[ ARCH 372, LA 236/338, UP378 Spring 2003 ]


   The Course
  Community design/development challenges designers and planners to grapple with real-world complexities in order to develop site-specific, community-appropriate design and planning. This spring, students will develop a neighborhood plan and accompanying design interventions for the South End Neighborhood of East St. Louis.  In the course of providing technical assistance to the South End Neighborhood Development Organization (SENDO), students will learn skills required to gather information from place and residents and to process this information both analytically and expressively in order to develop inspired design.
   Teaching Team

Lynne Dearborn, Architecture, Architecture 402, dearborn@uiuc.edu, 333-4331
Office Hours: M, W 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Stacy Harwood, Urban and Regional Planning, TBH M208, sharwood@uiuc.edu, 265-0874
Office Hours: M 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Laura Lawson, Landscape Architecture, TBH M222, ljlawson@uiuc.edu, 244-5408
Office Hours:  M, W 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Janni Sorensen, Teaching Assistant, Urban and Regional Planning, Noble Hall 315, jsorense@uiuc.edu, 265-6341
Office Hours:  W 10:30 – 12:00

   Times and Locations

ARCH 372:  M, W, F 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.

LA 236/338:  M, W, F 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

UP 378: W, F 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Lectures 325 TBH


  • 307 TBH-Landscape Architecture Jr. Studio
  • 223 TBH (planning classroom/lab available Weds. and Fridays)

ESLARP Office:  326 Noble Hall, 265-0202

  Key Concepts

Interdisciplinary:  This class integrates scholarship and methods of inquiry from architecture, landscape architecture, and planning. Students should be open to learning new approaches, looking at new areas of research/literature, and be willing to complete tasks that may be unfamiliar to them.   Most of the work in this course will be done in teams that include students from all three disciplines. This will require advanced coordination to accommodate different schedules.  The faculty will also work as a team.

Community/ University Partnership:  This class is part of the East St. Louis Action Research Project (ESLARP), a program of the University of Illinois that provides resources and technical support to community organizations.  In return, the university has an opportunity for innovative design, community engagement, and new pedagogical approaches.

Service Learning:  From the student perspective, this class aims to give real-world application to your academic studies.  You are providing technical expertise to a community organization while the residents are teaching you about neighborhood dynamics, organizing, and getting things done. 

Professionalism:  The work that students do in this class goes to a client and will be implemented.  While students may be learning through the process of the work, it is important to realize that the product must be professional and thorough. Final work needs to be “A” quality.  Similarly, students are expected to be responsible, courteous, and reliable in all dealings with students, faculty, and our community clients.

   Goals and Objectives
  • To produce a final neighborhood plan that is accepted by the neighborhood, who will then seek the city’s approval of it as the official plan.  The plan will include overall objectives, incremental projects, an implementation strategy, and phasing.
  • To introduce students to the process of community-based planning and design.
  • To prepare students with skills and understanding of issues relevant to community participation in professional practice.
  • To develop informed concern about contemporary social issues and tolerance and respect for different points of view.
  • To promote critical reflection on the role of community activists and social designers/planners in building, empowering, and sustaining communities.
  • To stimulate interest in the field of community development and related career opportunities.
Course Expectation and Evaluation

The following serves as a contract between faculty and students as to the expectations of the class.


Attendance is mandatory everyday of class and for the entire period. Students are expected to be ready to work at 1:30 when class begins. No absences are allowed except in the case of medical or family emergencies, and these must be verified by a note from hospital or registrar.  For each absence (this includes arriving late and leaving early), the student’s grade will drop by one percentage point (for instance, if the student has received a grade of 95% on all projects/assignments, or an A, three absences would drop this to 92%, or an A-).

There will be times when individuals and teams will need to leave the classroom/studio to go to the library, work on other computers, or go to the ESLARP office. Students should check in with faculty at the beginning of the class period to make sure that there are no conflicts. Students will also need to indicate time and locations on a sign-in/out sheet that will be posted in studio.

Students are also expected to go to East St. Louis several times during the semester.  Each student must attend the first Work Weekend, a fieldtrip to St. Louis, one additional Work Weekend, at least one SENDO meeting, and the final review in the South End.

  • First Inventory Work Weekend (just our class): February 7-8 (leave early on Friday morning, return on Saturday evening)
  • ESL Work Weekends: March 14-15, April 11-12 (leave early on Friday morning, return on Saturday evening)
  • St. Louis fieldtrip: Friday, Feb. 21 (all day)
    • This will require a field trip fee of approximately $12 plus money for lunch/dinner. 
  • SENDO meetings (Wednesday evenings):  February 5, March 5, April 2 (each requires leaving at about 12:30 and returning at about 10 p.m.)
  • final SENDO meeting tentatively 4/23 or 4/26 (tba)
   Participation and Expectations in Class and Teams

This class requires that each student contribute to the end product through a variety of responsibilities and roles.  Students will develop a Code of Conduct that outlines expectations. In addition, faculty will evaluate students periodically on initiative, reliability, and teamwork. At the end of each major group project, students will submit an evaluation of group dynamics and responsibilities.  Each project will include a collective grade for the group product and an individual grade based on personal contribution and team responsibilities.

The quick pace and applied nature of this course necessitates strict adherence to attendance, preparation, and deadlines. The faculty will make every effort to stick to the course schedule, but variations are inevitable (including assignment deadlines and requirements).  If you miss class, it is your responsibility to find out what happened.  Anything that is handed out will be posted in the class folder on the architecture server.

