People, Bounded Lands.  Washington, DC: Island Press, 1998.  (A book that proposes a new land ethic that is less destructive toward the land, that views nature as something to be valued and nurtured rather than exploited and developed.)

Harker, Donald F. and Elizabeth Ungar Natter. Where We Live.  Washington, DC: Island Press, 1995. (A guide for conducting a community/environment inventory.)

Hester, Randolph T. Community Design Primer. Mendocino, CA: Ridge Times Press, 1990.  (A very useful workbook on issues and participatory approaches to community design.)

Hayden, Dolores.  Redesigning the American Dream:  The Future of Housing, Work, and Family Life.  New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1984. (An examination of what the definition of housing will be in the future.)

Hiss, Tony.  Experience of Place.  New York: Vintage Books, 1990.  (A new way of looking at and dealing with our radically changing cities and countryside.)

Jacobs, Jane.  The Death and Live of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage Books, 1961. (An excellent view of city building by a non-design professional.)

Jones, Tom, William Bettus, AIA, Michael Pyatok, FAIA. Good Neighbors: Affordable Family Housing. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1995.  (An excellent reference on process and design guidelines for multi-family housing.)

Katz, Peter.  The New Urbanism:  Toward an Architecture of Community.  San Francisco: McGraw-Hill, 1994.  (An extremely important reference on neo-traditional design.)

Kidder, Tracy.  House.  New York:  Avon Books, 1985.  (Reads like a novel. Describes an actual history of design and building a new house.  Maybe put this on your summer reading list.)

Kelbaugh, Douglas.  Common Place: Toward Neighborhood and Regional Design. Seattle: Washington University Press, 1997. (Good case studies.)

Langdon, Philip.  A Better Place to Live.  New York: HarperCollins, 1995. (Also an important reference on new urbanism.)

Lewis, Charles A. Green Nature Human Nature.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996.  (The meaning of plants in our lives.)

Lynch, Kevin.  The Theory of Good City Form.  Cambridge, MA:  The MIT Press, 1981. (Answers to the questions: What makes a good city?)

Lynch, Kevin and Gary Hack.  Site Planning.  Cambridge, MA:  The MIT Press, 1984. (The classic "bible" of site planning, community planning.)

Martin, Joanne M. & Elmer P. The Helping Tradition in the Black Family and Community.  Silver Springs, MD: National Association of Social Workers, Inc., 1985.  (A guide to a strong cultural influence that may inform your design thinking on housing and neighborhood design.)

McHarg, Ian L.  Design with Nature.  New York:  John Wiley & Sons, 1992. (Deals with man's relationship to the environment as a whole.)

Medoff, Peter and Holly Sklar.  Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood.  Boston: South End Press, 1994.  (A good case study of community-initiated urban redesign for social justice.)

Moore, Charles, Gerald Allen, Donlyn Lyndon. The Place of Houses.  New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1987.  (Three architects suggest ways to build and inhabit houses.  See how some of Corbu's houses were remodeled to meet the standards of its inhabitants.)

Newman, Oscar.  Defensible Space.  New York:  Collier Books, 1973. (The "bible" of "CPTED" crime prevention through environmental design.)

Newman, Oscar.  Community of Interest. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press, 1980. (The "bible" on gated communities.)

Norberg-Schulz, Christian.  Genius Loci.  New York: Rizzoli, 1979. (About the spirit of place.)

Olgyay, Victor.  Design with Climate.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 1963. (The "bible" of "bioclimatic" design.)

Peters, Erskine.  African Americans in the New Mellennium: Blueprinting the Future.  Berkeley, CA:  Regent Press, 1992.  (Written by an author who defines himself as “…an African-Indo-Euro American because I am both a biological and cultural fragment of Africans, of Native Americans (who entrusted their blood to my lineage) and of Europeans who imposed their blood upon my lineage…”)

Porterfield, Gerald A. and Kenneth B. Hall, Jr.  A Concise Guide to Community Planning.  New York:  McGraw-Hill, 1995.  (A good "pattern book" for community planning ideas.)

