Thursday, December 30, 2010

SEED Competition Deadline Approaching

Hopefully my last post got you intrigued enough to start poking around the web to find out what it was all about. If you don't know what I'm talking about it's probably because SEED is relatively new. SEED, Social Economic and Environmental Design, can be thought of as the social equivalent to LEED – get it? (my analogy). SEED is the brain-child of Bryan Bell, yes, THAT Bryan Bell of Design Corps. It was launched a few years ago and he is now developing it further as part of his research as a Loeb Fellow at Harvard. The inaugural SEED competition was launched this fall and the results will be announced at this year's SFI right here in Chicago. This is an incredible opportunity to be part of this exciting new program. If that isn't enough to get you going, here is a personal invitation from the indefatigable Monica Chadha:
On behalf of SEED and the SFI Steering Committee I would like to invite you to submit a community based project for the SEED Chicago Competition. SEED stands for Social Economic and Environmental Design and has been developed as a tool to allow community based projects a method to evaluate their impact, successes and lessons learned. The basic goals of SEED are to build a national network of resources; to provide a means to measure, evaluate and certify great community-based projects; and to celebrate the successes of these projects. While there are a number of evaluatory tools out there, SEED has been developed for the type of work you and your organization support.

SEED evaluation and certification will allow all of us to better promote our work, to apply for further funding opportunities and to share from each other’s experiences. SEED is aimed at providing recognition for all of the critical criteria in community based projects beyond sustainability. By nationally recognizing and certifying projects based in the community it is possible to convey the importance of this work to a wider audience. SEED is intended for all types or projects, whether a community initiative, a local planning project or a built structure to name a few.

In the Spring, Chicago will be hosting the national Structures for Inclusion Conference [SFI 10+1], a conference that celebrates community based projects and provides a place to discuss, learn, develop and share both the successes and challenges of this work. In advance of the conference, the Driehaus Foundation, among others, is supporting the chance to promote Chicago and Midwest projects; this is a perfect opportunity for projects like those you work on to be a model for others and find some recognition in the larger community based design field.

There are two parts to the applications process, which is explained in more detail on the website. The $25 competition entry fee will also count toward conference registration for one community partner. All projects entered that reflect SEED goals will be promoted nationally. The three winning projects of the Chicago Competition will receive a $1,000 honorarium and the opportunity to present at the SFI conference in March. All projects submitted will be showcased nationally on the website and through publication.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or to send any competition questions to Emily Axtman, Design Corps Fellow at The competition website can be found here:


Monica Chadha

SFI 10+1 Steering Committee
SEED Evaluator

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pecha Kucha Night This Tuesday

Poster by Aya Yamasaki.

Join Peter Exley and the gang for the final Pecha Kucha of the year (there won't be another until March).
The 16th installment of Pecha Kucha Night Chicago is this Tuesday, December 7th at Martyrs. Tickets are $10 at the door or online.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Networking Event for Students and Young Professionals

In case you've been living under a rock lately, which would explain my recent proclivity for scattered posting, the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo is in Chicago this week. In association with the conference is the following networking opportunity in which our old friend Daniel Splaingard, Enterprise Rose Fellow for Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, will be presenting:
USGBC and Enterprise Community Partners cordially invite you to Take 5, a special event for students and young professionals.

Take 5 introduces a new and innovative style of presenting. Each speaker will have five minutes (300 seconds) to present, no more, no less. After all individuals have given their presentations, the audience will have five minutes to ask presenters any outstanding questions.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network with others both before, and after, presentations; you’ll also have the chance to give feedback to presenters.

This event includes an open bar and heavy hors d’ oeuvres.
You had me at open bar.

If there are any young prefessionals left out there spread the word.
Tuesday, November 16th
6 PM until 9 PM
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo
Room W196-B in McCormick Place
2301 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois
Please RSVP

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Mike Nourse

Saturdays in the Studios is upon us which means it's time to decide on the programs for which you will be volunteering. This is also an excellent opportunity for me to introduce "the new Krisann". Krisann Rhebein is still with the Chicago Architecture Foundation but has been promoted to a new position, Manager of Community Partnerships.
Mike Nourse is a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, and program manager. Originally from Montreal, Mike moved to Chicago to complete his BA in Communication from DePaul University, and then his MFA in Visual Communication from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). As a fine artist his video and transfer art have been shown locally, nationally, and internationally. As an educator he has worked formally with high school to graduate level students at Marwen Foundation, DePaul, and SAIC. As a program manager he has overseen studio and exhibition programs for Marwen and Digital Media Academy (at University of Chicago), concentrating on innovative approaches for 21st century learning. In 2003 Mike also co-founded an arts lab called “Chicago Art Department”, which leads informal explorations in studio, exhibition, and learning practices for new and emerging artists in Chicago. At CAF Mike concentrates on teen program management, online development, and strategic partnerships.
It would be hard to find a replacement for Krisann but as CAF President and CEO Lynn Osmond will attest Canada is a good place to start. To Mike's credit I only vaguely caught his accents on his "abouts" which need a little polishing. This is due to my rigorous training as a Minuteman on the northern border. As further proof that this town is even smaller than we think I have had Mike's CAD group on my radar for some time now.

