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Minor in Architectural Studies 

Based in the Department of Art History, the interdisciplinary minor in Architectural Studies (ARCH) equips students to analyze the form and changing history of the built environment through a combination of coursework in architectural history with up to four courses on architectural and urban design topics offered in any department. This is the only university program that focuses on designing and analyzing buildings as material, three-dimensional, culturally meaningful environments. 

Students may choose to minor in architectural studies because they are interested in analyzing the built environment—the inescapable setting of our lives—from a liberal arts perspective or because they are considering applying to architecture school. The minor could represent an interest distinct from the student's major or it could complement a major in the social sciences or humanities by exploring the material setting of history and social life or the context for works of literature, film, music, or drama. It could equally complement a major in the sciences, such as medical fields, ecology, geology, physics, or mathematics. 

Alternatively, students may major in Art History and select architecture as their focus.

Prospective minors should meet with the Architectural Studies Advisor any time before the end of the third year to discuss their interests and course plans, and to obtain advice and enroll in the program. Together, the student and the Architectural Studies Advisor will fill out the Consent to Complete a Minor Program form listing the projected courses, and the Architectural Studies Advisor will sign it. To enroll, students must submit the completed, signed form to their College adviser before the end of the third year. After filling out the form, students retain the option to change their choice of courses, with the approval of the Architectural Studies Advisor. 


The minor in architectural studies requires a total of six courses, all of which must either focus on the built environment or permit the student to devote the assignments or papers to the built environment. A minimum of two courses must originate from the Department of Art History. The additional four courses may be taken in Art History or in other departments or programs. Some of the programs that may offer relevant courses are Environmental and Urban Studies, Geographical Sciences, History, English Language and Literature, Anthropology, and Visual Arts. In one of these courses, students also write one research paper of about 10 to 15 pages on a topic chosen with and guided by the instructor, by individual arrangement at the start of the quarter (see Research Papers below). 

All courses approved for Architectural Studies credit should meet these criteria: (1) the subject matter should include some attention to design elements of buildings, cities, or landscapes, real or imagined, (2) the assignments must allow the student to study some aspect of the built environment as outlined above. Courses with an ARCH cross-listing are pre-approved for credit in the minor program. If those courses also have an ARTH number, they count as eligible Art History department courses as well. However, if an ARCH course has no corresponding ARTH number, it should be counted as external to the Art History department. If students find suitable courses that are not cross-listed with an ARCH designation, they are encouraged to propose them to the Architectural Studies Advisor, providing the course number and title, description, and, if possible, the syllabus.

Architectural Studies offers two foundational courses: ARCH 20000 Understanding the Built Environment is a thematic introduction to skills of building and spatial analysis and interpretation. ARCH 24205 Skills & Processes for Architecture and Urban Design introduces students to design work while building skills important to design studios. They exemplify the two types of architectural studies courses offered by the Department of Art History. Architectural history courses teach students to interpret how buildings are designed, used, and adapted over time and to make sense of their social, political, and cultural dimensions. They attend to the material properties of buildings and the ways in which people perceive them. Architectural and urban design studios enable students to try out the role of designers rather than interpreters, which provides another invaluable perspective on why buildings take the forms they do, whether or not students envision architectural careers. Many courses of both types include field trips or a travel component to the sites under study. 

Students working towards the minor are strongly encouraged to take ARCH 20000 Understanding the Built Environment. Students who have not previously taken a design studio course are also encouraged to take ARCH 24205 Skills & Processes for Architecture and Urban Design. Any student of the minor may apply for instructor consent to take ARTH 29600 Doing Art History for minor program credit. This option is suitable for students seeking to develop their skill in writing object-centered research papers and especially those interested in doing graduate work in architectural history. It is also appropriate for fulfilling the requirement of a research paper on the built environment. 

Graduate seminars at the 40000-level may count toward requirements. Students are advised, however, that such courses impose special burdens of time and expertise, and admission to them is typically only by explicit approval of the instructor and may involve some prerequisites.

Courses in the minor may not be double counted with the student's major(s) or with other minor degrees. A course taken to fulfill a general education requirement may not be double-counted with the Architectural Studies minor. Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

Research Papers

All Architectural Studies students write at least one research paper of 10 to 15 pages. A research paper can be:

  • a paper written to fulfill a course assignment,
  • the extension of a shorter course paper (either during the course or after its completion) to meet the page and/or research requirement, or
  • a new paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. 

The paper should include an analysis of existing scholarship and other relevant source materials. The paper should also draw on that scholarship and evidence to shape and support a thesis or argument of the student's own devising. Formal analyses of works of art and analytic papers on materials assembled by the instructor do not qualify. On completing the research paper, students must submit a copy of the paper and their updated program worksheet to the Architectural Studies Advisor. 


The following faculty members in Art History specialize in architectural history: Niall Atkinson, Wei-Cheng Lin, and Katherine Fischer Taylor. Dario Donetti teaches both architectural history and architectural studio courses. Luke Joyner regularly offers architectural and urban design studio courses. Many other faculty members in Art History have an interest in the built environment and will support students writing papers on architecture; students are welcome to ask their instructors.

Summary of Requirements for the Minor in Architectural Studies

Two (2) courses in ARTH and that focus on the built environment *200
Four (4) courses in ARTH or other departments and that focus on the built environment400
One (1) 10-to-15-page research paper focusing on the built environment and written for one of the six courses in the minor
Total Units600

Co-curricular Opportunities

Architectural Studies collaborates with the University’s Career Advancement office to help students identify and fund internship opportunities related to the built environment. Advice on seeking internships is available here.

Everyone is invited to subscribe to the Architecture listserv, for announcements of events and opportunities on campus and in Chicago at large. 

The architecture RSO, called ARCH, can be reached through this listserv

To discuss any aspect of the minor in Architectural Studies, please contact the Architectural Studies Advisor

Architectural Studies Courses

ARCH 10336. Researching Chicago's Historic Parks and Neighborhoods. 100 Units.

Often considered a "City of Neighborhoods," Chicago has a fascinating network of community areas that were shaped by historical events and developments. Many of the city's neighborhoods include parks that have their own significant architectural, landscape and social histories. The class will introduce students to some of Chicago's most interesting historic neighborhoods and parks; expose them to key regional digital and on-site archives; and instruct them in appropriate methodologies for conducting deep research on sites and landscapes, with a special focus on Chicago's historic park system. Students will utilize an array of resources including Sanborn maps, US Census records, historic plans, photographs, and archival newspapers to provide in-depth studies of unpreserved sites. The course will also expose students to historic preservation policies, methodologies, and guidelines to provide practical strategies for preserving lesser-known places and sites. As a Chicago Studies class, its pedagogy will also include excursions into the city, engagement with local guest speakers, and research in relevant Chicago-area archives/special collections.

Instructor(s): Julia Bachrach     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This special class is offered in conjunction with the University’s ongoing commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Olmsted and his sons, the Olmsted Brothers, had a substantial influence on the city’s South Side, including the University’s campus and the development of small parks that provided services to dense immigrant neighborhoods in the early 20th century. The class will include field trips during some Friday class sessions.
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 20336, ARTH 20336, HIST 27312, ENST 20336, CEGU 20336

ARCH 10701. Sound and the Built Environment. 100 Units.

Sound and the Built Environment examines the role of sound at all scales of the built world from the room to the city. This course highlights a sound studies approach in which students will learn how to listen deeply, an act of resistance in a culture that suffers from primacy of the visual. Students will also learn about concepts such as the soundscape, how to read a room intuitively through basic concepts of acoustics (reverberation, clarity, balance, etc), the history of buildings designed purposefully for sound, and the role sound plays in urban life throughout history. Deliverables for this course include a sound studies portion in which students will examine soundscapes that impact their lives in Chicago, and a design portion in which students re-evaluate spaces around Chicago through an acoustics lens.