Rowe, Peter G. Making a Middle Landscape.  Cambridge:  MIT Press, 1991.  (The "middle landscape" is between city and country.)

Rybczynski, Witold.  Home: A Short History of and Idea.  New York:  Viking Press, 1986.  (Chapters include such topics as intimacy and privacy, domesticity, comfort and well being.)

Simonds, John Ormsbee.  Garden Cities 21.  New York:  McGraw-Hill, 1994. (Creating livable urban environments.)

Smith, Robert C. and Richard Seltzer.  Race, Class and Culture: A Study in Afro-American Mass Opinion.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.  (Are there race, class or cultural differences regarding environmental preferences?)

Spirn, Anne Winston.  The Granite Garden. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1994 (A book on design and management of urban ecosystems.)

Van der Ryne and Peter Calthorpe. Sustainable Communities.  San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1991.  (Good questions and answers.)

Walter, Bob, et al. (Eds.) Sustainable Cities. Los Angles: Eco-Home Media, 1992. (Concepts and strategies.)

Wentling, James.  Designing a Place Called Home.  New York: Chapman & Hall, 1995 (An excellent book of prototypes, good graphics with well reasoned text.)

Wekerle, Gerda R. and Carolyn Whitzman.  Safe Cities.  New York:  Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995.  (Design guidelines.)


The following are recommended for their content, graphic excellence and affordability:

Ching, Francis D.K. Architecture: Form, Space & Order. New York:  Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979.

Ching, Francis D.K. Interior Design Illustrated.  New York:  Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1987.

Ching, Francis D.K. Building Construction Illustrated.  New York:  Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1975.

The following are recommended references for design guidelines, architectural detailing, and structural design and detailing.  These references are more expensive than the above and may be found in Ricker Library of Architecture and Art.  I highly recommend placing Architectural Graphic Standards in your permanent personal library as soon as possible.  I have copies of all of these references.  If you would like to examine any  of them please feel free to stop by my office.

Allen, Edward and Joseph Iano.  The Architects' Studio Companion: Technical Guidelines for Preliminary Design.  New York:  John Wiley & Sons, 1989.

Callender, John Hancock.  Time-Saver Standards for Architectural Design Data.  New York:  McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1982.

De Chiara, Joseph & John Callender. Time-Saver Standards for Building Types.  New York:  McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1980.

Ramsey, Charles and Harold Sleeper. Architectural Graphic Standards.  New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1981.


1. Design Process

Design is a process of discovery through intense effort and continuous experiment.  Some call this process trial and error, but I prefer trial and discovery.  A design iteration is not erroneous - it is a single step on a path of inquiry which informs the designer where the next step should be directed.  In the study and practice of architecture you've really got to love the process.  The "chase" is nearly as important as the "catch."
Accordingly, a primary objective of this design studio is to provide you with an environment conducive for creative thinking so you can develop your personal design process and control it more effectively.

2. Design Thinking

Design is a mode of inquiry which differs from other intellectual activities.  Using humor as an analogy, design is a "sight gag," it is more "show" than "tell."  It is active not passive.   You must draw many studies before selecting the best alternatives.  Your drawings need to develop an architectural maturity, i.e., less naive, schematic or diagrammatic;  more sophisticated, more texture and detail.  The better your graphic
inquiry, the better your architectural designs will become, which in turn will make your graphic presentation more convincing.

Urban design and architectural models are also important tools in the design process, not just as a final presentation technique.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, a model is worth a thousand pictures.  Models are our closest representations of the built environment.  Models provide tactile as well as visual information.  Models lead you to a greater understanding of volumes, sequences of spaces, overall architectural massing
and form, structural problems to be solved, etc. Computer models are very effective design tools, esp. as you move through space, study daylighting and lamp lighting details.

Therefore, you will be working extensively in quick drawing and modeling techniques, esp. freehand drafting and sketch modeling or quick modeling on the computer (or all of the above).

