An introduction to the real estate development lifecycle through the lens of the Architect. The course follows the typical chronology of a multi-family residential project starting from a developer’s initial interest in a site, to a resident inhabiting the completed building; in between, it addresses feasibility, acquisitions, zoning, financing, design, construction, marketing and branding, and operations. We will employ this linear framework first to understand the underlying components of each phase, and second to evaluate: what is the role of the Architect—past versus present, real versus perceived? Where the Architect’s role has been eroded or altered over time, how can they rebuild it—leveraging their multifaceted skillset or learning new modes of analysis—to maximize agency and impact? Finally, we ask broader questions that cut across the development lifecycle: what does an enhanced Architect mean for the other players along the value chain? What does it mean for the ability of the Architect to impact development strategy, or to frame development as a series of design challenges? How does the dynamic between form and finance, design and development change? And, what does the rebuilt Architect mean for the final product—he realized building—and the built environment? The seminar examines traditional and hybrid design practices through readings, assignments, and guest lectures. As a final project, students submit a design-driven development proposal for a site in New Haven, employing the disruptive practices learned over the semester.

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Spring 2023
The Architect As: Recasting the Role of the Architect in the Development Lifecycle
Antonia Devine