Now that Mike has settled in and the honeymoon is over it's time to get to work. The first workshop will occur on Saturday, Nov. 20th. There is a planning session this Monday, Nov. 8th that there isn't much time for you to RSVP for so you should probably just show up. See you there.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Community Engagement Panel Discussion Next Week

As part of the AIA Illinois Annual Conference, a panle discussion on community engagement in architecture and why they do it. The press release:

This Community Engagement panel discussion will explore the practice of community based projects by Architects. The panel is composed of a diverse group of professionals with practical experience in pro-bono, reduced fee, and community based work, who use their skills to contribute meaningfully to improve their communities. The panelist include: Susan King, Principal at Harley Ellis Devereaux; Patricia Saldaña Natke, Founding Partner and President of UrbanWorks; Mike Newman, founder of SHED Studio; and William Sindelar from Ragnar Benson Construction and Chair of and AIA NEI Community Outreach Committee. Matt Dumich from Valerio Dewalt Train and the AIA Chicago Community Interface Committee will moderate this session. The panel will discuss the value of community engagement and how and why they are involved in this community-based work. They will review best practices for working with community groups and non-profit organizations.
Attendees will learn how to evaluate a community group or non-profit organization to work with, how to structure projects and determine fees. They will also understand contractual and potential liability issues involved.

The Community Interface Committee is dedicated to increasing the visibility and participation of architects within community groups and non-profit organizations. The Committee acts as a network and forum for exchange of knowledge related to public interest work; a point of contact for community groups and nonprofit groups that seek design solutions; a liaison between the AIA and established pro-bono design groups; and support for architects’ involvement in civic activities.

Community Engagement: Design, Practice and Outreach panel discussion
November 05, 2010, 2:45pm at iHotel, 1900 South First Street, Champaign, IL
More information and register online.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Haiti Update

If you haven't heard much about Haiti lately here's why: nothing is happening so there is technically no news to report. From a friend:
I am sad to inform you that not much has changed since the earthquake. I've traveled through parts of Port-au-Prince and most of the collapsed homes have not been touched, meaning that there are still corpses buried under the rubble. The hospital is still in ruins; the people are housed in tents still. the German professionals who are staying with my mother went there expressly to rebuild the local hospital but [redacted] did not give them permission to do so. I'm sure you are probably asking who is running the country.
No, I'm pretty clear on that.

I am happy to say that little Architecture for Humanity Chicago competition win I was part of still has momentum. AFHCC meets every third Tuesday of the Month (that's this Tuesday!) at 6:30 at Brehon Pub, 730 N. Wells.

Friday, September 10, 2010

City Farm Fundraiser

From Resource Center:

Saturday, October 9, 4:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Please join your friends at City Farm and Resource Center for an outdoor fall celebration. We’ll start with fun activities for the kids and follow with music for the adults. Light food and beverages will be served, courtesy of Resource Center partners.

City Farm is at the corner of Division and Clybourn, on the #70 bus line and just 4 blocks west of the Clark and Division Red line stop. Parking is available.

4:00 p.m. Children’s Activities Begin
6:00 p.m. Music and Night Lights for Adults

Registration Fee:
Adults (19 and Over) - $35
Youth (12-18) - $10
Children - Free!

To Register:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Architecture for Change Summit a Stone's Throw Away

The speaker list has been expanded and scholarships are available to attend. More informatiopn on their website.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back-to-School Volunteering

AIA Chicago Chapter's Community Interface Committee is taking up AIA Illinois Chapter President Mike Rogers' challenge for every architect to visit a local school to talk to children about what architects do. CIC's initiative is well-timed given that school starts up again in a couple of weeks. And, given an architects' predisposition to talk about both themselves and their profession, this doesn't sound much like a challenge at all. Last spring I was invited to talk about architecture at Coliss High School as part of their "Focus on Careers Day" and had a lot of fun. From AIA Chicago:

Working in Schools - Session 1
Mon., August 23, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave.
Sponsor: Community Interface Committee

What buildings, ideas, people, or activities first made you excited about architecture as a kid? AIA Illinois president Mike Rogers has challenged every member visit a school during 2010 in order to help students discover architecture and better understand the profession. We are partnering with CAF for a series of “Architects in the Schools” visits. Workshop Session 1 covers what to expect at the school, how to work with various age groups, and introduces the classroom-ready lessons.

Working in Schools - Session 2
Mon., September 13, 6:00 to 7:30 pm, Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave.
Sponsor: Community Interface Committee

See August 23. Session 2 includes hands-on training in specific activities requested by local teachers to help integrate architecture into their math, science, history, and art lessons.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Archeworks' Mobile Food Collective has 14 Days to Raise $7000

Archeworks MFC Video for the Venice biennale from thirst/a design collaborative on Vimeo.

From Archeworks:

Developed through a collaborative process in the Archeworks design program, the MFC [Mobile Food Collective] has designed a fleet of mobile structures intended to act as a traveling cultural center, to encourage a return to heritage, ownership, exchange, and connection-in essence, to make food personal again. The MFC is many things: an education/exchange platform for planting, growing and cooking; demonstrations and distribution of seeds, soil, compost, and produce; a space activator within a community event; or the centerpiece of a harvest dinner. The MFC is also designed to facilitate a variety of educational programs, ranging from design thinking exercises to farm and gardening activities with youth and community members in urban neighborhoods.

Click here to learn more about the project.