3. Design Concepts

I define concept as "the essential idea which governs all decisions throughout the design process."  It is the yardstick by which you measure the appropriateness of design alternatives you have developed.  One example of a concept of a city (community) is: "a city is a house."  If this is were your concept I would expect you to begin to draw analogies of the house throughout your design process for such elements as entry sequence, circulation, public areas, private areas, etc.  In the case of "remodeling" an existing city (community) you will need to define a concept of what the existing city is (as you would if you were remodeling a house).  Your selection of a parti, your proposals for land use and urban and architectural details are all dependent on your concept.

You will be asked frequently, "what is your concept?" as you develop you architectural design.  Implicit in this question is another set of questions:  "What is most important as you determine your hierarchy of spaces and volumes?"  "What could be eliminated while preserving your concept?  What cannot be eliminated, therefore what is essential?"  We will be talking about the "part to whole" relationships, i.e. the appropriateness of detail decisions relative to the overall concept.

4. Holistic Design

Discussions of part to whole relationships lead us to the concept of holistic design.  Holistic design emphasizes the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.  Your design will only achieve the status of "architecture" if it is conceived holistically.   It is important to begin to understand that individual buildings are "details" of  a larger "whole."

Throughout the semester you will participate in design studies to develop a greater understanding of landscape architecture and interior architecture as subsets of architecture.   Your projects will be evaluated holistically by your studio critic and guest reviewers, as shown on the Student Design Project Evaluation Form.  Categories on this form include site design and development, architectural design and development,
interior design and development, systems designs and integration.  Site design will be read to mean "urban design" when appropriate.

5. User's Perspective

Design is more than formal problem solving, more than selecting the right parti, more than form and geometry.   Architecture and urban design are inhabited environments.  People use these environments.  You need to consider the needs and perceptions of the people who will live and work in environments you design.

6. Design as an Agent of Social Change

Most of our public projects have social implications.  In urban design, for example, we are often "remodeling" existing neighborhoods or districts.  It isimportant to ask: "Who will  benefit from this project?"  "Are all constituentsrepresented in the redevelopment program?"  If the project would have (possiblyunintended) social consequences for people who live there, your first creativeact may be to revise the program.

7. Personal Agendas

You are strongly encouraged to tell me what you would like to do for your personal development.


1. Title, Scale, and Orientation (Drawings and Models)

I recommend that you make a project template(s) at the beginning of each project which may be traced, photocopied, or cut and pasted for you convenience.

     project title and location
     your name
     my name
     class and semester Arch 372 - Spring 01
     North arrow (on plans), orientation (on elevations)
     drawing title (not "perspective" but "view from ...")
     graphic scale indication
     study number (if not final)

2. Professionalism

    A.    paper presentations

     all uniform sheets (size and orientation) hung carefully (pinned-up) plumb and level or mounted carefully on rigid boards with clear tape
     ordered from general to specific, introduction to conclusion

     B.    computer and world wide web presentations

     clear readable line work and text
     clear, crisp color (where appropriate)
     well composed text, grammatically correct

3. Completeness

     landscaping shown on plans (well studied)
     foreground/background trees on elevations people in elevations, sections,
     vehicles in site plan, elevations and sections
     furnishings, esp. in plans at 1/8"=1'-0" or larger materials (textures) indications in
     plans, elevations.
     notes as appropriate.


1. Materials in studio every day

Have in studio not less than two (2) rolls of 12" yellow "trash."  Draw your ideas and save them in your project drawing file for continuous reference.  To revise and improve your ideas, overlay the previous one as many times a necessary.  Never stop to erase. Trash is not a family heirloom.  It is specifically made to be used liberally.  Trash studies often make excellent portfolio exhibits.  They show how (well) you think graphically!

Also have in studio blades, cutting boards and materials which are easy to cut and join together as sketch models.  I may look at your drawings and ask you to do a quick model and suggest that I come back in an hour.  This might be the place to use up scraps of cardboard or foam core from other projects.  Save your study models for continuous reference.

2. Students' Role/Faculty Role: Action/Reaction

Students are expected to initiate your design process and to engage in it actively as a self-starting individual.  Once you have initiated, then faculty can react to a number of issues. We can comment on your process and suggest other activities which may prove useful.  We can comment on the quantity of your ideas and whether more should be considered before committing to a scheme.  We can comment on the qualities of your ideas, esp. we can comment on how closely your study approaches your stated concept.  We can do none of these things until you make the first move(s).  Similarly, the more you are prepared for a desk crit, the more advice we can deliver.