Instructor(s): K. Wagner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): While this class does not require prior experience, all ARCH studio courses require consent. Starting July 31, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.)
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 10701, CHST 10701

ARCH 11800. Physics and Contemporary Architecture. 100 Units.

Architectural structures form the built environment around us and in many ways create the backbone of our civilization. They push the limits of form and function on the largest human scales, often leading to iconic masterpieces that symbolize the aesthetics as well as the technical achievements of a period. Many architectural advances have been made possible by breakthroughs in the science of materials, which then led to innovation in construction and fabrication techniques. This course will introduce the physics principles that have enabled some of the most innovative architecture of our time. This course will take key ideas and tools from physics and demonstrate their power and relevance in a broader context familiar from everyday experience. The course will challenge students to recognize physics concepts in the built structures that make up the urban environment we live in. Chicago is a most appropriate place for this study; it was the birthplace of the first skyscraper, and ever since it has played an internationally celebrated role in pushing the limits of the architectural state of the art. A long succession of renowned Chicago architects and structural engineers has turned this city into a premier laboratory for architectural innovation. Against this backdrop, the course will show how science, and physics in particular, delivers the conceptual foundations that drive current directions in architecture and open up new opportunities.

Instructor(s): Heinrich M. Jaeger; Sidney Nagel     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Some exposure to high-school physics is recommended
Note(s): The course will consist of two lectures per week plus a weekly hands-on workshop (lab) component. The Monday lectures will introduce the physics principles to be explored that week. The Thursday lectures will be delivered by distinguished guest speakers, including renowned architects and engineers. These lectures will be public lectures. They will relate to the physics principle introduced that Monday and explore its ramification within the broader context of contemporary architectural practice. The Thursday afternoon workshop component will involve team-based, hands-on construction projects to develop a better understanding and intuition of the physics principles introduced in the lectures and to obtain a sense of their real-life implications. The workshops will also provide an opportunity to interact with the guest lecturers. Attendance at Thursday lectures is required. This course meets the general education requirement in the physical sciences and may be paired with PHSC 11600, 11700, 12600, or 13400 in order to complete the requirement. This course can be taken for credit towards either the general education requirement in the physical sciences or the Architectural Studies minor, but not both. Students intending to receive physical sciences general education credit should register for PHSC 11800; students intending to receive credit towards the Architectural Studies Minor should register for ARCH 11800.
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 11800, PHSC 11800

ARCH 14146. London vs. Nature: Writing Utopia and Dystopia in the Urban Landscape [Creative Writing Arts Core: R. 100 Units.

In this Arts Core course, students will be introduced to a range of the utopian and dystopian fantasies that writers have produced in response to the metropolis of London as the imperial epicenter of manufactured ecologies, from the late nineteenth century through the present day. They will study early responses to modernism and modernization in the city by figures like William Blake, Frederick Engels, Henry James, Ezra Pound, and Virginia Woolf before moving on to contemporary writers such as R. Murray Schafer, who apprehends the city through "earwitnessing" of noise pollution, and Bhanu Kapil, who recalls the race riots of the 1970s against the backdrop of the Nestle factory on the site of King Henry VIII's hunting grounds. Students will be exposed first-hand to how London is read by writers confronting planetary and political crisis through meetings with living publishers, authors, and art collectives like the Museum of Walking, grappling with the continual metamorphosis of the landscape-and through a sequence of on-site visits and psychogeographical experiments, they will have the opportunity to respond to the city in their own writing across a range of genres. (Arts Core)

Instructor(s): Jennifer Scappettone     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Acceptance to the London Study Abroad Program.
Equivalent Course(s): CRWR 12146

ARCH 14201. In and Out: Supply and Waste in 21st Century Dwelling. 100 Units.

In the next 25 years, give or take, the world's population is expected to reach 10 billion souls. 68% of these people, roughly 6.8 billion people, will be living in cities. The challenges of energy, transportation, food production and distribution, shelter are the IN and are, typically, the focus of architecture and its related disciplines. What about the OUT? Fuel emissions, food waste, human waste (solid and liquid), human remains, medical waste, thermal by-products of heating, cooling and manufacture, not to mention building waste to produce housing for 10 billion are the focus of this studio. As we urbanize, as cities expand, as the space for containing waste is ever more remote and the waste itself ever more copious, how do we manage, control or even understand the problem? This course will look at the challenges facing our cities as both recursive and emergent. The scale of these issues is of unprecedented magnitude, though not new in principle. As a practical matter, any solution must simultaneously reference contemporary approaches to waste management and urban sustenance and ancient practices of integration, symbiosis and elimination

Instructor(s): K. Mills     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): While this class does not require prior experience, all ARCH studio courses require consent. Starting November 6, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 14201

ARCH 15706. Skills & Processes for Architecture and Urban Design. 100 Units.

This studio course seeks to acquaint students with a range of skills and methods in design, including manual, digital and hybrid methods. Students will test out several design processes through a series of problem sets and micro-projects, and develop their own personal tools and ways as they go. An emphasis will be put on free play and experimentation, followed by rounds of revision and refinement. We will also consider how historical research, precedent, context and constraint can help meaningfully inform design process, without overly paralyzing it. This is an excellent course to take if you are interested in other studio design courses (such as courses listed ARCH 2419X and ARCH 24267), but want to build up your skills before undertaking a major, quarter-long project.

Instructor(s): S. Park, L. Joyner     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): While this class does not require prior experience, all ARCH studio courses require consent. Starting November 6, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 15706

ARCH 16911. Modeling Contemporary Japanese Architecture. 100 Units.

This undergraduate seminar focuses on contemporary Japanese architecture. It builds on an association between three main pedagogies for the study of architecture: observation, critical reading, and modeling.Our discussions will focus primarily on buildings and works by individual architects and artists that are currently active in Japan and whose work contributes to a broader understanding of architecture as a creative field. Special emphasis will be given to the work of a younger generation of Japanese architects who are currently exerting a significant impact on the development of contemporary Japanese culture.The seminar recognizes the broad use and potential of architectural scale models and intends to use them as a central tool for investigation. Students will analyze buildings through various forms of model making.The construction of physical, three-dimensional scale models will provide a useful platform to further develop insights gained through reading, class discussions, and in-depth study of architectural representations.

Instructor(s): Erez Golani Solomon     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 16911

ARCH 17721. Groundwork: Infrastructure, Aesthetics, and the Built Environment. 100 Units.

Infrastructures are conduits; they carry physical things like water, people, commodities, energy, and waste. But despite appearances, infrastructures are anything but neutral. Pipes, wires, and roads also carry beliefs about how the world should work and for whom it should function, designs that fix into place ideas about commercial circulation, social care, political representation, spatial organization, and economic development. This course will provide a thematic overview of the constructed networks that support the modern built environment, while simultaneously considering the social, spatial, and aesthetic implications of these encompassing systems. Through a historical survey of critical sites-the road, the bridge, the sewer, the mine, and the grid, among others-students will gain a sense of where these systems came from and how they have shaped expectations about our changing relationship with the natural environment.

Instructor(s): Alexander Bierig     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 17721

ARCH 17761. Latest Experiments in Architectural History. 100 Units.