Our team has had amazing response and support so far, including the opportunity to exhibit the Mobile Food Collective in the U.S. Pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale for Architecture. We are reaching out to ask for your support of our idea and to promote awareness of our movement. We are in need of further publicity and funding to assist in completing fabrication, building a food heritage archive, and hosting cultural exchange/design workshops during our time in Italy.

And in a strange coincidence, they have the same mission as my grandmother, the eating part anyways:
The Mobile Food Collective's mission is to bring people together around food, and to inspire a new food culture around growing, cooking, sharing and eating!

Note to Archeworks: if you need any help in Italy I've been practicing my Italian by talking with my hands more.

Help support our local team at the Biennale.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chicago ACE Mentor Program Fourth Annual Summer Fundraiser

Join the ACE Associate Board and ACE Mentors for a little summer cocktailing and a good cause.

The ACE Mentor Program serves Chicago area high school youth who are exploring careers in Architecture, Construction or Engineering. The mentors are professionals from leading design and construction firms who volunteer their time and energy. The program is designed to engage, inform and challenge youth.

Join us and make a difference by supporting our efforts to provide scholarships to these students. Many of the students are the first in their family to attend college, and explore the career of their dreams.

For more information on the ACE Program, please visit our website at

Date: Wednesday, August 11

Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Place: Hub 51: Lower Level - Sub 51 51 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago
$30 each in advance
$40 each at the door
includes two drink tickets and appetizers

purchase online at
make checks payable to ACE Mentor Chicago and mail to:

Whitney Lang @ HOK
60 E. Van Buren, 14th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605

Come for the drinks - stay for the raffle! Including great prizes such as event tickets, restaurant gift certificates, art work, furniture pieces and more. If you are unable to attend, but would still like to make a donation, please visit

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Winning Entry: École Saint Joseph, Petit Goâve, Haiti

Architecture for Humanity Chicago facilitated a charette and competition in May to design a school to replace one that had collapsed during the earthquake in Petit Goâve, Haiti. École Saint Joseph was a not-for-profit school that provided free education to all. Team members of this winning entry include the talents of Marissa Brown, Marlon Giron, Steven Pantazis and Dena Wangberg.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Last Chance for Utopía Posible at the Graham

Felipe Dulzaides, Next Time It Rains, video still © 2009.
The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts' current exhibit, Utopía Posible, closes this Saturday, July 17th. This Thursday, July 15th, also marks their last extended gallery hours of the season. Need another reason? Free wine.

Jewels in July Next Wednesday

Get your tickets for this year's Jewels in July fundraiser event to support Archi-treasures, whose efforts have been featured on this blog on numerous occasions. There are some photos of the event held last year on Flickr.

Photos by visualizedconcepts.

Jewels in July
Wednesday,July 21st, 2010
Room & Board
55 E Ohio St.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Architreasures Call for Volunteers

From Architreasures:
One opportunity involves helping us make mosaics (it could be a fun night or two with friends) at one or many community workshops, and the other would be assisting with one or more community events, including a scrap-booking & photography workshop, carnival, community dinner, and a "Talent Show."

For more information, go to:

We could really use hands right now, so if you or anyone you know is interested, please let us know!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Open Hand Studio Meet and Match

From OWPP|Cannon Design's Open Hand Studio:
Join Open Hand Studio and our partners at Meet and Match, a celebration of community-based design. Meet and Match provides an opportunity for Chicago designers and non-profit, community-based organizations to meet face-to-face and match design needs with design services.

To register for the 2010 Open Hand Studio Meet and Match, please complete the registration form.

June 29th, 2010
Daytime Event (1pm – 5pm)
We invite you to join us for a networking and resource fair featuring community organizations, pro-bono design organizations including architects, interior designers, product and organizational designers, graphic designers and art groups.

The daytime event will provide opportunities for community groups to meet with design organizations, to discuss potential projects and get more informed about what resources are available in the pro-bono design world. Attendees can meet organizations at their own pace and are welcome to arrive after the event commences.

Evening Event (5:30pm -8pm)
The evening event will start off with quick and compelling presentations on successful partnerships between non-profit groups and design firms and organizations. After the presentations, attendees are invited to enjoy refreshments and “Meet and Match,” meet someone new and match skills with needs!

Open Hand Studio Meet and Match
Tuesday, June 29th
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60615

Monday, May 31, 2010

UrbanFAB [Workshops]

I wanted to share a really interesting project that I will be collaborating on this summer as a facilitator. There are still a few student slots available.

UrbanBuddy[workshops] and the Live architecture Network are collaborating to organize a series of cost-effective design workshops for participants and other interested parties, held in locations around the globe each year. Participants in urbanFAB [workshop] 2010 will travel to either, Barcelona, Chicago, or New York City to simultaneously research and explore our unique definition of urban fabrication. The UrbanFAB [workshop] will reveal global urban systems while fully exploring the local phenomena that are distinctly Spanish and American.

Urban systems are being redefined by new digital design and fabrication tools; how do our cities, and their dynamic and informal character, inform these new models of design? The urbanFAB [workshop] will focus on the complex urban systems that support the everyday life of millions of residents, all-the-while reflecting their distinct urban culture.

urbanFAB [workshop] will engage in a close-up examination of the existing urban factors that drive new models of digital design and fabrication. These factors include physical, social and climatic influences (among others), but most importantly you’ll be observing what makes your city unique in global systematic design, both natural and human produced. The urbanFAB [workshop] is a unique look at the interface between the built form infrastructures and the physical & social systems of our urban environment.