3. Preparation as a prerequisite to dialogue

If you are not prepared when we make our rounds in the studio, we will not pause to listen to you talk about what you are going to do.  We will come back when you are able to show what you have done.  We know that you may not be prepared for a desk crit every time we offer one.  That's reasonable and understandable.  However, if you are seldom or never ready, if you are not actively engaged in the design process, this will inevitably have a negative effect on your project's  evaluation.  Said in a positive way:  Successful projects most often are products of intensely active design processes.

4. Record of Daily Discussions and Desk Crits

You are also requested to have in studio every day an 8 1/2 x 11 bound sketchbook for recording your ideas which occur to you outside of studio.  Many concepts are "incubated" while sleeping, walking, jogging, etc.  Also use your sketchbook to record what we talk about in studio.  When you receive advice, you should document that discussion in studio.  If we lecture on a related subject, you should keep those notes in your sketchbook.It will become your "job log" and a companion to this course syllabus.

5. Work in Studio

Your are expected to work in studio during scheduled class time.  You are strongly encouraged to work in studio in evenings and on weekends to gain momentum and insight from your studio colleagues.  It is often said that students learn more from each other than from faculty.  This is especially true if you work in studio and help each other throughout the semester.

6. Personal Space

You are encouraged to design yourself a pleasant work  environment.

7. Personal Requirements

If you need accommodations for any sort of disability, please speak to us after class, make an appointment to see me, or see me during my office hours.


1. You are expected to be responsible for all material and assignments discussed during formal studio meetings.  If, for any excused reason, you are unable to attend, written confirmation should be given to your instructor.

2. Make-up assignments for excused absences may be given by the instructor. If you are a "no call/no show" i.e. you fail to show up for required presentations with out notice, you will receive an "F" for that phase of the semester.

3. Due dates will be strictly enforced.

4. The heavy use of the studio space and equipment day and night makes it necessary for each student and class to clean up after use, particularly at the end of a charter.  A few minutes of everyone's time each day devoted to cleaning off tables and depositing trash in the waste containers will keep the studio in a more pleasant and workable condition, and will reduce the risk of fire.

5. No smoking anywhere indoors.

6. Drafting tables are not to be used as cutting surfaces.  Be sure to use a self-healing mat, a thick piece of chipboard or Masonic for all cutting and model building at your desk or use the designated cutting tables in your studio.

7. Spray painting and gluing of models and illustration boards is to be done only in the spray booth.  Anyone caught spraying in or around any University buildings will have their projects awarded an "F".  No exceptions!

8. Defacing of equipment, walls, floors, ceilings, fixtures, doors, etc., is strictly forbidden, and will be treated as a serious offense.  Any damage can result in severe disciplinary action for everyone involved.

9. Building equipment is University property, and not to be removed from the premises.

10. Never directly discard disposable knife blades in trash cans.  For the safety of everyone, including custodians, all used blades are to be thrown away in a sealed container.

11. Radios, stereos, CD players, are permitted in the studio only when it does not disturb the conduct of class or individuals working.  Please be discrete and respectful.  The use of headphones during studio time will be permitted at my discretion.

12. Please help save energy by turning the lights out in studio and the rest room if you are the last to leave.

13. Alcohol of any kind is not permitted on University property.

14. Please recycle all aluminum soft drink cans.  Deposit them in receptacles provided in the corridors.

15. The quality of the environment in which we all work is only as good as each of us makes it.  As students in architecture, your goal should be to create better environments and respect existing environments.  Please begin now.  Should you encounter anyone causing damage or defacement to your learning environment, you are strongly encouraged to call such behavior to a member of the faculty or administration.

16. Bicycles are not permitted anywhere indoors in University buildings.


 Plus (+) and minus (-) grades will be used in this course.

