Lily Chi

Lily Chi's teaching covers topics in contemporary design research, 18th to 21st-century theory and criticism, and architectural drawing/representation in western history. Her studios have investigated urban temporalities, 1:1 and the situational, film and formation, and questions of location/globalization in the contemporary city. Chi served as design editor for the Journal of Architectural Education from 2000–04. She is completing a writing project on city-building, war, and propaganda in 20th-century Saigon.

Chi received her B.Arch. with high distinction from Carleton University (Canada), her M.Phil. in architectural history and theory from Cambridge University, and her Ph.D. from McGill University. Her doctoral work examined the role of Enlightenment concepts of custom, nature, and history in the formation of a modern architectural discourse. These themes are developed in her current research on the "sites" of architectural work in a geographically expansive discipline.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Architectural design
  • Film/video/sound
  • Urbanism

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Classes (Selected)

  • ARCH 5301 Theories and Analyses of Architecture 1Introduces students to influential critical and creative themes in modern architecture. Topics cover influential 20th-century discourses and practices prior to the 1990s, the questions and contexts that they engage, and their implications for contemporary thinking and design. Discussions and assignments aim at developing critical and graphical readings of both works and writings as integral to the design process.
  • ARCH 2301/2302 Architectural AnalysisAgendas and approaches to the making and "reading" of space and form in 20th- and 21st-century architecture. The analysis of canonical works and texts, with frequent reference to relevant works prior to the 20th century, and with an emphasis on buildings and drawings as the vehicles of study, with occasional citations from painting, film, literature, and other critical works.
  • ARCH 6110 Graduate Design SeminarIntroduction to contemporary computational design techniques, models, and theories.
  • ARCH 5110 Thesis ProseminarLectures, seminars, and independent research leading to the production of the student's thesis program. General instruction in the conceiving, programming, and development of a thesis.
  • ARCH 3308/6308 Drawing IdeasThis course addresses pertinent issues relative to the subject of Theory of Architecture. The instructor(s) of the course are drawn from the permanent and visiting faculty who may either broadly or narrowly define the course's scope and content. For precise content, please see the Architecture Department webpage.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Grants from the Institute for the Social Sciences and the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies for "Building on the Informalized City: An Interdisciplinary Conference," in collaboration with Jeremy Foster (2010)
  • Graham Foundation for the Arts grant for Architecture, Tourism, and Citizenship: Saigon, 1911–63 (2004)
  • Rotch Traveling Studio Grant, Cornell M.Arch.II Hanoi studio (2002)
  • Finalist prize, "A Room in the Garden" design competition, in collaboration with Claudio Venier
  • Design project grant for "Temporary Cities" project, Canada Council for the Arts, in collaboration with John McMinn

Publications (Selected)

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