The topics typically align with faculty’s current research.

Winter 2023 term 1

ARCH 544Z: Emerging Housing Models

Inge Roecker

In an overwhelming race to offer housing solutions, the valuable qualitative design process that prioritizes and critically involves end-users is minimized or sometimes eliminated altogether. Sadly, our society knows a housing crisis better than housing options, which has then normalized the current limited housing choices. In this context, we often produce housing defined more by financial constraints and marketability instead of the emerging new societal realities and individual needs.

This research seminar looks at aspects of housing through a multitude of lenses from livability, affordability, health and well-being and its impacts on climate.  What are the alternatives to the mismatched housing products we see today?

The seminar will look at dwelling as a social act in relationship to ideas, resources and production. We look at older neighbourhoods that provide a multitude of different typologies absent in the current Rs-1 zoning. We will move onto analyzing emerging housing models in Vancouver and around the world.
The daily class structure will be divided into 3 parts, most days will start with a guest lecture discussing the emerging housing models and their technical, social, and economic factors, followed by a group discussion of a prepared reading combined with learning from the lecture, the third part will vary from in class workshops and student presentations.

Winter 2023 term 2



Topic TBA

ARCH 544C: Material Ecologies

Joe Dahmen

Material Ecologies in Design explores new paradigms of architectural materiality.  Contemporary design approaches blur the boundaries between art, design, science and technology.   Exploiting the design potentials of disciplinary entanglement requires approaching design as a trans—or even anti—disciplinary endeavour across scales.  The course is structured as a seminar. Design research on emergent materials will be augmented by case studies of contemporary design firms and theoretical readings.  A term project done in teams or individually will explore the themes of the course through the development of a speculative design proposal using an emergent material for a current studio project or architectural installation.