More Information from Urban Buddy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Infrastructures for Change Symposium 2010 - June 3rd

This second installment of the Infrastructures for Change Symposium focuses on the Chicago and Great Lakes Region. From the website, the symposium:
will focus on the design and planning of the next 100 years of Chicago, Lake Michigan, and the built urban environment within the Great Lakes Basin. Infrastructures for Change will initiate a new blueprint for action toward imagining and inventing a 21st Century Great Lakes Model for global city building.
The program begins at 8:30 am on June 3rd at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning with introductions followed by an opening keynote by Cameron Davis, J.D., Senoir Advisor to the US EPA Administrator. More information on Archeworks' website.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2010 Architecture for Change Summit

From the organizers:

Register now for the Architecture for Change Summit:

Join architects, developers and affordable housing activists on September 22-24, 2010 in Chicago to address the affordable housing crisis.

Affirm the ways design matters in the affordable housing crisis; Hear about the dedicated work of nationally recognized affordable housing design advocates; Understand how conventional housing development practices and policies impede affordable, appropriate and sustainable housing design; and Mobilize support for meaningful and inclusive change in these practices and policies.
Design Corps Founder and Executive Director and 2010-2011 Loeb Fellow Bryan Bell is confirmed and will be presenting information on his SEED program. See you there.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Resource Center Fundraiser

From Resource Center:

Only a few days remain to register for the Resource Center's annual spring cocktail party, ReCreate 2010!

Please join us in celebrating the work of the Resource Center while meeting new and old friends. Register at today!

ReCreate 2010
***Friday, May 21st, 5:30-8:30 p.m.***
625 North Kingsbury Street
Chicago, IL 60654
(convenient public transit access;
valet parking available 1/4 block east at Reza's for $9)

Please note: The evening will include a very brief special meeting of Resource Center members. Members will be asked to consider amended Resource Center bylaws, a draft of which is available on our website.

Check out the wonderful new video piece about City Farm, courtesy of our friend Christine Malone

If you can't attend, please consider a donation to support the Resource Center

Resource Center was recently named as the recipient of the Green Neighbor Award from ShoreBank for our contributions to the Chicago community and our efforts to "build stronger, healthier communities.

Archeworks Project to be Exhibited at Venice Biennale

Congratulations to Archeworks for their project, Mobile Food Collective, being included among work from other architects as part of the American Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of the 2010 Venice Biennale. The exhibit will feature work from architects that involve "trans-disciplinary" collaboration. Here is their full Press Release.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Volunteer Help Needed for Newhouse Exhibit Installation

The CAF needs help during the day on Thursday, May 27th and Friday, May 28th to install the Newhouse Exhibition at the gallery of Robert Morris College: 401 S. State Street.

You can sign up for as many hours as you are able each day. They essentially need help hanging up the projects in the gallery. They plan to open the show on Tuesday, June 1st and will not be able to install over the weekend.

Contact Krisann.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rebuilding Together this Saturday!

All our efforts from the past year with Rebuilding Together will culminate this Saturday for their National Rebuilding Day. Come on out to work with like-minded architects and others as well as the homeowners themselves. Don't be shy, anyone can swing a hammer or a paint brush, there's something for everyone. Several groups that have previously been featured on this blog will be hosting homes. To get involved please contact their team leaders: AIA - Holly Genc and AfH - Brian Landwehr.

All of the homeowners have been screened to meet income requirements and many of the ones I met were simply incapable of doing the work themselves do to some sort of physical ailment or old age. This is a great cause.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Design Exposed: SOM Blackbox Lecture

Yesterday evening, the AIA Chicago chapter sponsored a lecture conducted by Keith Besserud of SOM on recent work done in the arena of parametric modeling and performance simulation in the Blackbox Studio, which is an in-house group of specialists who focus on advanced modeling, simulation and analysis across a range of scales from urban design, to building massings, to individual wall components.

Description from the AIA Chicago website:

Keith Besserud, AIA, head of the Black Box Studio at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP, will discuss projects on which his group has collaborated and the advanced computational design technologies the studio has developed. What is the role of design research and a specialized in-house “consultancy” within the context of an architecture firm? We will also look at the interdisciplinary approach towards algorithmic/parametric design as well as tools to create and investigate the “optimal” and the “novel.”

Besserud began by giving a general overview of parametric design and diagrammed the relationship between simulation and analysis, data management and geometry control. He highlighted a number of SOM projects undertaken by the Blackbox Studio including the post-rationalization of complex curvature for a feature ceiling in the lobby of the recently completed Burj Khalifa, a parametric roof for a convention center in Tanggu, China that is visually striking while accommodating program and optimizing structural performance and, finally, a more theoretical urban design project titled Growing Cities where the Blackbox Studio simulates the emergent growth of a city based on the "happiness" of buildings as determined by nature of their immediate surroundings.

The conclusion of the presentation and the subsequent Q&A took an interesting turn as questions were asked about the reaction to this way of working among designers at SOM. Besserud responded by saying that the response is generally positive. He went on to say that given the particular culture, it can be challenging to implement due to the front end time commitment to construct the "intelligent framework" needed to work this way. Offices that involve themselves in time-sensitive competition commissions can find it challenging to find the time for this. That said, Besserud remained optimistic going on to point out that SOM is actively pursuing grants to further their research into biologically inspired growth models. Additionally, in an attempt to foster a more robust local community of computational designers, he mentioned the Chicago Computational Design Forum (CCDF) which aims to be a multi-disciplinary forum for professionals that use computational methods in a variety of ways.