This course invites students to reflect upon the idea of modernity in architecture as it developed between 1450 and the end of the 20th century. The purpose of this course is two-fold: 1) to introduce students to selected architectural episodes across time and space; and 2) to demonstrate that modernity as a concept is deeply charged with power dynamics. Indeed, the idea of modernity systematically includes a strong delineation of its margins: the people, cultures, and places that have been portrayed as lacking the modern mind, techniques, or esthetics. In this respect, modernity and its antonyms are often inseparable, like two sides of the same coin. Throughout the quarter, we will discuss exclusionary modern visions, debunk their absolutism, and amplify the voices of those who have proposed alternative models for modernity in architecture.

Instructor(s): J. Huet     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 17761

ARCH 17915. Women's Work. 100 Units.

As a haptic art, an art experienced through touch as well as the other senses, architecture operates at multiple scales: that of hand, building, city. The scale of the hand gives the most direct access to architecture and its furnishings: think of a handrail, a chair, a textile, a brick pattern, a wood detail. This is the realm of craft in architecture and was, for decades, the realm inhabited and ruled by women practitioners. Women designed furniture, made drawings, wove textiles, produced pottery and glasswork as a means of expression within the male world of architectural practice. As an introduction to the study of architecture, craft entails applying principles of proportion, scale, tactility, precision, materiality, and assembly; in this way, craft is a microcosm of architecture. Through a series of projects and readings centered around the craft arts and the women who advanced them, this studio course will introduce students to small-scale making and translate that process to larger scales. Students will undertake two investigations: the first a series of small craft objects and a set of orthographic drawings describing the making process, the second a spatial analysis and workspace for a craft practitioner.

Instructor(s): K. Mills     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): While this class does not require prior experience, all ARCH studio courses require consent. Starting July 31, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.)
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 17915, GNSE 17915

ARCH 20000. Understanding the Built Environment. 100 Units.

This course aims to equip students with the basic skills and knowledge required to analyze architecture and the built environment. It offers an introduction to the methods and procedures of the architectural historian. These include practical tasks such as understanding architectural terminology, reading and interpreting architectural drawings, engaging with buildings "on site," and studying buildings in urban context, relative to surrounding buildings, street networks and public spaces. At a broader level, the course will entail critical discussion about the relationship between architecture and society, the building as a historically specific object that also changes over time, the cultural representation of architecture, and modes of perceiving/experiencing the built environment.

Instructor(s): Wei-Cheng Lin      Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. Please note that the course entails an 80-minute meeting on Tuesdays and a 170-minute meeting on Thursdays. The long meetings accommodate off-campus field trips and allow for some travel time. Field trips will be scheduled so students can get back to campus for classes starting at 12:30.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 30700, ARTH 20700, CHST 20700

ARCH 20150. Sustainable Urban Development. 100 Units.

The course covers concepts and methods of sustainable urbanism, livable cities, resiliency, and smart growth principles from a social, environmental and economic perspective. In this course we examine how the development in and of cities - in the US and around the world - can be sustainable, especially given predictions of a future characterized by increasing environmental and social volatility. We begin by critiquing definitions of sustainability. The fundamental orientation of the course will be understanding cities as complex socio-natural systems, and so we will look at approaches to sustainability grouped around several of the most important component systems: climate, energy, transportation, and water. With the understanding that sustainability has no meaning if it excludes human life, perspectives from both the social sciences and humanities are woven throughout: stewardship and environmental ethics are as important as technological solutions and policy measures.

Instructor(s): Winter: Staff, Spring: Evan Carver     Terms Offered: Spring Winter
Note(s): ENST 21201 and 20150 are required of students who are majoring in Environmental and Urban Studies and may be taken in any order.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20150, GLST 20150, CEGU 20150, PBPL 20150

ARCH 20160. Cities on Screen. 100 Units.

How do the movies shape our collective imagination about cities? Why do we so often turn to them for visions of disaster and dystopia, on the one hand, or a futuristic utopia on the other? How has film responded to cities in the past, and how can it help investigate our present urban condition? How can film be understood as a tool for exploring what a city is? In this seminar, we will watch and discuss feature films in which the built environment or urban issues play important roles. Students will improve their film literacy -- learning not just what a film does but how it does it -- and understand applications for film in the analysis of social, spatial, temporal, and immersive phenomena, as well as how it can help inspire and communicate design more effectively.

Instructor(s): Evan Carver     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20160, CEGU 20160

ARCH 20170. Pandemics, Urban Space, and Public Life. 100 Units.

Much of the cultural vibrance, economic strength, and social innovation that characterizes cities can be credited to their density. Put simply, cities bring people together, and togetherness allows for complex and fruitful exchange. But togetherness also brings risks, notably from infectious disease. A pandemic feeds on propinquity. "Social distance," while a short-term public health imperative, is antithetical to the very idea of the urban. In this seminar, we will explore these competing tensions in light of current and past disease outbreaks in urban settings. Drawing on a range of texts from history, design theory, sociology, and anthropology, as well as cultural artifacts like film, graphic memoir, and photography, we will engage questions like: How are the risks of contagion balanced with the benefits of density? How are such risks distributed throughout society? What creative responses have architects, urban designers, and planners brought to this challenge? Most importantly, how can we respond constructively to the challenge of pandemic to create cities where the benefits of togetherness are maximized, perhaps even improved on compared with the pre-outbreak condition? Students will have the opportunity to propose design or policy interventions to help their own communities respond to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, return to a vibrant post-pandemic life, and prepare for the pandemics of the future.

Instructor(s): Evan Carver     Terms Offered: Autumn Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20170, HLTH 20170, GEOG 20170, PBPL 20170, CEGU 20170

ARCH 20180. Writing the City. 100 Units.

How do great writers convey sense-of-place in their writing? What are the best ways to communicate scientific and social complexity in an engaging, accessible way? How can we combine academic rigor with journalistic verve and literary creativity to drive the public conversation about urgent environmental and urban issues? These are just some of the questions explored in WRITING THE CITY, an intensive course dedicated to honing our skills of verbal communication about issues related to the built and natural environments. Students will research, outline, draft, revise, and ultimately produce a well-crafted piece of journalistic writing for publication in the program's new annual magazine, Expositions. Throughout the quarter we will engage intensely with a range of authors of place-based writing exploring various literary and journalistic techniques, narrative devices, rhetorical ​approaches, and stylistic strategies.

Instructor(s): Evan Carver     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): At least one ENST, GEOG, or ARCH course; or one PBPL, ARTH, ANTH, or SOCI course with an urban focus; or instructor permission. Please contact with questions.
Note(s): Restricted to 3rd and 4th years This course counts towards the ENST 4th year Capstone requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 20180, CEGU 20180

ARCH 20200. Urban Dramas: Theater, Performance and the City. 100 Units.

How do urban landscapes, economies, collectives and communities influence the ecology of artistic practice? How does art - and theatre in particular - represent and reflect the eccentricities, anxieties and exultations of urban experience? In this course, we will examine the mutually constitutive relationship between theatre and the city through different perspectives, methodologies and approaches. We will consider how the city is represented in a range of dramatic works including Aristophanes' The Birds, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, Ramu Ramanathan's Cotton 56, Polyester 84, and Anne Deavere Smith's Twilight: Los Angeles 1992. We will read these plays in conjunction with critical writings that illustrate the ways in which changing urban landscapes reshape the contours of theatre practice along economic, demographic and infrastructural lines. These include the scholarship of Marvin Carlson, Loren Kruger, Michael McKinnie, and Stanton B. Garner, among others. The course requires students to engage with the course themes both intellectually and experientially, through a dedicated set of readings and assignments that probe the entanglements between theatre and city life within the specific Chicago context. Students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the theatre culture of Chicago, and conduct ethnographic research on existing theatre spaces in the city.