Students are encouraged to visit, call, or email the faculty as often as they want or need. Most course-related problems can be resolved if they are jointly addressed by the instructors and students early in the semester.  Students with special needs – factors that might interfere/conflict with a student’s successful completion of the course - should tell the instructors as soon as possible.  The faculty encourages individuals or groups of students who see ways to improve the course to arrange informal meeting with the faculty.

Please be aware of the university guidelines regarding academic integrity, which can be found under Rule 33 of the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students (http://www.uiuc.edu/admin_manual/code/rule_33.html).  Academic dishonesty includes such things as cheating, inappropriate use of university equipment/materials, fabrication of information, plagiarism (presenting someone else’s work from any source as your own), and so on. All forms of academic dishonesty will be considered a serious offense of university policy. Students committing any form of academic dishonesty will be reported to their home department, the College of Fine and Applied Arts, and to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline. Any student who violates the university academic integrity policy will receive a failing grade for this course.

   Course Projects

During the course of the semester, students are expected to work on group projects while also maintaining documentation of their individual efforts.  Late assignments/projects are generally not accepted. Failure to attend reviews/pin-ups will be reflected in individual grades on projects.  However, special arrangements (without penalty) may be warranted under certain circumstances.


Students are required to keep a sketchbook dedicated to this course.  Much of your independent work will be made apparent in your sketchbook.  There will be sketchbook assignments. In addition, we expect students to work out ideas and concepts in their sketchbooks. By the end of the semester, the sketchbook should be full of text, drawings, diagrams, and pasted-in images (there must be some personal reflection with pasted-in images/text).  Sketchbooks will be collected three times during the semester for grading/evaluation. It is important to label assignments, reading critiques, and other work so that faculty can note their completion.  The following sketchbooks have been approved for this course and are available at the Art Coop on Green Street:

Canson Basic Sketch (8 ½ x 11, 216 pages)

Strathmore Hardbound Sketch Book (8 ½ x 11, 192 pages)

Canson Field Sketchbook (9 x 12, spiral bound, 180 pages)

Lecture/Reading Reflections

There will be six lectures/reading assignments. Students are expected to read the corresponding assigned materials before the lecture and to write a brief summary/reflection in their sketchbook prior to the lecture. This can be printed clearly or typed and taped into sketchbook.  The typed equivalent is 2-4 pages, double-spaced.  Writing that has too many grammatical errors or is written illegibility will not be accepted. The goal is to explore meaning and application relevant to this course. The summary reflection must include: 

Brief summary of key issues (one or two paragraphs at most)

Implications for East St. Louis and the South End neighborhood

Further insights from your own perspective/experience (be specific)

Individual Exercises

Assignment 1:  Study/Critique of previous semester’s draft plan

(group project with written summary pasted into sketchbook

Assignment 2:  “My Neighborhood is…” a Neighborhood Environmental Autobiography

Assignment 3:  Three sketches and reflection from first work weekend

Assignment 4:  Sketches/measuring on St. Louis Fieldtrip

Assignment 5:  Notes and Critique from Review of Good Neighborhood Study

Assignment 6:  Reflection of experience at SENDO meeting(s)

Assignment 7:  Reflection, notes, and sketches from other required work weekend

Assignment 8:  Final Reflection of Course       

Good Neighborhood Study (Weeks 4-Week 7)

This project will involve the development of four feasible alternatives for the South End neighborhood based upon the draft South End Revitalization Plan developed last spring. be Each alternative will include a clearly described/illustrated “typology” based on class discussions/reading, and will include physical and programmatic development of the dimensions described in the draft plan (streetscape and infrastructure, parks and open space, community safety, community services, commercial revitalization, and housing development) as well as other considerations. The project will be described in greater detail in a separate project description sheet.  Students will be graded on group product and individual contribution to group product/process.

A Plan for the South End (Weeks 8-15)

Based on discussion and selection by the SENDO organization, the final plan will expand on one finalized idea, or a hybrid, from the Good Neighborhood Study. The final product will include design recommendations (streets, parks, housing, services, etc.) and an implementation plan with phasing. The specifics of the plan will  be described in greater detail in a separate project description.  Students will be graded on group product and individual contribution to group product/process.


The faculty will collectively grade each student in the class.  Grades will be based on the following:

Sketchbook: 30% 
Sketchbooks will be collected 3 times and graded on a scale of 1-10, adding up to 30 points total.

  • First Submittal – February 14, to include:
    • Assignments 1, 2, and 3; Reflections and notes from Lectures 1, 2, 3
    • Other work, graphics, diagrams that gives evidence of your use of sketchbook for course projects and analysis
  • Second Submittal – March 19, to include:
    • Assignments 4 and 5; Reflections and notes from Lectures 4, 5, 6
    • Additional work, graphics, diagrams, etc.
  • Third Submittal – May 9, to include:
    • Assignment 6-8; Individual/group process/ work on plan
    • Improvements to earlier work (these should be clearly marked/labeled/dated so that faculty can review them)

Good Neighborhood Study:  30 % (30 points)

Grade based on average of grade from group product and individual contribution to process and product. 

Plan for South End: 40% (40 points)

Grade based on average of grade on group product and individual contribution to process and product