Monday, April 12, 2010

UHC Workshop 2010 - 1) Seedlings to Vermicomposting: A 3-Part Series

A timely workshop by our friends over at Urban Habitat Chicago. When is the workshop for keeping the squirrels off my tomaters?

Saturday, April 17, 2010 · 10:00 AM
Play in the mud with the staff and volunteers of UHC! These one-hour workshops will cover everything from seedlings to vermicomposting. Bring your lunch and partake in a discussion about the sustainable actions you’re doing at home. A sampling of workshops:

10:00am - 11:00am
Tomatoes and basil are irresistible, and taste best fresh from the garden! Learn how to create your own soil mix to start your seedlings indoors, then we’ll be planting seeds. After a month and a half they’ll be redy to move outdoors, or to a sunny window in a larger pot. The earlier you start the sooner you can be enjoying a caprese sandwich! We’ll discuss plant care and disease control for your plants so you can better tend them as they grow. Fifteen max particpants - register early! Pesented by UHC’s urban agriculturalist, Emily Lake.

11:00am - 12:00pm
What makes something organic? This workshop will introduce you to the basic methods and fundamentals of organic gardening. From preparing the soil, understanding how and what to plant, to au naturale pest control, this workshop will enlighten you to what organic entails. Mike Repkin, UHC’s president-emeritus and President of Repkin Biosystems, will demystify organic. Fifteen max participants - register early!

12:00pm - 1:00pm
Like dirt? Like worms? The benefits of vermicomposting far outweigh the gross factor. Worms take your produce waste and turn it into rich, fertile soil that is ripe for planting. Create your home vermicomposting kit with the help of UHC co-founder, urban composter, gardener, and designer Anna Glenn. Anna will teach you how it’s done, and you can even take home a small beginner kit for a small extra fee (worms not included). Fifteen max participants - register early!

Where & When
Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010
Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm (each workshop is one hour)
Location: Northside College Preparatory High School
(Workshops will be held behind the school)
5501 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
Cost: Please pay with cash or check at the door.
MEMBERS: $7.00/workshop or $16.00 for all three
NONMEMBERS: $10.00/workshop or $25.00 for all three
REGISTER NOW for one or more workshops!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Archeworks Summer 2010 Internship

Archeworks is seeking an intern for Summer 2010. The intern will work with the Archeworks Director to generate content for a new publication highlighting alternative urban design and architectural strategies for 21st Century cities. The intern will be responsible for creating graphic diagrams, editing lecture transcripts, soliciting quotes and project documentation, and synthesizing and distilling information from various sources, amongst other tasks. The intern must be motivated, self-sufficient, detail-oriented, and comfortable working with minimal supervision.

The ideal candidate has a strong writing background and is currently enrolled in an architecture, landscape architecture, or urban design graduate program or is a recent graduate. Successful candidates will have a keen understanding of urban and environmental issues and a passion for resourceful urban design as a means of enhancing quality of life in the contemporary American City. Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite is necessary.

The internship will start in early to mid-May and end in early to mid-August. Exact dates to be determined. The intern will be based at the Archeworks studios in Chicago's River North neighborhood, with occasional flexibility to work remotely. Archeworks can provide a modest stipend for this position.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. CST on Monday, April 19, 2010.

Applicants should submit cover letter, resume, two short writing samples, and digital portfolio or work samples to Katie Vail, Archeworks Program Manager.

Questions can be directed to Katie Vail. No phone inquiries please.

Archeworks was founded in 1994 on the premise that good design should serve everyone. Over the past 16 years, Archeworks has completed over 40 community design projects addressing universal design, sustainability, urban agriculture and ecology, early childhood education, neighborhoods with limited resources, micro-enterprises for women and minorities, and other community-based needs in the urban environment.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

CIC School Outreach Challenge - Save the Date

The Presidents' Challenge

In response to Michael Rogers' Challenge as spelled out in the Spring Envision newsletter of AIA Illinois (see above), the Community Interface Committee is organizing a program for interested architects to reach out to public schools.

On Wednesday, April 21st at 6pm, at the Chicago Chapter Office of AIA an education specialist from the Chicago Architecture Foundation will talk about reaching out to public schools, what to expect, what to present, how to address the students, etc. An informal discussion will follow.

There will be more details as the date approaches but check out the challenge and take the initiative.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Saturday, April 10: Chicago Avenue Urban Farm - Community Conversation

The proposal presented to Fourth Presbyterian a few weeks ago.

This design charette is a result of the AIA Bridge Program. See previous posts as well as Michael Burlando's shared photos from Growing Power's farm near Milwaukee. This is an open invite:

Saturday, April 10, 2010
The purpose of this conversation (“charrette”) is to gather input from the Cabrini community and other interested parties about the establishment of a new Urban Farm on Chicago Avenue. We would like you to help refine and develop an initial design plan for what we would like the Urban Farm to provide to the community and how to meet our collective vision.

You are here today to help us:

Clarify vision elements. The community stakeholders have already outlined a basic vision for the Urban Farm, but elements of that vision need further definition and illustration to reflect community wants and needs. The vision includes providing affordable, fresh produce in the neighborhood through year-round food production; developing neighborhood youth through learning about sustainable agriculture and gaining job training skills, and laying the groundwork for several micro-enterprises.

