Sustainable Human Settlements

Discipline: Architecture
Instructor: Abernathy
Credits: 3

Field Class: Peru Download Syllabus

Safe, healthy and well-built housing serves a basic human right. Unfortunately, millions of citizens of marginalized communities around the world are denied this right and struggle to meet the basic needs of daily life. Exacerbating this situation is the vulnerability of poor communities to natural disasters of unimaginable scale. This course will focus on the study of nomadic and settled housing of developing communities. The influence of culture and customs, climate and weather, topography, technology, and local material resources on building will be considered carefully with specific attention given to indigenous Central American building practices. Architectural and engineering innovations and sustainable building practices will be considered in the context of disaster recovery and the development of improved housing. This course will ask a series of critical questions to be addressed throughout the semester: While raising the level of understanding, consciousness and ethics of the academic community, how are the lessons learned in a classroom and the lessons learned in the field mutually constructive and beneficial? How do real-world experiences prepare a student to positively contribute to their own discipline and others? How can raising social consciousness and the level of building design, craft, and technology be reciprocally purposeful?

Special Requirements:

  1. Mechanical Pencil (size: 7mm)
  2. Standard technical drawing leads (HB, H, and 2H) Note: drawing leads come in packs of 12
  3. Eraser (recommended brand: Staedtler®) Note: only purchase the white and smooth rubber eraser
  4. Sketchbook (8.5″x 12″) Plain (recommended brand Moleskin┬«) Note: the most important aspect of your sketchbook is its ability to lay flat while open Note: the 9″x12″ general dimension gives you an ample amount of space per sheet to develop drawings Note please do not purchase a sketchbook with lines or grids pre-drawn
  5. Camera (digital)

Field Class

Country: Peru

Accompanied by Professor Abernathy and Professor Ledgard, students will spend the day exploring historic and contemporary Lima observing urban development and design with special focus on housing. Professor Ledgard teaches architectural studios at the Catolica University and has practiced architecture in Lima for over two decades. He will provide a unique, hands-on perspective to relevant issues discussed in Professor Abernathy's Quality of Housing course. Beginning with prehistoric housing, the tour will touch on examples of housing and community design from early European settlements through the contemporary city.