Jenny Young explores social questions in design through teaching, practice and research. She investigates how people inhabit both rural and urban settings, studying towns in rural Oregon, coastal New England and the Marche and Veneto regions of Italy. One focus of her research is to investigate how architecture shapes the identity of small towns and impacts their social and economic vitality. Understanding the physical form and social fabric of towns sets a context for making good decisions about building new schools, clinics and libraries that can sustain community life.

For over twelve years, she has led study-abroad programs in Italy, first in Macerata, and currently in Vicenza. She teaches students about the spatial and social structure of towns with an emphasis on public spaces. With her husband, Professor Donald Corner, she has developed a comprehensive model for analyzing the piazza to uncover principles for designing successful urban places.

She and her husband, Donald Corner, maintain a practice designing houses, additions and renovations, on Martha’s Vineyard island. One project, the Captain Jethro Ripley House in Edgartown, Massachusetts, was published in Patterns of Home (Taunton Press, 2002).

As an architect, she has consulted on schools, hospitals, clinics and libraries, with Rowell Brokaw Architects, PC, of Eugene, Oregon. “The Paleo Project,” a plan to consolidate two public schools in Fossil, Oregon and convert the emptied building into a paleontology center, won a Place Planning Award from the Environmental Design Research Association and was featured in the journal Places in 2006. Her work with Rowell Brokaw also includes vision plans for the Oregon towns of Drain and Yoncalla, a prototype for new Head Start facilities, and the design of early childhood centers in rural Oregon. In 2008, Young received a University of Oregon Research Innovation award in honor of her community-oriented research and practice.
B.A., Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, 1970
M.Arch., University of California, Berkeley, 1974
Registered Architect, Oregon, 1986
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Architecture, built environment, environmental behavior research, environment and sustainability, urban form and the piazza, small town development, the design of schools, hospitals, clinics and libraries
Personal Interests
Reading, Italian history and culture, travel, tennis, swimming and biking, opera, bridge, cooking, being with family and friends