48-200: Second Year Studio

Grow Atlas Teams

Grow Atlas Teams

Premise 1

In the last 30 years patterns of land use in many post-industrial cities have undergone dramatic transitions as declining population and displaced manufacturing industries have thinned the fabric of the built environment.

Premise 2

Urban agriculture has garnered sustained interest and energy as a viable practice to supply residents with fresh produce and reclaim vacant property within communities.

Premise 3

Vernacular architecture has a long history of shaping the identity of the agrarian landscape. Condsider the recognizability of a grain silo or red barn punctuating the expansive horizon of a cultivated field. Meanwhile, the physical makeup of urban agriculture – its architectural and infrastructural instantiation(s) – remains relatively undeveloped.


Definition of these physical components could be a key element in (re)shaping the emerging condition of the post-industrial city. There is important work to be done in posing architectural questions to the Urban Farm.

Studio Themes

Grow Collective: Second Year Fall Architecture Studio is the third in a series of six core design studios intended to immerse students in the fundamental principles of architectural design during your undergraduate tenure at Carnegie Mellon. Grow Collective elaborates on these architectural fundamentals by exploring architectural responses to the increased presence of urban agriculture in post-industrial cities. This thematic frame provides an opportunity for students to cultivate a deeper understanding of…

Enclosure >> Buildings modulate their environment. Through a complex layering of materials, the orchestration of mechanical systems, and careful siting buildings create microclimates altering the impact of the elements (e.g. wind, water, heat, and light) on our everyday activities. Seeking to avoid inside / outside binaries, we will explore a gradient approach to enclosure by mapping various programs along a continuum from wet to dry, light to dark, open to closed.

Systems >> Buildings do not exist in a vacuum. We will investigate how architectural propositions can participate in the ecological, infrastructural, and socio-political systems implicated by urban agriculture.

Making >> In addition to design representation, physical construction can be an inherent part of design education. Making at full scale will be a primary vehicle for inquiry during our semester with an introduction to digital fabrication.

Collaboration >> Architectural design does not develop in a vacuum. Throughout the semester you will learn to work in design teams and partner with community organizations in Pittsburgh actively involved in urban agriculture.