This is a critical review of examples of how workers' settlements have been organized throughout history. I examine some examples of workers' settlements from the perspective of spatial organization, architectural economics and urban design. The hypothesis is that workers' dwellings have not basically changed since the earliest civilizations. The role of workers' dwellings has been constantly on the fringes of spatial organization. Generally, workers as a class were not considered an integral part of business management. Workers are part of any industrialized process and cannot be overlooked in an architectural analysis of their dwellings. The conclusions of the paper are oriented from praxis to theory. Analogies from the past to the present are presented, with a set of sketches in which the theory of spatial organization, architectural economics and urban design patterns may be evident.