Advanced Design Studio: Beeby

Beeby: Chicago


Design and Visualization



This is the second time in a row that I have offered this particular program, as an advanced studio problem at Yale. I do so because I believe that this particular subject has been largely ignored at Yale in this format and houses remain a central focus of the architectural profession. Particularly in the 20th Century all the major protagonists of Modernism proposed theories on houses and housing. Chicago was no exception with Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe both offering alternatives to the city. Interestingly neither the legacy of Wright nor Mies remains as an ongoing force at this time.

This studio intends to investigate the vehicle of the free-standing individual dwelling as an instrument to repopulate the devastated neighborhoods of Chicago. These houses would be constructed on small parcels ranging from 1 site to 3 between existing structures that would be rehabilitated. Centered around existing public school sites, the new settlements would be the seeds to the resettlement of the traditional neighborhoods of Chicago. The houses will be built for public school teachers as an incentive to pursue their careers in the city.

The methodology of this studio will be focused on synthesis as a continuous process from the first day of the studio until the last. The participants of the studio will design every aspect of their small dwelling in complete resolution, with all the assemblies, systems and finishes called out including colors, furniture, and landscape. The studio will demand attention to both discipline and imagination, characteristics required in order to be an architect. The result might even help someone get a job or start a practice for it will be a comprehensive project.

The studio participants will visit Chicago and experience its architectural legacy ranging from Richardson, Sullivan and Burnham to Wright and Mies as well as the work of current architects. We will also visit historic neighborhoods to acquire an understanding of their make-up and history.

The studio will meet each Tuesday and Wednesday with a pin-up on Tuesday and individual desk crits on Wednesday. There will be a midterm and final jury in New Haven.



  1. The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard
  2. The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, Abbott Lowell Cummings
  3. The Sacred and the Profane, Mircea Eliade
  4. Folk Housing in Middle Virginia, Henry Glassie
  5. American Vernacular Buildings and Interiors, Virginia and Lee McAlester
  6. Building Suburbia, Dolores Hayden
  7. Building Dwelling Thinking, Martin Heidegger
  8. A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia and Lee McAlester
  9. Homes in the Heartland, Fred W. Peterson
  10. Plans of Chicago, R. Samuel Roche and Aric Lasher
  11. The Shingle Style, Vincent Scully
  12. The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
  13. Houses by Mail, Katherine Cole Stevenson
  14. Moralism and the Model Home, Gwendolyn Wright
  15. The Art and Craft of the Machine, Frank Lloyd Wright