“We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us.” Sir Winston Churchill
This course asks a seemingly simple question – What is Shelter? The answer however, is quite complex.
It is typically thought that man designs shelter based on physical opportunities and constraints (i.e. climate, materials, construction, etc). However, reliance on physical factors alone to create shelter is a gross oversimplification. Man is a social being, operating within complex belief systems, family structures, social organization, cultural milieus, etc. This course posits that it is these powerful social and cultural factors, rather than the physical factors, which truly drive the creation of shelter.
This course delves into the tremendous impact and implications social class and poverty have on the creation of shelter. Students will learn the numerous ways social class and poverty manifest as we examine life and shelter in refugee camps, urban slums, homeless camps and post-disaster housing. Students will learn how man endures throughout time and space; and finds ways not only to survive, but also to thrive.
This course fulfills the USC Diversity Requirement.