Instructor(s): S. Sastry     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 20200

ARCH 20252. Urban Innovation: Cultural Place Making and Scenescapes. 100 Units.

Activists from Balzac, Jane Jacobs, and others today seek to change the world using the arts. Ignored by most social science theories, these new cultural initiatives and policies are increasing globally. Urban planning and architecture policies, walking and parades, posters and demonstrations, new coffee shops and storefront churches reinforce selective development of specific cities and neighborhoods. These transform our everyday social environments into new types of scenes. They factor into crucial decisions, about where to work, to open a business, to found a political activist group, to live, what political causes to support, and more. The course reviews new case studies and comparative analyses from China to Chicago to Poland that detail these processes. Students are encouraged to explore one type of project.

Instructor(s): T. Clark     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20252, SOCI 30252, ENST 20252

ARCH 20506. Cities, Space, Power: Introduction to urban social science. 100 Units.

This lecture course provides a broad, multidisciplinary introduction to the study of urbanization in the social sciences. The course surveys a broad range of research traditions from across the social sciences, as well as the work of urban planners, architects, and environmental scientists. Topics include: theoretical conceptualizations of the city and urbanization; methods of urban studies; the politics of urban knowledges; the historical geographies of capitalist urbanization; political strategies to shape and reshape the built and unbuilt environment; cities and planetary ecological transformation; post-1970s patterns and pathways of urban restructuring; and struggles for the right to the city.

Instructor(s): N. Brenner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20506, PLSC 20506, CEGU 20506, HIPS 20506, CHST 20506, SOCI 30506, KNOW 30506, PLSC 30506, ENST 20506, CCCT 30506, CHSS 30506

ARCH 20521. Sociology of urban planning: cities, territories, environments. 100 Units.

This course provides a high-intensity introduction to the sociology of urban planning practice under modern capitalism. Building upon urban sociology, planning theory and history as well as urban social science and environmental studies, we explore the emergence, development and continual transformation of urban planning in relation to changing configurations of capitalist urbanization, modern state power, sociopolitical insurgency and environmental crisis. Following an initial exploration of divergent conceptualizations of "planning" and "urbanization," we investigate the changing sites and targets of planning; struggles regarding the instruments, goals and constituencies of planning; the contradictory connections between planning and diverse configurations of power in modern society (including class, race, gender and sexuality); and the possibility that new forms of planning might help produce more socially just and environmentally sane forms of urbanization in the future.

Instructor(s): N. Brenner     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 20521, ENST 20521, CEGU 20521, KNOW 30521, SOCI 30521, PBPL 20521, PLSC 20521, PLSC 30521, SOCI 20521, PPHA 30521, GEOG 20521

ARCH 20685. Material Narratives. 100 Units.

This studio explores architecture and design thinking through the lens of building materials--wood, masonry, concrete, metal, glass, and sustainable products. Our focus is on how designers and architects think about materials, how they use them in their work, and how materials can play a principal role in the design process. The larger studio project is to design a pavilion somewhere on campus using what we learn and the language of materials to tell a story. There will be an emphasis on using physical models, along with sketching and drawing, to investigate, develop and communicate our ideas. A few off-campus trips to buildings around Chicago during seminar sessions will require some travel before and after class.

Instructor(s): S. Park     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): While this class does not require prior experience, all ARCH studio courses require consent. Starting February 12, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.)
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 20685, CHST 20685

ARCH 20692. Armenian History through Art and Culture. 100 Units.

Who are the Armenians and where do they come from? What is the cultural contribution of Armenians to their neighbors and overall world heritage? This crash-course will try to answer these and many other similar questions while surveying Armenian history and elements of culture (mythology, religion, manuscript illumination, art, architecture, etc.). It also will discuss transformations of Armenian identity and symbols of 'Armenianness' through time, based on such elements of national identity as language, religion, art, or shared history. Due to the greatest artistic quality and the transcultural nature of its monuments and artifacts, Armenia has much to offer in the field of Art History, especially when we think about global transculturation and appropriation among cultures as a result of peoples' movements and contacts. The course is recommended for students with interest in Armenian Studies or related fields, in Area or Civilizations Studies, Art and Cultural Studies, etc.

Instructor(s): Hripsime Haroutunian     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 20692, NEHC 30692, HIST 25711, ARTH 20692

ARCH 20704. Traveling Studio: From Detail to City at Taliesin. 100 Units.

The course is designed to immerse students in architectural drawing and making at a site of prolific drawing and making past, in a remarkable environment both natural and built. Working both individually and together, we will use our surroundings at Taliesin to tackle five short projects, increasing in scale, from the tiniest architectural details up through consideration of city and region. As part of the latter portion of the course, we will also consider the Driftless region of Wisconsin specifically, and issues facing this unique rural area in 2023, including environmental challenges, questions of housing, and rural foodways. Typical days will include studio time in the Hillside studio, ample exploration of the Taliesin grounds both programmed and free, conversations with guests familiar with the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and others who spent time at Taliesin, excursions across the Driftless region (including additional buildings designed by Wright and others close to him), and a modest amount of work helping to maintain the Taliesin site.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CEGU 20704, ARTH 30704, ARTH 20704, ENST 20704

ARCH 21300. (Re)Branding the Balkan City: Comtemp. Belgrade/Sarajevo/Zagreb. 100 Units.

The freedom to make and remake our cities (and ourselves) is one of the most precious yet most neglected of the human rights," argues David Harvey. In this course, we use an urban studies lens to explore the complex history, social fabric, architecture, infrastructure, and cultural transformation of the former Yugoslav capitals. Since their inception, these cities have relied on multifaceted exchanges of peoples and political projects, forms of knowledge, financial and cultural capital, means of production, and innovative ideas. Among others, these exchanges produced two phenomena, Yugoslav architecture, embodying one of the great political experiments of the modern era, and the Non-Aligned Movement, as explored in recent documentary films (Turajlić 2023), museum exhibits (MoMA 2018, "Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia 1948-1980"), and monographs (Tito in Africa: Picturing Solidarity). Drawing on anthropological theory and ethnography of the city, we consider processes of urban destruction and renewal, practices of branding spaces and identities, metropolitan citizenship, arts and design, architectural histories and styles, and the broader politics of space. The course is complemented by cultural and historical media, guest speakers, and virtual tours. Classes are conducted in English.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): REES 21300, HIST 24008, ARTH 21333, GLST 21301, BCSN 21300, ARTH 31333, BCSN 31303, REES 31303

ARCH 22105. Sex and Gender in The City. 100 Units.

This course is designed to introduce students to some of the key concerns at the intersection of gender studies and urban studies. In this course, we will take gender relations and sexuality as our primary concern and as a constitutive aspect of social relations that vitally shape cities and urban life. We will examine how gender is inscribed in city landscapes, how it is lived and embodied in relation to race, class, and sexuality, and how it is (re)produced through violence, inequality, and resistance. Over the course of the quarter, we will draw on an interdisciplinary scholarship that approaches the central question of how and why thinking about urban life in relation to gender and sex matters.

Instructor(s): Sneha Annavarapu     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 28088, GNSE 12105, ENST 12105, GLST 22105

ARCH 22211. Riding about the South Side. 100 Units.

This course is based on bicycling through the South Side neighborhoods surrounding the University of Chicago. There will be some readings, but the primary input will be from riding-from seeing things at street level and speaking with people who are committed to living in places that often have been abandoned by others. We can read and theorize about the community surrounding us, but the premise in this class is that our work should begin with experience in that world, with direct contact and in conversation. My approach in this class is less to teach than to lead you to where things are waiting to be learned and to people who can teach you about their world better than I. Some of the themes we will cover include land rights and exploitation, architecture, town planning, placemaking, urban farming and ecology, sustainability, grass roots organization, labor rights and exploitation, immigration, social work, and street art. Each ride is organized around a set of key concerns and includes a conversation with a local insider who can help us better understand them.

