The history of architecture is defined by housing. The objective of this course is to investigate the circumstances that determine forms of urban occupation in various cultures, while identifying design’s critical agency in fostering human habitation and interaction. With an emphasis on global social housing solutions, this course provides a historical overview of the major domestic and international housing innovations since the early 20th Century and the forces that encouraged those mutations. A comparative case study format will be followed to examine a wide range of concepts and position students to analyze and discuss these critical issues. Precedents will be examined in an expanded context, using culture as a lens through which to evaluate emergent concepts surrounding new disruptive modes of occupation, including mass migration, new models of affordable housing, temporary shelter, and emergency relief. The course takes a morphological approach to the study of how these factors are altering the ways societies live in cities and respond to extenuating circumstances, using its physical forms to elucidate the various, often less visible, forces shaping urban shelter including policy, culture, identity, temporality, ecology, and socio-economic issues.