This paper describes an ongoing project examining urban design and affordable housing in Charlottesville, Virginia. As architects, we have a responsibility to respond to the challenges of building within contemporary society with conviction about the efficacy of design in ameliorating some of the problems that affect cities. But we should also be wary of easy formulas in housing that can be appropriated and quickly consumed. To put these concerns in another perspective, a return to fundamental principles of pre-W.W.II town planning prevalent throughout the United States and Great Britain need not produce a simultaneous nostalgia about an architecture of pure historical quotation. Rather, housing must begin to address fundamental shifts in the way that it is produced, various approaches to the needs of different "clients" must be considered, and a wide range of delivery systems and applications should be proposed. This project combines and reconciles traditional town planning principles with essential concerns about modest and low cost housing. This project, including the text and various forms of graphic and visual support, is available to anyone with an Internet connection through the "World Wide Web" ( These commands bring up the home page for the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia which has sponsored and supported this research; look under "Work in Progress". This "interactive" access allows community groups and other architects to participate in the ongoing research as it develops. The presentation at the ACSA Annual Meeting will utilize the interactive features afforded by this technology.


Charlottesville Archive

Bibliography Make a suggestion

Copyright (c) 1995 by Kenneth A. Schwartz, all rights reserved. This text may be shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law. Redistribution or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires consent of the author and notification of the publisher, the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. Permission to reproduce the graphic images in this archive has been granted by the owners of the originals for this publication only.
Last Modified: Monday, 01-Apr-2013 09:37:21 EDT >Last Modified: Monday, 01-Apr-2013 09:37:21 EDT