Instructor(s): William Nickell
Note(s): This course includes weekend morning bicycle rides 2.5-3 hours in length. Weekend flexibility is required, rides happen on either Saturday or Sunday dependent on weather conditions.
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 22211, CEGU 22211, ENST 22211, CEGU 32211, KNOW 22211

ARCH 22322. Sensing the Anthropocene. 100 Units.

In this co-taught course between the departments of English (Jennifer Scappettone) and Visual Arts (Amber Ginsburg), we will deploy those senses most overlooked in academic discourse surrounding aesthetics and urbanism--hearing, taste, touch, and smell--to explore the history and actuality of Chicago as a site of anthropogenic changes. Holding the bulk of our classes out of doors, we will move through the city seeking out and documenting traces of the city's foundations in phenomena such as the filling in of swamp; the river as pipeline; and the creation of transportation and industrial infrastructure--all with uneven effects on human and nonhuman inhabitants. Coursework will combine readings in history and theory of the Anthropocene together with examples of how artists and activists have made the Anthropocene visible, tangible, and audible, providing forums for playful documentation and annotations as we draw, score, map, narrate, sing, curate and collate our sensory experience of the Anthropocene into a final experimental book project. Admission is by consent only: please write a short paragraph briefly sketching your academic background and naming your interest in the course. Send this submission to:,

Instructor(s): J. Scappettone, A. Ginsburg     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): PQ: Third or fourth-year standing.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 32322, CEGU 27700, CHST 27200, ENGL 27700, BPRO 27200, ARTV 22322, ENGL 47700, ENST 27700

ARCH 23011. The Japanese House Question. 100 Units.

This studio course in architecture focuses on the 'Japanese house' and the 'Japanese empty house' as main objects of investigation.We will study the 'Japanese house'-arguably the most prolific architectural typology in modern and contemporary Japan, and specifically a small group of 'Japanese empty houses' that we will select from Japan's 'bank' of empty houses, which currently includes about ten million. Each student will choose an existing empty house in Tokyo area and develop a transformation scheme. The 'Japanese house' and the 'Japanese empty house' will be observed, analyzed, represented, and finally re-interpreted by means of architectural design.

Instructor(s): E. Golani Solomon     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): While this class does not require prior experience, all ARCH studio courses require consent. Starting November 6, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.)
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 23011

ARCH 23210. Urban Core in Paris. 100 Units.

This course is both an introduction to how historians think about cities and a history of cities in France and the French Empire, with a focus on Paris, from the Middle Ages through 1968. The course is chronological in organization, but each class also focuses on a different theme, such as the place of politics, industrial development, migration, culture, and commerce in the transformation of urban forms and experiences.

Instructor(s): L. Auslander     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Paris: Social Sciences Urbanism program
Equivalent Course(s): RDIN 23210, ENST 23210, HIST 23210

ARCH 23401. Revision, Expression & Portfolio Design. 100 Units.

This studio course, similar to a "senior seminar" in other disciplines, serves five purposes: (1) to allow students to pick up a few elements (drawings, models, collages, visual and place-based research, etc.) they've produced in other ARCH studio courses and spend more time refining them, outside the broader demands of a thematic studio class, (2) to acquaint students with advanced skills in expression and representation related to the revision and refinement of these elements, based on student interest and needs, (3) to assist students in the development of a portfolio of studio work, either toward application for graduate school or simply to have for themselves, and in systems to organize projects and revisions, (4) to add to students' typographic and graphic design skillsets, primarily using the Adobe Creative Suite, as part of the portfolio process, and (5) to practice and hone communication and writing skills related to discussing architectural projects. While there will be a modest set of skills-based exercises each week, to help structure the studio, most of the work for this class will be students' own project revisions and portfolios, and most of class time will be spent sharing and refining both.

Instructor(s): L. Joyner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Priority for this "senior studio" course will be given to third and fourth years who've taken at least two other ARCH studio classes already. Students who have not already taken "Skills & Processes for Architecture and Urban Design" may be asked to consult some of the problem sets from that class ahead of this one, to ensure a baseline upon which this class will build. Starting July 31, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.)
Note(s): This course counts towards the ENST 4th year Capstone requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 23401, ARTH 23401, CEGU 23401

ARCH 23517. Introduction to Critical Spatial Media: Visualizing Urban, Environmental, and Planetary Change. 100 Units.

This course introduces critical theories and techniques for visualizing interconnected transformations of urban, environmental, and planetary systems amidst the pressures of climate change, urbanization, and global economies of capitalism. Weekly lectures will introduce major themes and theoretical debates, paired with hands-on lab tutorials exploring a selection of methods in conventional and experimental geographic visualization. Thematically, the course will be organized around critical interpretations of the Anthropocene, a concept designating the epoch in which anthropogenic activities are recognized as the dominant force of planetary climatic and ecological change. We will present these interpretations through modules structured around different conceptual paradigms and alternative epochal designations (e.g. the Urbanocene, the Capitalocene, the Plantationocene). Through weekly lab exercises and a final, synthetic project, the course will move from critically analyzing prevalent theoretical frameworks, geospatial data, and associated visualization techniques to creatively visualizing critical alternatives. Students will learn how to construct visual narratives through a variety of spatial media (e.g. maps, diagrams, visual timelines), scales (e.g. bodies, neighborhoods, landscapes, the planetary), and techniques/platforms (e.g. GIS, web mapping, basic programming language tools, and vector/raster visualization programs).

Instructor(s): Alexander Arroyo, Grga Basic, Sol Kim     Terms Offered: Autumn Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 23517, CEGU 23517, ARTV 20665, MAAD 13517

ARCH 23835. Social Theory of the City. 100 Units.

This seminar explores various historical, sociological and anthropological theories of cities. The course analyzes major theoretical frameworks concerned with urban forms, institutions and experience as well as particular instances of city development from pre-modern to contemporary periods. The seminar will consist of initial orienting lectures, discussion of selected texts concerned with social theories of the city, and presentation of research projects by class participants.

Instructor(s): Alan L. Kolata
Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Paris Program
Note(s): Undergraduates only
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 23825, ANTH 23825

ARCH 24190. Imagining Chicago's Common Buildings. 100 Units.

This course is an architectural studio based in the common residential buildings of Chicago and the city's built environment. While design projects and architectural skills will be the focus of the course, it will also incorporate readings, a small amount of writing, some social and geographical history, and several explorations around Chicago. The studio will: (1) give students interested in pursuing architecture or the study of cities experience with a studio course and some skills related to architectural thinking, (2) acquaint students intimately with Chicago's common residential buildings and built fabric, and (3) situate all this within a context of social thought about residential architecture, common buildings, housing, and the city. This course is part of the College Course Cluster program: Urban Design.

Instructor(s): L. Joyner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): While this class does not require prior experience, all ARCH studio courses require consent. Starting July 31, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.) Please also note that this course will include several field trips around Chicago during class time; if you have any questions or concerns about that, please share them in the consent form when you complete it.
Equivalent Course(s): CEGU 24190, ENST 24190, CHST 24190, ARTH 24190, ARTV 20210, GEOG 24190, AMER 24190

ARCH 24191. City Imagined, City Observed. 100 Units.