Identify preliminary action program steps. Help prioritize what steps we should take to implement the plan. The results of this charrette will be reviewed by the Chicago Avenue Urban Farm Advisory Council.

Let us know you whether you plan to join us by contacting Natasha Holbert, Program Director, at 312-274-3831.

Saturday, April 10th, 2010 - Schedule
8:30 a.m. - Coffee & Meet/Greet
9:00 a.m. - Welcome & Introduction: Introductions and Presentation of Background
9:30 a.m. - Charrette 101: Introduction to the Terminology and Language of Planning & Design
10:00 a.m. - Break
10:15 a.m. - AIA Bridge Presentation: Engagement Exercise – Presentation of Chicago Avenue Project
11:15 a.m. - Goals and Issues: Small Group Exercises and Report Back
12:00 p.m. - Synthesis: Facilitated Integration of Concept Plans by AIA Bridge
12:30 p.m. - Action Program and Next Steps: Facilitated Discussion of Implementation Priorities
1:00 p.m. - Adjourn

8:30am to 1:00pm
Chicago Avenue Urban Farm
444 W Chicago Avenue (Chicago and Hudson)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Archi-treasures 2010 Design Charettes

Calling all volunteers.

Archi-treasures 2010 Design Charettes have been established as follows:

Saturday, April 17, 10am - 2pm
BJ Wright Courts
1354 S. Morgan

Saturday, April 24, 10am - 2pm
100 N. Hermitage

Saturday, May 1, 10am - 2pm
Legends South
4034 S. State Street

Saturday, May 8, 10am - 2pm
Germano-Millgate Apartments
8802 S. Burley

For those of you that are new to Archi-treasures and/or Archi-treasures charettes, you are invited to a brief orientation from 6pm - 7pm on Wednesday, April 7 at the Archi-treasures office, 3339 West Division. They will be sharing a little about the history of Archi-treasures as well as talking through their charette process. This is an optional orientation for those that are new or for veterans who would like to share their experience.

You can also get an idea of what you're in for by searching for Archi-treasures on this blog. Contact Vanessa with your interest.

PS: April 10th date changed to April 17th and May 8th confirmed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Archeworks Exhibit and Open House

Winning Entry: CarbonTAP by PORT Architecture and Urbanism

Archeworks is hosting a presentation and panelist discussion as part of its exhibit, WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture - Chicago Edition, on April 6th. This is the featured program of Archeworks' 2010 Spring Open House. The topic involves the recent Working Public Architecture (WPA) 2.0 competition by CityLAB of UCLA and will feature the work of several Chicago architects that participated, including UrbanLAB's entry, which was selected as a finalist of the first stage, and Port Architecture and Urbanism's entry which was selected as the winner.

Steven Pantazis Architecture: Highway Reclamation/Racial Reconciliation

As I am a Chicago architect and entered the competition I was asked to participate. I will be presenting my project titled Highway Reclamation/Racial Reconciliation. The event will be moderated by Greg Dreicer, Vice President of Exhibitions and Programs at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. The show starts at 6 and is free and open to the public. Seating is limited so RSVP online.

WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture - Chicago Edition
April 6th at 6pm
625 N. Kingsbury (at Ontario)

Free Admission

Friday, March 12, 2010

Structures for Inclusion 10

Now in its 10th year, Design Corps presents this conference as a forum to present and discuss current architectural practices that are intended to reach a more diverse clientele.

From the announcement:
Structures for Inclusion 10 will be a tenth anniversary celebration hosted by Howard University on Saturday and Sunday, March 27 and 28, 2010. Three panels will discuss the theme: “Social Economic Environmental Design: SEED” and how to build on the success of the Green design movement in addressing critical social and economic issues through design.

The speaker roster doesn't disappoint and includes local architect and "agitator" Monica Chadha of Studio Gang and Converge:Exchange fame. There is plenty of time to register to contribute to the cause and join like-minded individuals, leaders and innovators in their field for this unique annual event.
Projects in Burkino Faso, Africa by Francis Kere Architect

Structures for Inclusion 10
March 27 and 28, 2010
Howard University
Washington DC

Thursday, March 11, 2010

reamscapes Exhibit

All photos courtesy David LeFevre

From the press release:
Six carefully selected teams of up-and-coming designers from the Chicago area working in the field of architecture have been invited to take a ream of standard copy paper and render the banality of 500 sheets of paper into a thought-provoking and arresting temporary installation.
Carlo standing.

Some time contributor and full time reader David LeFevre is part of a team called Fold 500 (what a coincidence) that has an installation on display in the reamscapes exhibit. The reception is tonight, Friday, March 12th from 6-10pm and coincides with the Chicago Arts District monthly 2nd Fridays event in Pilsen.

Carlo observing.

Team Fold 500's Project Statement:
“This is not a plane” embraces the symbiotic relationship between the digital and the physical. The construct expresses one of the most primitive notions of the physical --the fold. Through the repetitive transformation of 500 sheets of paper into paper airplanes, one large gestural fold creates a spatial condition where the inherent dichotomy of the physical and digital interface.
In this installation, paper embodies, among other things, the physical manifestation of digital design, the uniqueness of the instance, and the joy of spontaneous human creativity through a physical reaction with the content -- scribble, tear, crumple. Fold.
And Bio:
Fold 500 is made up of Carlo Parente, David LeFevre, Jessica Hogue, Luis Palacio and Nathan Bowman --5 architects working together in the office of AS+GG who share a passion for digital technology, physical media, paper airplanes and Bloody Marys.

