CityStudioSTL is an initiative inspired by Design for Excellence, the Sam Fox School's 10-year strategic plan. Originally offered in partnership with Washington University's Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Gina and Bill Wischmeyer, BA69/MArch71, this program has supported a series of community engagement and outreach projects in the city of St. Louis over the past several years.
CityStudioSTL allows students and faculty—working in collaboration with local community groups and residents—to conceive, plan, design, and ultimately construct publicly minded projects.
- Learning Landscapes, a series of two design/build studios led by visiting assistant professor Forrest Fulton in spring 2011 and spring 2012. Students transformed a cracking asphalt lot into a 10,000-quare-foot "outdoor classroom" for Patrick Henry Downtown Academy, an elementary school in St. Louis' Columbus Square neighborhood.
- Somethingness: Ways of Seeing and Building, an intensive three-week design/build course led by visiting artist Theaster Gates, Jr. in summer 2011. Students helped transform a dilapidated building in Hyde Park into a small art center for the nearby Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church and School.
- Studio Confluence, a digital fabrication studio taught by visiting assistant professors Andrew Colopy and Kenneth Tracy in spring and summer 2013. Working with the Audubon Center at Riverlands and the Army Corps of Engineers' Rivers Project Office, students designed and built an avian observatory at the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
- Of Donks & Dyads: The Quadrangle Green Rehab Experiment, an interdisciplinary project involving graduate architecture studios offered in spring 2013, 2014, and 2015. Teams of students and researchers have worked to identify the most efficient ways to renovate 1920s and '30s-era apartment buildings owned by Quadrangle Housing, WUSTL's nonprofit housing partner, with a focus on increasing the sustainability of the buildings and making better use of the space.
- Seating Aggregation Landscape (SAL), an undergraduate architecture design-build studio led by assistant professor Chandler Ahrens in spring 2016. Working with a group of local professionals, students developed a seating and shade structure to enhance a proposed soccer field for Nahed Chapman New American Academy, which serves recent immigrants in kindergarten through tenth grade.