Assignment 4a: Building Hybrid

“Building Hybrid”  

From Sunday’s Chicago Tribune  (Section 1, Page 20, 10/06/2013):

A century ago civic architect Daniel Burnham mapped a physical future for this city. He had intended to design social remedies as well but didn’t deliver. Today, with education failures, joblessness, crime and other intertwined challenges confronting Chicago with the fourth great crisis of its 176 years, the Tribune invites readers and organizations to finish Burnham’s work — to address the imperiled livability, uneven prosperity and desperate public finances that have driven residents to leave by the hundreds of thousands. In coming months, you, and we, will explore how this metropolis can better survive and thrive. Together, our mission echoes Burnham’s: Make no little plans.


The Metropolis is a dynamic context with both unparalleled potentials and challenges, and to face them, our thinking must be equally dynamic.

In the second half of the semester, we will design and develop an architectural project that explores these potentials and challenges by creating new hybrid typologies that benefit the Metropolis.  Our research and exploration will be based on the existing demographic, social, political, architectural and technical conditions, and we will define new criteria and tools for developing original hybrid solutions that address these contemporary issues.


– perform research on building use and unknown building typologies and evolve new typologies to address current conditions.

– research and document specific contexts and situations that contribute to current social, economic and political conditions

– develop a detailed space program from your research and building planning exercises

– use research to formulate problems and questions that are answered and transformed through your design process

– show different ways how critical components of your research and analyses get synthesized towards a design solution

– frame a position (or set of positions) on behalf of your analysis and in support of your conclusions.

– communicate your ideas precisely and deliver compelling and reasoned arguments

– represent your ideas through focused visual communication

– formulate an evocative representation of a design intent.

– lead a conversation of your ideas and work

– learn to see a building program as a list of uses as opposed to a list of spaces, and mine those uses for their potential to become building strategy


program research (due Monday, October 14th, 2pm):

Within your own studios, research the context of your particular project.  Establish the history of the situation, and the unique challenges and potentials presented by the design problem.   Research the variety of uses or potential uses that may ultimately compose the final hybrid solution, and critique their potentials.  Develop questions that begin to form the frameworks for design solutions and establish criteria and agendas for answering or refining the questions through a design process.  Agree to and standardize a format for researching the context within your studio, and present your findings on Monday, October 14th.

At the minimum, your research must document the following:

1.  What is the history of your particular building/site context?

2. Are there unique site conditions that contribute to the current situation?

3. What are the potential programmatic uses for the hybrid design solution?

4.  What are the specifics for each particular use?  Necessity?  Size? Connections between various other uses?

5.  What questions are generated by the design problem?  What questions could be answered by the potential hybrid solution?

6.  What problems exist with the current context/situation?  What problems could be created by the particular hybrid solution?

space program (due no later than Friday, October 18th or as decided by your studio instructor):

On Wednesday, October 16th, we will have an in-studio workshop to explore the potentials for programming and for developing the basic ‘building blocks’ necessary for planning the hybrid solutions. We will use what we have learned about each of the uses through our research to construct volumes necessary for programming the new solutions, and with that you will be required to create a detailed programming spreadsheet for your hybrid design.

schematic design model/study model/massing model (due Monday, October 21, 2pm):

Building off of the programming exercise from the previous week, you are asked to develop the overall massing to the project. Where is program joined or separated? How are your building blocks assembled? Taking into careful consideration the areas of hybridization this model will begin to study the relationship between and overlap of program elements.

Study models are for study.  Do not attempt to solve every issue with every model.  Instead, explore specific problems with each, and use each to refine the next.

Parti/schematic design plan diagrams/schematic study model (due Monday, October 28, 2pm):

A Parti, from the French prendre parti meaning “to make a decision”, is often referred to as the big idea, and is the chief organizing thought or decision behind an architect’s design presented in the form of basic diagrams, models and/or simple statements.

Develop a presentation that frames your strategy by presenting your design process across scale and medium.  Convey the relevant analysis across scales. The success of this dialogue relies on your ability to frame your position and formulate questions.  Begin by clarifying your objectives and criteria. Where has your analysis led you, and what is now driving your process?  Frame the presentation as a curated set of drawings/images/diagrams and models.   Present your work with the intent of developing a conversation regarding the potential of your concept. A clear composition, a well-rehearsed and choreographed presentation, and artifacts of your process which show your design intent will allow for a deep and rich conversation.

At the minimum you must present:

1.  The key components of your research/analysis that have informed your current position. That is, your guide for how you plan to organize your work “on the wall”.

2. A specific set of questions for your classmates and jurors during your presentation.

3.  A comprehensive composition of artifacts/representations of your research and design work to date including research documentation, design process artifacts (sketches, study models, etc),  plan/programming diagrams,  and a study model.

Note:  Representation of your current approach shall be comprised of not less than six (6) horizontally formatted 11x17s and associated models/constructions.


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