This urban design studio course takes two distinct notions of the city as its starting point: grand, imaginative plans -- utopian, unbuilt, semi-realized, real... both as aesthetic objects, and as ideas -- and how the minute flows of day-to-day life, up from the smallest scale, enter into dialogue with little built and lived details, intended or not. Drawing on both Chicago and other places (not just urban) that individual students know well, we will dream both big and small, search both present and past, and tap precisely into both what we dream and what we experience... seeking not to dictate what the city will be, but to use these different modes of understanding to expand our sense of what a city can be. Necessarily, we'll grapple with difficult contradictions cities pose, our most central personal assumptions about spaces and places, and with questions of how, especially in present-day capitalism, cities change. We take as given the inevitable gap between how places actually evolve and how, perhaps, they could, and use that gap as a site for the imagination to step in, while also confronting the hubris of imagining cities real. The studio work will proceed in three stages: individually developing an alternate vision for a place you know well, at a historical moment of your choice... then breaking each others' plans... and finally using real observations and factors (and even spontaneous impulse) to complicate and rebuild your vision into something lovelier.

Instructor(s): L. Joyner     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Consent is required to enroll in this class. Priority will be given to students who have completed ARTH 24190.
Equivalent Course(s): CEGU 24191, ARTH 24191, ARTV 20205, CHST 24191, ENST 24191, GEOG 24191, AMER 24191

ARCH 24196. Second Nature: New Models for the Chicago Park District. 100 Units.

The Chicago Park District seems to preserve "first nature" within the metropolitan field. But the motive for establishing this sovereign territory was hardly natural. Today, cultural change raises questions about the significance and operation of this immense network of civic spaces. What opportunities emerge as we rethink them? While this design studio focuses on the development of new model parks for Chicago, it can support students coming from a broad range of disciplines. Texts, seminar discussions, and field trips will complement and nourish the development of architectural proposals.

Instructor(s): A. Schachman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent only
Note(s): Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. Please also note that architecture studio courses comprise one 80-minute meeting and one 170-minute meeting per week. Scroll down to see timing.
Equivalent Course(s): CEGU 24196, ENST 24196, ARTH 24196, GEOG 24196, ARTV 20206

ARCH 24199. The Life of Buildings. 100 Units.

This course will examine the life of buildings-- how they perform, evolve, and adapt over time. How do particular design decisions influence human experience and behavior? Which parts of the building align with its intended use and what are surprising outcomes or changes? These questions aim to provide students with a deeper understanding of the built environment and the series of decisions that shaped them. Through readings, surveys, site visits, and conversations with architects and building users, we will measure and examine the spaces around us. Students will begin with a series of short analysis and design exercises and create short films, projective collages and diagrams, and architectural concept models. Building on our collective observations, research, and analysis, we will then finish with a final project where we respond to an existing building and propose an alternate life path. The format of the course is part-seminar, part-studio that aims to equip students with practical tools and strategies needed to shape our world and account for the long-term impact of design.

Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 24199, ARTH 24199, CHST 24199

ARCH 24220. Anxious Spaces. 100 Units.

This course explores built (architectural), filmic, and narrative spaces that disturb our bearings, un-situate us, and defy neurotypical cognition. In the sense that "angst" is a mode that can be understood as both stalling and generative, we analyze spaces and representations of spaces such as corridors, attics, basements, canals, viaducts, labyrinths, forests, ruins, etc., spaces that are 'felt' as estranging, foreboding, in short, anxiety-provoking, in order to understand why-despite or because these topoi are hostile-they are produced, reproduced, and craved. We will pay special attention to abject spaces of racial and sexual exclusivity, sites of spoliation, and of memory and erasure. Among our primary texts are films by Kubrick, Tarkovksy, and Antonioni, and Chytilová, short fiction by Borges, Kafka, Nabokov, and selections from the philosophical/theoretical writings of Bachelard, Deleuze & Guattari, Debord, Foucault, Kracauer, and the edited volume, Mapping Desire, Geographies of Sexuality.

Instructor(s): Malynne Sternstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 24220, GNSE 34220, REES 24220, REES 34220

ARCH 24270. Children & Architecture. 100 Units.

Many who pursue architecture do so initially out of a childlike fascination with buildings, places and worlds. Curiosity and limited understanding naturally provide children with an exploratory relationship to the built environments they traverse, and children also often show a heightened sense of wonder -- heightened emotions of all kinds -- as that relationship plays out. (This can be positive and formative, or scary and traumatic.) And yet, many of the adults who make choices about the worlds we inhabit think mostly of adults, and as adults, in doing so. This architecture studio course investigates the built world through a child's eyes, across different moments in history, including our own. Readings and seminar discussions will range from playgrounds to blocks, preschools to family relations, swimming pools and sandcastles to the very construction of childhood as an idea. We will explore Chicago, and meet with builders of all ages, likely culminating in designing (and potentially building) a real playground space. While previous experience with architectural skills is not necessary to excel in this course, childlike curiosity is required.

Instructor(s): L. Joyner     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): While this class does not require prior experience, all ARCH studio courses require consent. Starting February 12, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.)
Note(s): The course is visiting the City Museum in St. Louis (a multi-story, artist-built playground for children and adults that defies description) for one day in advance of the course.
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 24270, ARTV 20029, MAAD 24270, ENST 24270, ARTH 24270

ARCH 24651. Latest Experiments in Architectural History. 100 Units.

This seminar invites students to examine recent scholarly experiments in architectural history. Participants will read and discuss a corpus of books published in the last five years. Each week, we will take a deep dive into a single publication by synthesizing its argument, unpacking its structure, and demonstrating its potential limits. In-class activities will catalyze dialogue and debate on the readings as well as highlight resonances across assigned books. By the end of the quarter, students will have developed transversal views of contemporary practices in architectural history and heightened their senses of methodological self-awareness.

Instructor(s): J. Huet     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 34651, ARTH 24651

ARCH 24660. Urban Geography. 100 Units.

This course examines the spatial organization and current restructuring of modern cities in light of the economic, social, cultural, and political forces that shape them. It explores the systematic interactions between social process and physical system. We cover basic concepts of urbanism and urbanization, systems of cities urban growth, migration, centralization and decentralization, land-use dynamics, physical geography, urban morphology, and planning. Field trip in Chicago region required. This course is part of the College Course Cluster, Urban Design.

Instructor(s): M. Conzen     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course counts towards the ENST 4th year Capstone requirement. This course offered in even years.
Equivalent Course(s): CEGU 24660, CEGU 34660, ENST 24660

ARCH 25119. Architecture and Colonialism in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. 100 Units.

This seminar invites students to examine the intersections of colonialism with architecture in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Throughout the semester, we will discuss the designs of architects working in the region (Le Corbusier, Fernand Pouillon, Shadrach Woods, etc.) and concepts defining colonialism as a design project (segregation, repression, primitivism, etc.). We will also pay particular attention to modes of opposition pursued by residents and their historical impact toward the region's decolonization. Moments of heightened historical consequence, such as the strategic use of selected architectural spaces by independentist guerrillas, will be thoroughly discussed. The class will progress through a chronological scope, from Orientalism as a 19th century phenomenon to the enmeshment of modernism with colonialism in the 20th century. We will conclude with the emergence of postcolonial modernities.

Instructor(s): Jacobé Huet      Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 25119, RDIN 35119, ARTH 35119, RDIN 25119

ARCH 26005. Cities by Design. 100 Units.

This course examines the theory and practice of city design-how, throughout history, people have sought to mold and shape cities in pre-determined ways. The form of the city is the result of myriad factors, but in this course we will hone in on the purposeful act of designing cities according to normative thinking-ideas about how cities ought to be. Using examples from all time periods and places around the globe, we will examine how cities are purposefully designed and what impact those designs have had. Where and when has city design been successful, and where has it resulted in more harm than good?

