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1 December 2007

Chicago Studio 2007

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Northerly Island towards Loopaerial view looking north

Beginning this fall and continuing next fall semester a new pedagogy of team teaching and group/individual dynamics have been implemented in CHICAGO STUDIO. This direction introduces students to alternatives both for professional practice and theoretical grounding for their work. The specific conceptualization of this format is directly tied to the 2016 Olympic movement for the City of Chicago, as it has become the American representative for the 2016 host city proposal. Since July 2007, the next two years have become critical for practitioners and students alike to explore the long-term ramifications of the Olympic venues for the city in the near term and in the future.

For CHICAGO STUDIO the Olympic focus presented the opportunity to better integrate design research with the students’ projects through techniques that frame the work at four scales — City, Site, Building and Detail. The techniques take on a tactical maneuver that is one part traditional and one part experimental as a way for students to understand a new drawing type, while also challenging what is commonly called “master planning”. The traditional part was an analysis of past summer Olympics that evaluated the cities before, during and after the games. The experimental component was invented and termed “Cut & Fill drawings”. The combination of Olympic Analysis and “Cut & Fill drawings” became the thread for CHICAGO STUDIO that ties together all team and individual work towards a new ephemeral architecture for Chicago in 2016.

Each of the sixteen students was asked to research and analyze one of the previous and currently awarded summer Olympic games according to six categories - Surface, Service, Organization, Structure, Repetition, and Anticipation. Four of the students were required to study the four American summer games - St. Louis (1904), Los Angeles (1932 & 1984), and Atlanta(1996). Others summer games included Athens (1896), Stockholm (1912), Tokyo (1964), Mexico City ( 1968), Munich (1972), Moscow (1980), Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992), Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008), London (2012),

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Olympic Analysis exhibited at IITOlympic Analysis exhibit at UC

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1992 Barcelona 2004 Athens

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2008 Beijing1980 Moscow

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1988 Seoul2012 London

Composed of strips of paper, these diagrams deployed both additive and subtractive procedures that blurred collage and architectural elements into a montage. Overlaid onto a map of the city where several Olympic venues are proposed, the “Cut & Fill drawings” suggest possible destinations and connections into the neighborhoods of Chicago as well as Lake Michigan. Students employed the same categories as used in Olympic Analysis to begin their proposals.

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Cut & Fill drawing exhibited at IITExhibition at UIC



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The group of sixteen students explored the study area that encompassed portions of the city from 35th Street to the south, Halstead Avenue to the west, Museum Campus to the north and Lake Michigan to the east. Following extensive walking, biking, and mass transit visits each team of students selected the specific site boundaries and Olympic venues they planned to address. The northernmost site is a portion of Northerly Island.
The southernmost site surrounds the White Sox stadium and extends south to 39th, north to 31st, west to Bridgeport and east over I-94. Another team chose the area currently occupied by Walter Reese Hospital and extending east to the lake. A third team selected an east-west swath of the Near Southside neighborhood from McCormick Place to Chinatown. One team placed their site within the lake specifically for the Olympic torch.

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McCormick Place Convention CenterMcCormick Place to Northerly Island

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West Over ITT White Sox Stadium

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Walter Reese Hospital McCormick Place Convention Center

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Chinatown NeighborhoodNear Southside Neighborhood

While in Chicago, the students presented their work to an array of professionals every ten days. The initial review was held at two offices - GREC studio, and Suzanne Lovell Inc. Two more were held within the host firms - SOM, P+W, M/J, OWP/P, and vWa. The final Chicago presentations and discussions were held on November 7th at Illinois Institute Technology, and November 8th at University of Illinois-Chicago. Over fifty professionals from the urban area participated in the formal reviews as well as daily interactions with students as proposals were formulated.

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Student presenting proposal ‘eco camp’Student proposes way to recycle trash

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Student proposal for eco campLearning centers for camp

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One team proposes the Olympic VillageProposed Olympic Village 2016

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Proposed Olympics post event in 2018Proposed parking garage over I-94

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Student discusses housing transformationPossible housing combinations

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Overview MontageStudent presenting HUB

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Velodrome boardPark


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Don Copper; alumnus; GREC studio principalTeam members discussing their projects

Proposal renovated Chinatown “L” stationProposal community garden + farmers’ market

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Student discusses Olympic Torch legacyProposal Chicago Olympics 2016 torch

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Proposal recreational piers and pavilionsNight view Olympic torces in Lake Michigan

For the sixth year alumni and friends have gathered at the Cliff Dwellers Club overlooking Grant Park to meet the new group of students and learn about each year’s focus
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Iris Liu, Josh Lilly, Janet Durst, Katie Jones, Rachel Islin, Carter Mundy, Jonathan Frink, John Black, Marcus Wiles, Marc Holbrook, Luis Apaestequi, Ryan Hausmann, Scott Campbell, Amanda Erickson, Jim Hall, Shota Ban

Each year the group journey north to visit several architectural icons - Johnson Wax and Wingspread by F.L. Wright, War Memorial by Eero Saarinen and the museum addition by Santiago Calatrava, among others
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Five firms hosted the group of sixteen students during their two three-week stays in the city. There were three teams of four students, and two teams of two. Initially each team of students was challenged to research and develop a “master/venue plan” for the site selected within the study area. Throughout the process of research, analysis, and proposal each team advanced the collective ambition as well as the individual project.

While in Chicago, each firm provided desks, computers and other support for the students, as well as participated in two formal reviews of student work in their offices. They also gave a lunchtime presentation of the firm’s current focus.

Skidmore, Owings & MerrillMurphy/Jahn
Philip Enquist, partnerCarl D’Silva, principal and alumnus
Matt Stegmaier, alumnusKevin Myers
Perkins + Willvon Weise Associates
David Hansen, principalChip von Weise, principal
Ron StelmarksiCharles Chambers
Geoffrey Walters, principal and alumnus
Susan Barr

Kathryn Clarke Albright
Terry Surjan
The faculty and students of CHICAGO STUDIO 2007 greatly appreciate the support and contributions of the host firms and participating professionals.