A (Excellent)

Student's work is of exceptional quality and the solutions to problems show a depth of the problem. Project is fully developed and presented well both orally and graphically. Student has developed a strong and appropriate concept which clearly enhances the overall solution.  The full potential of the problem has been realized and demonstrated.

B  (Good)

Student's work shows above average understanding and clear potential.  All program requirements are fulfilled and clearly and concisely presented.

C  (Average)

Student's work meets minimum objectives of the course and solves major problem requirements.  Work shows normal understanding.  Quality of project as well as the development of knowledge and skills is average.

D  (Poor)

Student's work shows limited understanding and/or effort.  Minimum problem requirements have not been met.  Quality of project or performance as well as development of knowledge and skills is below average.

F  (Failure)

Student's work is unresolved, incomplete and/or unclear.  Minimum course objectives or project requirements are not met, and student's work shows lack of understanding and/or effort.  Quality of project or performance is not acceptable.

Ex:  (Excused)

Can be requested by graduate students for unusual circumstances.


All work is assumed to be that of the student presenting the project.  Work done by others must be properly credited and documented to the faculty reviewers.  Failure to do so will be regarded as plagiarism and the student will be disciplined according to the "Code on Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students."


All students are strongly encouraged to research precedents, and to be influenced by master architects.  This is good scholarship.  Literature searches are routine prerequisites to academic research published in scholarly publications.  The scholar cites all authors surveyed in the bibliography thus avoiding any claim ofplagiarism.  To maintain your intellectual integrity, you should also cite your source(s).


(or how to create the illusion of being complete)

 Q. When are we ever really finished with a project?
 A. When time is up.

Perhaps we are never really finished with a project.  We could keep improving it's design and presentation indefinitely.  As professionals, we recognize this as a fact and we just keep getting better at creating the illusion of being complete.   What can you do to create that illusion?

What is obviously incomplete?

Lots of line work and notes on the first board, outline drawings on middle and last boards, pasted or pinned up scraps of unfinished drawings on dissimilar sheets of paper in lieu of planned final boards.

What is apparently complete?

Uniform development of all boards.  Thoughtful arrangement of images to convey a complete "Story Line" from start to finish ("once upon a time" to "and they lived happily ever after") from general to specific.

How can you appear complete?


If you normally "don't have time" to put on finishing touches (titles, scale, orientation, people, vegetation) put that on stuff on first.


     Outline all drawings, all boards, including all title blocks.
     Bring all images on all boards up to 10% completion, then 25%, 50%, etc. Don't
     attempt to finish one drawing or one board before going on to the next.
     Letter all boards
     Render/poche all boards.
     Color all boards

Do all of this in a sequence that if you had to leave out coloring all boards, or even rendering and poche on all boards, you could still give the illusion of being complete. Who's to know what you intended to do unless you make that evident by doing it on the first board, and omitting it on the last board.  In other words:  What can you leave out without penalty?


A picture's worth a thousand words - a model's worth a thousand pictures. Models show three dimensional qualities best; drawings show details best. Create a graphic unity from drawings to models.  Design your boards to tell the story line from general to specific, from introductionto conclusion.  Use your boards as visual note cards to guide you in a logical oral presentation from your concept to your detailed proposal.  End with a "gee whiz"image (intended to produce a standing ovation.)


BE PREPARED  with a complete graphic presentation and a rehearsed oral. Nothing will give you greater confidence.  Explain by showing.  The best answer you can give on a review is to say (and show) "it's right here (on this drawing)."

BE BRIEF.  A complete graphic presentation will explain itself.  Indeed when you send your project to a competition you cannot go with it to explain what to anybody.  Add as little texts as necessary. (See next section, below)

BE CLEAR.  State your concept first, what you are intending to do, and then how you have done it.

BE LOGICAL.  Start with general-progress to specific.

BE POSITIVE.  Never apologize,  If YOU don't believe in your project, who else  will?

BE POLITE.  Listen for helpful comments from guest reviewers.  Reserve your right to disagree, but don't engage in prolonged argument.  DO explain when they do not understand.  Don't worry about differences in opinion.

BE PROFESSIONAL in your appearance and comportment.