Instructor(s): Evan Carver     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 26005, GEOG 26005, ENST 26005

ARCH 26008. Historic Preservation Studio. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to the preservation of the built environment. What are the benefits of preserving historic resources? Students will conduct studies of historic buildings in Chicago, exploring their cultural significance and impact on neighborhoods, and applying preservation tools and methods to formulate policies to advance preservation goals. We will also debate preservation's role in addressing climate change and its role in advancing social goals, such as maintaining neighborhood diversity. Through readings, archival research, mapping, field visits, and interaction with professionals in the field, we will consider the possibilities of leveraging historic preservation to advance social, economic, and environmental goals.

Instructor(s): Emily Talen     Terms Offered: Not offered in 2023-2024 academic year.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 26008, GEOG 36008, CHST 26008

ARCH 26075. South Asian Sensoriums. 100 Units.

What is a 'sense'? How do we attune, coordinate, and interpret our senses and the information that we receive through them? How do we structure and shape the world around us for and through the senses? We will address these questions by diving into the multi-sensory worlds of South Asia-a region that includes the present states of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka-and learning how peoples of the region have theorized and employed the senses to understand and shape their aesthetic, social, and religious worlds. We will taste spices, smell fragrances, listen to music and street sounds, 'visit' temples, mosques, and museums, read literary, philosophical, and religious texts, and view works of visual and sculptural art in order to better understand which aspects of sensory experience are indeed 'universal' and which are conditioned by history and culture.

Instructor(s): Tyler Williams     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SIGN 26075, SALC 26075

ARCH 26100. Roots of the Modern American City. 100 Units.

This course traces the economic, social, and physical development of the city in North America from pre-European times to the mid-twentieth century. We emphasize evolving regional urban systems, the changing spatial organization of people and land use in urban areas, and the developing distinctiveness of American urban landscapes. All-day Illinois field trip required. This course is part of the College Course Cluster, Urban Design.

Instructor(s): M. Conzen     Terms Offered: Autumn. Offered 2021-22
Note(s): This course counts towards the ENST 4th year Capstone requirement. This course offered in odd years.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 28900, CEGU 36100, CHST 26100, HIST 38900, ENST 26100, CEGU 26100

ARCH 26280. Site-Based Practice: Choreographing The Smart Museum. 100 Units.

This course gives students the unique opportunity to create a collaborative, site-based work that culminates in a final performance at UChicago's Smart Museum of Art. Using embodied research methods that respond to site through moving, sensing, and listening, we'll explore the relationship between the ephemerality of movement and the materiality of bodies and place, and consider how the site-based contexts for dance shift how it is perceived, experienced, and valued. Our quarter-long creation process will begin with a tour of the Smart Museum, guided by curators and members of the Public Practice team, that will provide context to the museum's exhibitions, programming, and its relationship to geography and community. Assigned readings, viewings, and conversations with guest artists will delve into the relationship between dance and the sites where it happens, including museums-from the material relationship between bodies, objects, and architecture to the digital flows of choreography online.

Instructor(s): J. Rhoads     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 20027, TAPS 26280, TAPS 36280, ARTV 30027, CHST 26280

ARCH 26322. A History of Public Spaces in Mexico, 1520-2020. 100 Units.

Streets and plazas have been sites in which much of Mexican history has been fought, forged, and even performed. This course examines the history of public spaces in Mexico since the Spanish Conquest. By gauging the degree to which these sites were truly open to the public, it addresses questions of social exclusion, resistance, and adaptability. The course traces more than the role and evolution of built sites. It also considers the individuals and groups that helped to define these places. This allows us to read street vendors, prostitutes, students, rioters, and the "prole" as central historical actors. Through case studies and primary sources, we will examine palpable examples of how European colonization, various forms of state building, and more recent neoliberal reforms have transformed ordinary Mexicans and their public spaces.

Instructor(s): C. Rocha     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 26322, LACS 25322, ENST 26322

ARCH 26511. Cities from Scratch: The History of Urban Latin America. 100 Units.

Latin America is one of the world's most urbanized regions and its urban heritage long predates European conquest. Yet the region's urban experience has generally been understood through North Atlantic models, which often treat Latin American cities as disjunctive, distorted knockoffs of idealized US or European cities. This class interrogates and expands those North Atlantic visions by emphasizing the history of vital urban issues such as informality, inequality, intimacy, race, gender, violence, plural regulatory regimes, the urban environment, and rights to the city. Interdisciplinary course materials include anthropology, sociology, history, fiction, film, photography, and journalism produced from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries.

Instructor(s): B. Fischer     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Some coursework in Latin American studies, urban studies, and/or history
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 26511, HIST 26511, LACS 36510, CEGU 26511, HIST 36511, LACS 26510

ARCH 26616. Tracing Time. 100 Units.

Tracing Time is a hybrid seminar and studio. The first portion of the course will invite students to engage with a curated selection of techniques for representing time as a broad category of concerns, containing a wide range of nuanced conceptual frameworks and constructs: subjective time, objective time, proper time, coordinate time, sidereal time, emergent time, encoding time, relativistic time, time dilation, reaction time, spacetime, etc. The second portion of the course will invite students to develop their own models, visualizations, and representations of time or temporal phenomenon as a support for considering time as a factor of change in relation to their own research or interest in a particular concern or context, or where time is bound to physical, psychological, ecological, climatic, biological, geological, economic, historical, geographic, or other entangled processes. This course requires no preparation and is therefore open to students from any discipline who share a general interest in urban design, architecture and the arts or who specifically wish to develop a deeper understanding of drawings, models, photographs, video and other graphic mediums as material supports for inquiry.

Instructor(s): A. Schachman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): While this class does not require prior experience, all ARCH studio courses require consent. Starting July 31, please visit to request instructor consent for this class or other ARCH studios. (Please do not send consent requests by email.)
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 36616, ARTH 26616, CHST 26616

ARCH 27019. Holocaust Object. 100 Units.

In this course, we explore various ontological and representational modes of the Holocaust material object world as it was represented during World War II. Then, we interrogate the post-Holocaust artifacts and material remnants, as they are displayed, curated, controlled, and narrated in the memorial sites and museums of former ghettos and extermination and concentration camps. These sites which-once the locations of genocide-are now places of remembrance, the (post)human, and material remnants also serve educational purposes. Therefore, we study the ways in which this material world, ranging from infrastructure to detritus, has been subjected to two, often conflicting, tasks of representation and preservation, which we view through a prism of authenticity. In order to study representation, we critically engage a textual and visual reading of museum narrations and fiction writings; to tackle the demands of preservation, we apply a neo-materialist approach. Of special interest are survivors' testimonies as appended to the artifacts they donated. The course will also equip you with salient critical tools for future creative research in Holocaust studies.

Instructor(s): Bozena Shallcross     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 33413, HIST 23413, REES 37019, REES 27019, ANTH 35035, JWSC 29500, ANTH 23910

ARCH 27506. Changing America in the Last 100 Years. 100 Units.

This course examines the economic and social forces that have transformed the critical character and performance of the major regions of the United States since the 1920s, and how the interactions between regions has profoundly shifted. The course completes the historical sweep of American geographical development following on from the Autumn course, Historical Geography of the United States, but can be taken as an independent course. Emphasized are the ways in which socio-cultural, technological and economic changes have played out differently across continental space, and produced variable environmental consequences. An all-day field trip in the Chicago region visits sites that reflect some of the larger forces at work at the intra-regional scale.