Carlo trying to get bad luck.

Bloody Marys? That explains the Project Statement. The show runs through April 3rd but the free wine is only available during the opening reception. See you there!

reamscapes - 6 designers + 500 sheets of paper + creativity
Mar 12th-Apr 3rd, 2010
1822-43 S. Halsted St.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Last Chance for Actions

Photo by Michelle Litvin

This Saturday, March 13th, will be your last chance to view the exhibit Actions: What you can do with the City. The exhibit has landed here at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts after its debut at Montreal's Canadian Center for Architecture. Don't worry, the documentation is in English. Actually the exhibit consists of contributions, or "Actions", by artists, architects, designers, activists and others from all over the world.

The vast majority of the Actions work to make the city more humane, sometimes using grass-roots geurrilla urbanism such as activists dressed as city workers using a home-made stencil to paint bicycle symbols on heavily trafficked streets, thereby creating a bike lane. To balance out the exhibit, some actions actually work toward the opposite effect, anti-sitting Actions for example, placed on private property to prevent people from sitting on things. The photo below is an interesting dichotomy of the exhibit.

On the one hand, the Action works to overcome an anti-lying-down-device, the handrails along the bench, while the handrails, not part of the exhibit, work to prevent people from lying down. This resourceful individual's Action is not only functional but highly fashionable.

I found the exhibit entertaining, engaging and participatory. It's definitely something that generates a good amount of conversation afterward, such as, what to do with the exposed backs of street signs?

Sticker Graffiti by MELT

You only have four days left to see it and what better excuse than before and after a related lecture being held at The Graham Wednesday night (March 10th) at 6pm by Amy Franceschini called The Revolution Will Be Cultivated. Find out what she's all about here and here. Admission to both the exhibit and the lecture are free.

Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, IL 60610
Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.
Free Admission.

More reviews:
Lauren Weinberg for Time Out Chicago
Jason Foumberg for New City
Ryan LaFollette for The Architect's Newspaper
Architect Magazine
Bert Stabler for Proximity Magazine

Monday, March 8, 2010

Growing Power Meeting This Thursday

Photo by Michael Burlando

I posted previously about the Bridge Program as orchestrated by AIA Chicago Chapter. One of the groups that came out of the program is working with Growing Power and Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago on a structure to support their urban farming activities. Two alumni of the Bridge Program, Michael Burlando and Daniel Roush, went up to Growing Power's facilities in Milwaukee and Mike was nice enough to share his excellent photos and commentary from his trip here. If you want to get involved or are interested in learning more about this very interesting project, still in its nascent stages, there is a meeting this Thursday, March 11th at 6pm at AIACC's office.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

CTBUH Conference Revisited

And finally, the last conference to be revisited is the CTBUH. With registration priced as high as $650, I'm happy to let you know all of the video recordings of the speakers are now available online - for free! Memorable presentations include:

Richard Tomasetti and the use of a boat simulator in Newfoundland to simulate the 18 second period of the Chicago Spire - the first time the simulator had been used for a building,

Eric Kuhne and the social contributions to building tall,

Adrian Smith and the challenge of meeting the 2030 Challenge that most mayors (including Daley) have signed onto without any means of meeting it,

and Mayor Daley on the past, present and future contributions of tall buildings to Chicago.

And yes, the Spire is designed to sway from one side to the other and back over the span of 18 seconds.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Subcribe, Subscribe, Subscribe

As winter begins to thaw and I emerge from my tradition of hibernation I've been bumping into more and more of you that read my blog. Thank you!

I was asked last week if I post consistently and while I try to get one out every week I don't have a rule that it will be every Monday, for example. But, you can subscribe. And you don't have to rss either. There's a link to the right that will ask you to add your email. That way you will know when I post by getting it in your inbox. Convenient, no?

You can tell me all about it at PechaKucha Night Chicago tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8:00 at Martyrs'. I'll be the one with the jacket.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A+DEN/AAO Conference Revisited

In keeping with the spirit of revisiting this past jamb-packed fall architectural conference season, we revisit the A+DEN/AAO conference. If you couldn't make it or you want to hear the speakers again, click on the individual sections labeled Read More, scroll to the bottom and check out the audio recordings. Memorable speakers include Carol Coletta, CEO, CEOs for Cities; Damon Rich, Founder, Center for Urban Pedagogy; Maurice Cox, Director of Design, National Endowment for the Arts and more.

Monday, February 22, 2010

CIC Inaugural Meeting Tonight

As mentioned previously, the Community Interface Committee (CIC) is one of the initiatives that came out of the AIA Bridge Program. The CIC will be a central resource for not-for-profits to find architects and vice versa. The founders intend to have a full time staff including at least one architect and to become the de facto resource for connecting architects with the underserved in Chicago. If you want to be a part of this important initiative from the very beginning, be at the AIA Chicago Chapter Office, 35 E. Wacker Dr. Ste. 250 at 6pm tonight (Tuesday).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Global PechaKucha Night for Haiti Tomorrow

PKN for Haiti logo by Studio Number One

20 seconds, 20 images, 200 cities, 2000 presentations, 200,000 people - with the aim to raise $1,000,000 for rebuilding Haiti.