BE RESTED and well nourished.  Deprivation impairs learning

BE RELAXED.  A hundred years from now, what difference will it make?

BE YOURSELF.  Don't fake an answer-it's o.k. to say "I don't know."



Strike three.
Get you hand off my knee.
You're over drawn.
Your horse won.
You have the account.
Don't Walk.
Basic events require simple language.
Idiosyncratically euphuistic eccentricities are the promulgators of triturable obfuscation.
What did you do last night?
Enter into a meaningful romantic involvement
or fall in love?
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
The upper part of a hog's hind leg with two oval bodies encased in a shell laid by a female bird
ham and eggs?
David Belasco, the great American theatrical producer, once said,

"If you can't write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don't have a clear idea."

-borrowed from
Professor James P. Warfield

(original source: Richard Kerr, Wall Street Journal, February 1979, according to e-mail from Timothy Baehr, 22 Sep 00)



What is a good study?

One that
 explores many options and keeps options open
 asks many "what if" questions
 seeks alternatives
 questions assumptions
 questions the status quo
 considers the improbable as well as the probable
 considers what Fay Jones calls "operative opposites"
 studies issues holistically, comprehensively
 suggests details (parts) which illustrates the whole
 is communicated informally in what Carme Pinos calls "ugly drawings"
 or what Thom Mayne calls "skrodels" (sketch models)
 takes risks and "boldly goes where no one's gone before"
 and/or reinterprets regional or local vernacular

A good preliminary study is NOT

 incapable of revision (without revision there is no design).

Design is a process of discovery through intense effort and continuous experiment.  In the study and practice of architecture you've really got to love the process.  The "chase" is nearly as important as the "catch."  Let us join the chase together and all relish the process.


These are some of the issues we will be addressing in studio this semester on all of the projects.

Traditional Neighborhood Design

From Langdon’s A Better Place to Live,

Five Principles of Neighborhood Design (p. 217):

1.  Identifiable Neighborhood Centers & Edges
2.  mile radius, five minute walk.  (Calthorpe: ten minute walk).
3.  Mixed use, including mixed housing types.
4.  Network of Interconnecting Streets (typically grid).
5.  Appropriately Located “Civic” Buildings (probably associated w/TOD).

Suburban Town Center Development Principles (p. 220):

1.  Offices, Retail, Mixed-use near center (or TOD @ light rail).
2.  Dense New Housing, 25 DUs/A  3-4 stories, apartments above stores.
3.  Pedestrian Friendly Circulation: narrow streets, wider walks, awings, arcades, entries front streets and at back
4.  Small Landscaped Pockets of Parking Behind Stores, No Large Visible Parking Lots at Street Edges.
5.  Parks, Open Space with Links to Restaurants, Galleries, etc.
6.  Public Transportation
Elements for Better Communities (p. 236.):

1.  Generously Connected Network of Streets and Walks.
2.  Streets are Public Spaces Enclosed by Building Fronts and Vegetation
3.  Houses with Porches, Entrances Face Street.
4.  Garages at Rear
5.  Mixed Size, Price, Types of Housing (Mixed Ages and Incomes).
6.  Pedestrian Access to Parks, Stores, Services, Public Gathering Spaces.

Fifteen Ways to Fix the Suburbs

(from Newsweek, May 15, 1995.)

1.  Give up big lawns
2.  Bring back the corner store
3.  Make the streets skinny (26’)
4.  Drop the Cul-de-sac
5.  Draw boundaries for urban growth
6.  Hide the garage
7.  Plant trees curbside
8.  Mix housing types
9.  Put new life into old malls
10.  Plan for mass transit
11.  Link work to home
12.  Make a Town Center
13.  Shrink parking lots
14.  Turn down the (intensity of street) lights
15.  Think green

Campus Address and Phone:

Robert I. Selby, AIA
Associate Professor of Architecture
School of Architecture University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
322 Temple Hoyne Buell Hall,  MC 621
611 Taft Drive
Champaign, IL 61820-6921
t: 217-244-6514
f: 217-244-2900

Arch 372 (Course Catalog)

rev: 11Jan 01