Instructor(s): Michael Conzen     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Restricted to 3rd and 4th years This course counts towards the ENST 4th year Capstone requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 37506, ENST 22101, GEOG 32101, HIST 27506, CEGU 22101, CHST 22101

ARCH 27522. Experimental Futures: Re-figurations of Human/Environment Relationships. 100 Units.

The naming of the current era after the human-Anthropocene-is widely criticized. Scholars such as Donna Haraway bemoan the emphasis on the human being and its control over earthly matters at a moment when non-human entanglements with the world are simultaneously overlooked. Other thinkers point out that the planetary changes of the Anthropocene have occurred mainly due to capitalism and industrialization. In the course of these debates, the role of the human and the understanding of the human as part of the Earth's ecosystem is discussed again and again. Especially in the arts and design, new figurations of the human and a future outside anthropocentrism are being developed. This course follows fundamental questions around the emergence of this discourse: Which tropes, materials, and concepts do we collectively use to imagine our future? Who gets to participate in these imaginaries and who is thereby excluded? What role do the arts and design play in this process? In this class, students will gain understanding of an emerging area of interdisciplinary research that reframes the category of the "human" in face of contemporary environmental challenges such as climate change and resource scarcity. Students will become familiar with concepts and theories associated with post-humanism, new materialisms, and environmental humanities and use them to reflect on examples from architecture, design, and the arts.

Instructor(s): Desiree Foerster     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 27522, MAAD 27522

ARCH 28202. Introduction to Geocomputation. 100 Units.

This course investigates the theory and practice of computational approaches in Geographic Information Science. Geocomputation is introduced as a multidisciplinary systems paradigm necessary for solving complex spatial problems and facilitating new understandings. Students will learn about the elements of geographic data models, geospatial topologies, spatial operations, visualizations, and their implementation in Python using libraries such as GeoPandas and Shapely.

Instructor(s): Yue Lin     Terms Offered: Autumn. Offered 2024–25
Equivalent Course(s): GISC 28100, GISC 38100

ARCH 28402. Spatial Analysis Methods in Geographic Information Systems. 100 Units.

This course provides an overview of methods of spatial analysis and their implementation in geographic information systems. These methods deal with the retrieval, storage, manipulation and transformation of spatial data to create new knowledge. Examples are spatial join operations, spatial overlay, buffering, measuring accessibility, network analysis and raster operations. The fundamental principles behind the methods are covered as well as their application to real-life problems using open source software such as QGIS.

Instructor(s): Crystal Bae     Terms Offered: Autumn. Offered 2024–25
Equivalent Course(s): GISC 28200, GISC 38200

ARCH 28602. Topics in Geographic Information Science. 100 Units.

This advanced course extends and connects both foundational and functional concepts in Geographic Information Science. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of key areas, including web GIS as well as advanced geospatial visualization techniques. In addition, the course emphasizes the utilization of the R programming language. Students will delve into static, animated, and interactive mapping in R and develop skills in building interactive web mapping applications using Shiny

Instructor(s): Yue Lin     Terms Offered: Winter. Offered 2024-25
Equivalent Course(s): GISC 28300, CEGU 28300, GISC 38300

ARCH 28702. Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis. 100 Units.

This course provides an introduction and overview of how spatial thinking is translated into specific methods to handle geographic information and the statistical analysis of such information. This is not a course to learn a specific GIS software program, but the goal is to learn how to think about spatial aspects of research questions, as they pertain to how the data are collected, organized and transformed, and how these spatial aspects affect statistical methods. The focus is on research questions relevant in the social sciences, which inspires the selection of the particular methods that are covered. Examples include spatial data integration (spatial join), transformations between different spatial scales (overlay), the computation of "spatial" variables (distance, buffer, shortest path), geovisualization, visual analytics, and the assessment of spatial autocorrelation (the lack of independence among spatial variables). The methods will be illustrated by means of open source software such as QGIS and R.

Instructor(s): Crystal Bae     Terms Offered: Spring Summer. Offered 2024–25
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 28702, SOCI 30283, CEGU 28702, SOCI 20283, GISC 28702, PPHA 38712, GISC 38702

ARCH 28800. History of Cartography. 100 Units.

This course offers a grand overview of the key developments in mapmaking throughout history worldwide, from pre-literate cartography to the modern interactive digital environment. It looks at the producers, their audience, the technologies and artistic systems used, and the human and global contexts in which they developed. The course also features experiential learning components with field trips to map collections at Regenstein Library and Newberry Library.

Instructor(s): Yue Lin     Terms Offered: Autumn 2024–25
Equivalent Course(s): CHST 28800, CEGU 28800, GISC 38800, GISC 28800, HIST 35121, HIST 25121

ARCH 28925. Health Impacts of Transportation Policies. 100 Units.

Governments invest in transport infrastructure because it encourages economic growth and mobility of people and goods, which have direct and indirect benefits to health. Yet, an excessive reliance on motorized modes of transport harms population health, the environment, and social well-being. The impact on population health is substantial: Globally, road traffic crashes kill over 1.3 million annually. Air pollution, to which transport is an important contributor, kills another 3.2 million people. Motorized modes of transport are also an important contributor to sedentary lifestyles. Physical inactivity is estimated to cause 3.2 million deaths every year, globally. This course will introduce students to thinking about transportation as a technological system that affects human health and well-being through intended and unintended mechanisms. The course will examine the complex relationship between transportation, land use, urban form, and geography, and explore how decisions in other sectors affect transportation systems, and how these in turn affect human health. Students will learn to recognize how the system level properties of a range of transportation systems (such as limited-access highways, urban mass transit, inter-city rail) affect human health.

Instructor(s): Bhalla, Kavi     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 28925, PBPL 28925, CEGU 28925, HLTH 28925

ARCH 29506. Home and Empire: From Little House on the Prairie to Refugee Camps. 100 Units.

What can living rooms tell us about Empires? What did it mean to be a housewife in an imperial society? This course answers these and other questions by exploring the relationship between domesticity and imperialism over the past three hundred years. We will explore how Catholic Native Potawatomi women decorated their homes in the early 18th century, how black South African maids interacted with white employers during apartheid, and how young male refugees in contemporary France try to make homes in the land of their former colonial ruler. Through this work students will unpack the racial, gendered, spatial, and political logics of imperial rule. This course is organized around three thematic phases: conquest and expansion, rule and resistance, and decolonization. After introducing theoretical approaches to the study of domesticity and imperialism, we will use case studies from across the globe to work through these thematic groups. We will discuss cases from North America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Europe. By combining secondary literature with films, memoirs, domestic objects, and visual sources we will evaluate the intersections of imperialism and home-life. Students will ultimately conduct a final research project on a topic of their choosing to explore this courses' themes in depth. Students will work to challenge notions of home as an idyllic or a historical space and see the power and struggles that took place within walls.

Instructor(s): Greg Valdespino     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course counts as a Concepts Course for GNSE majors
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 23128, GNSE 23128, HIST 29506

ARCH 29600. Doing Art History. 100 Units.

This course has two main objectives: to explore major texts and methodological approaches within the discipline of art history and to develop art historical research and argumentation skills. The course aims to deepen your understanding of art history as a discipline and the range of analytic strategies it affords. We read a mix of classic and more recent essays that have shaped and represent the discipline, and test their wider applicability and limitations. Through this process, participants are encouraged to discover the kinds of questions that most interest them.

Instructor(s): M. Ward     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent Only
Note(s): Required of third-year students who are majoring in art history. Consent is required for registration. This course does not meet the general education requirement in the arts.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 29600


Undergraduate Primary Contact

Faculty Adviser
Wei-Cheng Lin
CWAC 268

Administrative Contact

Academic Support Administrator
Grace Sartin
CWAC 166