Urban morphology seeks to understand the spatial structure and character of an urban area by examining its patterns and the process of its development. While urban morphology has been a disciplinary specialization amongst American geographers for years, only in southern Europe, where there was no historical separation of planning and architecture, has the work of urban morphologists been brought to bear in the training of architects.
In the ongoing work of the International Seminar on Urban Form, Christopher Miller, from Judson University, is exploring with his students a more research-oriented approach to the American architectural value in contextual design. Miller shared recent student work that examines questions like: Can typology be used to solve the problem of the big box in a 19th-century fabric? How is morphology a condition for pedestrian connectivity? Can the connectivity inherent in a historic fabric be the prescriptive standard for infill.