The event was realized after an email from Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity to Mark Dytham, co-founder of PechaKucha, asking for help. Within minutes they hashed out a plan and sealed the agreement, how else, with a joint PKN presentation at Tokyo's SuperDeluxe. The mission was announced by Mr. Sinclair later on at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Watch the joint announcement:

The 24 hour-long streamathon will be available online LIVE beginning simultaneously in Tokyo, with a presentation by PechaKucha Founders Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, and in New Zealand's most eastern city. From there the "PechaKucha Presentation Wave" will travel westward hitting every city in the PK Network along the way for approximately 10 minutes each.

According to the Global PK homepage, the stream will begin at 2am Chicago time and can be viewed here and here as well as on your iPhone or smartphone by using this free application here.

It will catch up with Mr. Sinclair and Architecture for Humanity headquarters in San Francisco at about 10pm Chicago time, 1pm Tokyo time, where there will be an event in Tokyo focusing on Haiti.

PKN Chicago Global Day for Haiti Poster by Visualized Concepts

PechaKucha Night Chicago is, of course, participating and this time has teamed-up with PechaKucha Champaign-Urbana. It is being held at its usual spot, Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln. The presentations begin at 2pm with doors opening at 1pm and is all ages this time so be on your best behavior. The cost is $25 or $100 for VIP (those tables and seats in front of the screen) and tickets can be purchased online or at the door. The list of presenters is composed of "guaranteed notorious" special guests and can be found here.

There is also a new Donate Button posted on the global and city PechaKucha websites if you can't make an event and want to contribute. All proceeds go to the building of buildings in Haiti. AfH's funding is usually divided into design services, marketing and travel with funding for buildings coming from outside sources. In this case ALL money raised from Global PKN goes to the building of buildings in Haiti.

Don't get Haiti Fatigue. AfH has committed itself to long-term sustained architectural aid in Haiti. Show your support.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ACADIA 2009 Revisited: Day 3 - Middleware

Ben Raines and Ken Maschke
"Data Flow and Communication in the Design of Complex Architectural Forms"

Presenting in tandem, Ben and Ken as they were affectionately referred to, explained the nature of the collaboration between architect and engineer on three projects undertaken by AS+GG and TT. The projects, Crystal Center, Matrix Gateway Complex (Winner of a 2010 P/A Award), and the Wings Museum, were all 3 located at various locations in the once bustling land of architectural excess known as Dubai. The projects all provided unique architectural and structural challenges. Ben and Ken stressed that successful complex projects are contingent upon the effective transfer of information between the parties involved, in order to provide a fully integrated and coordinated design scheme. In developing the designs both teams satisfy the need for design exploration by building digital models that serve the purposes of unique to their individual trades. For the architects, 3d models built in Rhinoceros 3d can be used to test architectural decisions through massing and surface models, renderings, exported plan and section information, or surfaces that can be exported to analysis software, like Ecotect, to test environmental responsiveness. For the engineers, models built in SAP2000 can be used for finite element analysis, or FEA, in order to accurately determine stresses on load-bearing members, and Tekla to develop and store values for, in the case of the Wings Museum, a diagrid exoskeleton structural system. The diagrid system required especially close collaboration between Ben and the AS+GG team and Ken and the TT team. The architectural team controlled the visual expression of the diagrid and created a mesh of triangular design surfaces and nodes that can be exported in a format that serves the purposes necessary for the structural team to analyze the stresses in all members of the system and size them accordingly. To complete the loop, the engineers then send tabular data from the FEA back to the architects that allow them to interpret the results in such a way that they can give 3d mass to their original design mesh. Using parametric software, in this case Grasshopper 3D, designers can store and order data from both the FEA and 3d model elements from Rhino and subsequently define the relationships between the two to be able to quickly, efficiently and accurately model a diagrid skin of glass and steel. Ben and Ken concluded by stating that the above process is rich yet involves significant forethought to make sure that all lines of communication are open and readily passable and that all parties involved can speak the same language. However, they offered a caution that software cannot make the final decisions and the design professionals involved must close the loop to be able to produce great buildings.

Brady Peters
"Parametric Acoustic Surfaces"

Brady Peters has been at the forefront of the discourse revolving around parametric modeling and scripting for a number of years now. Formerly an associate at Foster and Partners in London, Peters was involved with the Specialist Modeling Group. The SMG, as it is known, is an in house consultancy at Foster's that provides support to design teams by performing a number of advanced modeling tasks including geometric rationalization, optimization, writing of custom computer programs for project specific tasks, and component based design. Examples of projects by Foster and Partners that were heavily influenced by the SMG are two clear span roof projects, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and the Great Court at the British Museum in London. Both are examples of structures designed, fabricated and installed using parametric software. In both these cases Bentley's Generative Components was used. Peters has moved on from Foster and Partners and is currently working towards his PhD in architecture at Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Peters' work focuses on how space and sound define architectural surfaces. Parametric software allows Peters to use metric data from an environment, in this case sound wave energy, and then use that data to drive a change, i.e., size, angle, radius, etc., in a series of local geometries, or components, which in turn influence the global aesthetic. The result is a geometric construct that is performing according to the relationships and metrics that Peters defines.