Leaving Home – Divers Cultures of Student Housing

CoiL-Seminar BA ab 5. FS + MA ab 1. FS 2 SWS | 3 ECTS

teaching staff:
Dipl.-Ing. MArch Antje Steinmuller, CCA Faculty, Chair and Associate Professor, Architecture Program, California College of the Arts, San Francisco.
Dr.-Ing. Julia von Mende, Postdoc-Fellow, Professur Theorie und Geschichte der modernen Architektur, Fakultät Architektur und Urbanistik, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

There are many different forms of communal living. Particularly in student housing, these seem to differ greatly from each other. The range extends from university-led units and frat-houses to private living arrangements around mutual care. This may be due to the fact that this type of housing is seldom a long-term commitment and that people are already prepared to compromise, but also to try out the unusual. The motivations for living together are manifold - from the need to find affordable housing, to building friendships, or having a place of arrival in a new city, country and culture. The manifestations often include unusual, temporary and provisional forms of housing. In this course we look at the specific cultural differences in living together but also at alternative forms of appropriating = (living) spaces that were designed for a different family type or purpose. The aim is to explore parameters for architectural design, and to develop new typologies of student units that recognize and leverage cultural diversity.

The course is run as a research-based Collaborative Online International Learning (CoiL) format between Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (BUW) and California College of the Arts (CCA). It is structured in three collaborative blocks completed between October and the end of November.  Students work in pairs (one from each institution), investigating case studies of student living arrangements using architectural ethnographic methods. The aim is to bring out organizational and social differences in the forms of student housing, as well as their specific qualities of sharing space, care and labor, in a series of comparative drawings. The results of the joint analysis will serve as the basis for a short design project, developed individually in continuous dialog with a remote partner, proposing alternative for living together around contemporary definitions of care.


At the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, the seminar is offered for students in the M.Sc Architecture and for students in the B.Sc Architecture with 3 ECTS and requires a corresponding commitment of approx. 90 working hours. A room will be reserved for the joint work of the students of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. In addition to eight block dates in October and November, additional consultations are offered for in-depth work. The block seminar will conclude on 30 November 2023. The seminar dates result from the collaboration across different time zones and schedules of the academic year.

First meeting / Info (students BUW only): Tuesday, 10th of October 11 h, Marienstrasse 9, Seminarraum 103.

Thursday, 19th of Oct.                                                8 - 9 pm BUW / 11-12 am CCA

Friday, 20th of Oct.                                                     5-8 pm BUW / 8-11 am CCA

Tuesday, 24th of Oct.                                                  6-10 pm BUW / 9 -13 am CCA

Tuesday, 31st of Oct. + Thursday, 2nd of Nov.           5-9 pm BUW / 9-13 am CCA

Tuesday, 14th of Nov. + Thursday, 16th of Nov.         6-10 pm BUW / 9-13 am CCA

Tuesday, 28th of Nov. + Thursday, 30th of Nov.         6-10 pm BUW / 9-13 am CCA

All meetings are in Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 8, Room 105