Sofia Vyzoviti

Sofia Vyzoviti


Human Environment, University of Illinois, Chicago

My research project Compact Living in High Urban Density: Tiny-Houses and Micro-Apartments in Chicago investigated the spatial, social, and economic dimensions of urban residential typologies that promote a radical reduction of domestic space. Following an introductory market research on current short-term corporate housing in Chicago downtown, I focused on few exemplary small size midcentury modern apartments located within the emblematic residential towers of Marina City by B. Goldberg and 900-910 N Lake Shore Drive by Mies van der Rohe and investigated the novel typology of Accessory Dwelling Units currently implemented in selected suburbs west of downtown.

My research method combined situated and archival research: in-situ interviews with the residents of the cases mentioned above, communication with architects specializing in small scale residential design, discussions in the office, as well as visits to selected projects. The inventory of resources where I conducted archival research includes the Paul V. Galvin Library - University Archives and Special Collections at the College of Architecture and Graham Resource Center at Illinois Institute of Technology, The Art Institute of Chicago Archives, The Newberry Library, The Graham Foundation Grantees library, and the Richard J. Daley Library of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

My active engagement with education at my host institution, the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UiC-SoA) consisted primarily in participating as a critic at the Spring Semester Final Reviews design studios and theory seminars. During my Work in Progress Lecture to the faculty of my host institution I presented and explained my work in the American educational context. I was also honored with an invitation to participate in the final reviews of Studio Wiel Arets and the Master Thesis Program at the College of Architecture of IIT.

Overall I disseminated, and shared knowledge about my discipline, Greece, and Fulbright, and expanded my professional networks. I also spoke about the University of Thessaly - Department of Architecture to student and faculty groups contributing to the capacity of my host institution. Parallelly, I created a work of art for the Tallinn Architecture Biennale and completed my chapter for Design and Displacement forth-coming publication by Routledge. I also communicated some of my Fulbright research related activities in social media.

Fulbright positively affected my personal development as a parent. My son attended and successfully completed a quarter of the academic year at the7th grade of Ogden International School of Chicago Public schools. In my free time I visited plenty of art and architecture exhibitions, socialized with architects and academics, attended cultural enrichment events, made new friends, and took long walks, understanding Chicago’s critical impact upon the development of modern architecture.

Photo: Sophia Vyzoviti, Final reviews of UiC-SoA Second Year Undergraduate Studio Assembling Patterns